How would you like to be able to ace your exams? Exam success isn’t as far away as you may think. It’s all about taking the right steps during preparation and making sure that you’re doing everything in your power to be successful!
In this blog post, we’ll discuss 11 tips for acing your exams. Follow these simple suggestions, and you will have a better chance of being successful on exam day!
Learn How To Study Effectively for Exams
Many students will tell you that studying for exams is one of the most stressful things they go through in their school career. Often, this stress stems from a lack of preparation and not knowing how to study effectively.
This leads them to panic as exam season approaches without having given themselves enough time to learn all the content. What many don’t realize is that studying for exam success, while stressful and time-consuming, doesn’t have to be this way. Exam preparation can actually be more fun than a chore if you know what you’re doing!
11 tips to help make the most of your study time
1. Make A Study Schedule For Exam Success
Plan ahead to make sure you have enough time. You can’t cram everything in the night before and hope for exam success. Even if your study schedule is packed, it’s all about making a study schedule and sticking to it.
Your schedule should consider your revision, study breaks, and socializing. It is important to budget in some downtime for yourself too! Make sure you don’t spend all day studying. If you are planning on going out, then give yourself a break from the books before hand.
Sticking to your schedule can be difficult, with distractions and procrastination getting in the way. Try to avoid social media when you should be studying, or if it eats into your study time, turn it off!
2. Study Soon After Learning New Material
You should make a habit of studying soon after you learn new material; don’t leave it until the last minute! Learning takes place when information is fresh in your mind, so don’t let it sit around and get stale or sink to the bottom of your priority stack. Make time regularly to study and review your course material.
‘If your exam is a long way off (although this is probably not the case for 80% of you), after each lesson, write up your new notes on a flash card. It only take a couple of minutes!’1
3. Study with Friends or Alone
You might find it helpful to study alone, but if you can’t focus when you’re by yourself, then consider studying in a study group. Having friends around will help keep the conversation light, which is good for preventing stress from building up while doing something as tedious as studying.
4. Discover your learning style
A good way to find motivation and make studying easier is to know your learning style. Exam success depends on mastering your learning style and applying it to study.
Identify Your Learning Style Our brain works a certain way, so we tend to learn differently when studying for an exam or completing assignments. Knowing what kind of learner you are is the first step toward Exam Success!
This will allow you to figure out how best to learn a topic, how long it might take, and what kind of materials work best with your style.
5. Set Realistic Goals
Set realistic goals and milestones for your exam preparation. Being well organized will help you stay calm, motivated, and focused on achieving your targets. Exam success is a marathon, not a sprint!
Exams can be stressful enough without the added pressure of being behind schedule or having unrealistic expectations about how quickly we learn information, so set reasonable deadlines for yourself.
6. Ask a Teacher or Get A Tutor
If you need clarification on a topic you’re struggling with, then ask them to talk you through it. They prepare students for these exams year in and year out and know exactly what you need to do in order to have exam success, so listen to them and ask for any support you need. They’ll probably be happy to help!
Sometimes paying for a tutor can be worth it. It’s an hour or two of someone who is experienced in the field and knows exactly what to study and how best to study it. They can usually give you some good advice on your schedule, test-taking strategies, the types of questions usually asked, and more.
7. Remember To Eat And Sleep
Scheduling time to eat and get some sleep is very important for exam success. It can be difficult, but it’s necessary if you want to ace your exams.
Eat breakfast, even if you are not hungry, and take regular breaks to ensure that your mind is fresh when it comes to revising for exams.
Sleep is important for exam success too!
Make sure you are getting enough sleep and never go to bed feeling stressed. Aim for around eight hours of sleep each night to stay healthy and allow your body time to rest. Try to avoid all electronic devices at least one hour before your head hits the pillow, as this can hinder your ability to fall asleep!
Exercise is known to have a number of benefits beyond just keeping you healthy. The physical and mental health benefits are probably the most well-known, but exercise can also help your memory and improve your mood.
Developing a regular exercise routine, even if only for 30 minutes each day, helps to relieve stress and anxiety, which are both counterproductive when studying or taking exams.
9. Cope With Stress and Anxiety
Stress and anxiety are unavoidable. Exam stress will vary between students based on a number of factors: how important exams are to them personally, the type of exam (open book or closed), their study strategies, whether they get enough sleep, etc. The best way to cope with this is by being aware of your own triggers for stress and anxiety and developing strategies to deal with them, such as exercise, sleep, and good nutrition.
10. Find The Best Place To Study For Exam Success
There are a lot of factors that can affect your ability to study, and the best place to study is an important consideration.
- Make sure you are comfortable and can see clearly.
- Find somewhere that is quiet, but not too quiet! You don’t want to be distracted by outside noise, nor do you want to feel like there’s no one around when it’s time for a break. Try going on campus or finding the library during their quiet hours if you want to avoid outside noise.
- Find somewhere that isn’t too close to all of your other study buddies! You don’t want them distracting you and pulling away from the focus you need for studying. If possible, find a different building or even an entirely new location on campus to stay productive while studying with your group.
11. Be distraction-free
‘Research has found that simply having a mobile phone out whilst revising causes a decrease in concentration and a reduction of 20% in performance.’2
Distractions are a big no-no when studying for exams. If you have to study in the library, put your phone on silent and find somewhere quiet where people aren’t talking or using their phones to avoid distractions. Being too distracted by social media like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or YouTube is a common problem, so timetable some device-free time into your diary and you will discover next-level concentration.
What type of learner are you?
You are most likely to find information in the form of charts, diagrams, and images interesting and useful when studying for an exam or completing assignments.
Some good materials might include summarizing articles using bullet points, taking notes from presentations, or reading textbooks with lots of pictures and diagrams.
You are most likely to find information in the form of lectures and conversations interesting and useful when studying for an exam or completing assignments.
Some good materials might include summarizing articles using bullet points, taking notes from presentations, or reading textbooks with lots of dialogue between characters.
You are most likely to find information when talking and listening, and you will find it interesting and useful when studying for an exam or completing assignments.
Some good materials might include taking notes from presentations or watching videos with subtitles so you can reread them later.
You are most likely to learn best by doing something like conducting experiments or working with a partner or group to research and solve problems.
Some good materials might include summarizing articles using bullet points, taking notes from presentations, or watching videos that explain the concept you should learn before applying it in practice.
You are most likely to find information in the form of conversations with friends and classmates interesting and useful when studying for an exam or completing assignments.
Some good materials might include summarizing articles using bullet points, taking notes from presentations to later discuss with friends, or watching videos that you can share with your peers so everyone can take part in the discussion after each person watches them individually.
You are most likely to find information when studying outside or in a workplace setting.
Some good ideas are school trips, internships, or work placements.
Remember, the best exam tip for exam success is exam preparation. You have to be sure that you’re ready for the challenge before going into the test room, so follow the advice, have a positive attitude, and achieve exam success for yourself!
- Alexander Ruiz, M. E. (2008) How to Revise Successfully, wikiHow. Available at: https://www.wikihow.com/Revise-Successfully
- The Best Ways to Study (no date) InnerDrive. Available at: https://www.innerdrive.co.uk/guides/the-best-ways-to-revise/