How to prep for exams like a pro

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Exam season is upon us! To help you do your very best, the Learning Skills Unit has put together some revision and exam strategies to help you prep like a pro.

Know your enemy: find out the exam details
To get your preparation started, find out as much as you can about your exam. Having this information on hand and ready will help relieve stress on the day.

– What topics/material will be covered?
– What types of questions will you have to answer (essays, multiple choice, short answer etc)?
– How long will the exam be?
– What room will the exam be in (check the timetable for updates)?

Get ready to revise
There’s no better time to start than right now! Someday is not a day of the week, after all.

– Collect all your relevant material (unit guide, notes, readings, handouts, PowerPoint slides etc.)
– Organise your material into topic areas
– Create a realistic study plan/timetable (only set short focused study sessions, no longer than 50 minutes)
– Prioritise – allocate more time to the topics or subjects you find more difficult
– Check out How do I manage my time?

Revise actively
Don’t just read or re-read your notes, there’s other, more engaging ways to study.

– Draw diagrams, concept maps or mind-maps of your notes
– Make hand-written summaries (this technique helps with memory as well as provides you with writing practice for the exam)
– Make flash cards of key words and concepts
– Practice by taking previous exams (under exam conditions!); find a buddy to check it for you, or test yourself
– Avoid multi-tasking. Stay focused (switching between tasks negatively impacts your higher cognitive activity)
– Avoid distractions (hide your phone!)


For more exam preparation strategies, check out Preparing for Exams in StudyWISE.

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