Student studying in the libraryAlthough you may not have long to go before the exam, last minute revision can make a significant difference to your grade. Try to prioritise – what are the key things you need to know? Is there anything you’re struggling to remember?

  • Check the final facts: use your revision tools/prompts
  • Don’t try to learn new topics at the last minute: consolidate what you know
  • Get an early night: the difference between being tired and well rested will most likely have an impact on your grade. Being over tired will not help you to do your best

Everyone feels it!

It’s natural to feel nervous before an exam, and the reality is nearly everyone is feeling the same way! But the more prepared you are, the more relaxed you’ll feel. These simple steps will help you to conquer exam nerves:

  1. Create a revision plan to help you feel in control of the whole process. A plan will also help you to make sure you use your study time wisely.
  2. Plan your revision carefully, focusing on the things you struggle with. Gaps in your knowledge can be one of the main causes for exam nerves. Fill the gaps and you’ll be more prepared!
  3. Make sure you know where the exam is taking place, at what time and what you need to bring with you. Pack everything you’ll need in the exam on the night before. Having to rush about in the morning can cause you to feel nervous and stressed.
  4. Look at the exam in context. If you do badly this time round, there are always options open to you. Remember to try your hardest the first time though!
  5. Look after yourself. On the day of the exam, it's important to eat a good breakfast and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Dehydration makes you tired and will reduce concentration.
  6. Think positive!

Sitting the exam

  • Make sure you have everything you need before the exam! Its probably a good idea to pack your bag the night before to save rushing around in the morning. And check you have everything before you leave!
  • Take a watch or clock with you so that you can time your answers
  • Follow the instructions at the front of the paper carefully
  • Look through the paper first and mark any difficult questions/questions you may want to spend a bit more time on
  • Use the information they give you on the paper – sometimes a lot of the information you need to answer a question is already on there
  • Look at what marks are available before you answer a question. This usually gives you an idea of how many points you need to make and how well you need to explain an answer (depth of answer)
  • It's important to take a minute to plan your longer answers. Writing a few key words of what you’ll include in each section helps you to write a well structured answer
  • Try not to rush your answers but at the same time, try not to spend too much time on answers. Some students will rush answers and lose marks, but also spend too much time on answers and will not have enough time to complete the whole paper
  • Allow for checking time – give yourself some time once you’ve finished writing to check through your answers and correct mistakes
  • Make sure all your writing is written in the right spaces and not outside the writing box. Cross out anything that you do not wish the examiner to see

After the exam

  • Don’t worry – you’ve done the best you can and there’s no point panicking now!
  • Don’t compare your answers with other students – this can cause you to panic more if there’s something you think you’ve missed something.
  • If you think anything went wrong, focus on how you could improve it next time. Did your revision plan work?

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