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10 best exam prep tips

A positive attitude is going to take you much further than a bad one

Looming exams shouldn't mean sleepless nights and mounting panic, so long as you prepare well. Follow these simple tips and you'll have the best possible chance of passing.

1. Start revising well in advance

Some students aren't great at using revision times to actually study. But when it comes to exams, planning ahead and scheduling revision will mean you'll walk into the exam feeling calm and knowing that you did all you could to prepare.

2. Planning revision blocks properly

When it comes to planning revision, don't set unrealistic goals. Also, make sure you leave room for plenty of breaks for rest and exercise, which will help reduce stress levels.

3. Rest

Sleep allows your brain to absorb what you've been learning. Make sure you get at least seven hours a night so you're performing at your best.

4. Eat well

Cut out sugary snacks as they'll only make you crash and burn. Instead, try to eat healthily and regularly in order to keep your energy levels up.

5. Memory tools

Use summary notes or flashcards to highlight key concepts or technical terms and carry them around with you so you can read them wherever you are.

6. Practise against the clock

Have at least one practice session with an old exam paper where you time yourself in exam conditions, with no cheating and no breaks.

7. Logistics

You want to spend your time cramming, not panicking about where you're supposed to be and when your exam starts. Make sure you know where you're supposed to be, leave on time and prepare your bag the night before.

8. Get to know your examiner

If your lecturer/tutor is your examiner, you may already know them very well. In which case, use the opportunity to get a sense of what questions might come up in the exam and what they'll be looking for.

9. Be positive

A positive attitude is going to take you much further than a bad one. Try to put the exam into perspective. It's not there to trip you up but to give you an opportunity to show off what you know.

10. Don't do a post-mortem

Tempting as it is to analyse every single answer, there's simply no point. What's done is done and dissecting how it went will only distract you from focusing on any other exams you have coming up.

Exams are a time to show how much you have learnt and how you can apply it. Use all the time and opportunities at your disposal to prepare, study well and make your exams count.