Whatever kind of exam you are about to do, there are some general principles that will enhance your performance.
It is essential that you prepare adequately for the exam beforehand and employ appropriate strategies during the exam itself. Watch the video below for some useful tips on revising for exams.
Transcript of revision tips for exams [DOC]
Owl's Top Hoot
Use our handy monthly revision planner [PDF]. You may also find it useful to look at previous papers to gain an idea of the kind of questions you may be asked.
The Exam Itself:
- Be confident and calm, especially if you have revised effectively.
- Get to the exam venue early and try to allow yourself some time to relax. Make sure you have all the things you might need eg. spare pen, a calculator etc.
- Eat something before you sit the exam and take something in with you if it is allowed.
- Make sure you know how long the exam will last. If all questions are worth the same amount of marks you should allocate an equal amount of time to each question. Don’t run over the allotted time!
- Read the questions carefully and try to identify the ones you can answer confidently. You should answer these first. This will give you time to think about the questions you are unsure about.
- Once you have read the questions, carefully analyse what they are asking for. Write down key terms and make brief notes.
- Look for clues in the questions themselves, does it ask you to compare, examine, criticise etc. For more help with these terms please click here. Answer the question you have been set, not the one you would like. For example, if you have been set a question and asked to relate it to European legislation it is no use discussing it only within an English context.
- You should always attempt to answer the required number of questions. If you are short of time, write down your main thoughts as bullet points, as you will probably get some credit for your ideas.
- Always read through your answers and check for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors as well as factual mistakes.
- Resist the temptation to leave the exam early. Use any time left to review what you have done.
- Try and learn from your exam results. Be critical and ask yourself how you could have improved your performance. Make sure that you get feedback from your lecturer so that you can pinpoint any weaknesses to avoid repeating them next time.
Owl's Top Hoot
Get a good night's sleep before the exam. Don't try and cram everything in at the last moment or work into the early hours! You will only confuse yourself and be tired on the day.