Preparing for Exam Season


Exam season can be tough, especially when your results could decide whether or not you get into your dream university.

However, as the old saying goes, preparation is the key and if you take the time to properly prepare for your A Level exams then you’ll sail straight through them and on to university barely breaking a sweat.

Here are our top 10 tips to help you prepare for exam season:

Allow plenty of time

No one ever did anything well by leaving it until the last minute and that’s certainly true when it comes to revision and exams.

Get organised and plan your revision sessions well before you think you’ll need to. That way you’ll have ample time for revising each topic/subject and practising example questions and tests.

Create the right study environment

Squeezing yourself into the corner of your bedroom and pushing aside piles of washing won’t help you concentrate on the things that really matter.

Ensure you have enough room for your textbooks and notes, that there is enough light, and that your chair is comfortable. Also make sure that your space is distraction free – the kitchen table at dinner time probably isn’t the right place to study.

Use different revision techniques

Try different revision techniques to see which ones work best for you. for some people this means flow charts and diagrams, for others it’s colour coding and writing out notes over and over again.

Regardless of your revision technique, doing practice questions and test papers are helpful because it allows you to practice the conditions you’ll be working in during the actual exam.

Explain your answers to other people

Einstein said that if you can’t explain something to a six year old then you don’t understand the concept yourself. We’re not saying you have to revise with primary school pupils but explaining things to other people can help clarify what it is that you’re trying to say.

Study in groups

You don’t have to go into hiding during exam season and studying with others can help you gain a better understanding of certain topics and subjects.

Focus on one topic per study session and really challenge the group to explore each idea before moving on.

Plan your down time

Just like you don’t need to study alone, you also don’t need to study 24/7. In fact, studying constantly can actually reduce the amount of information your brain can retain and make your revision time ineffective.

Plan regular breaks and develop a study routine that allows you to revise at times that work for you.

Don’t forget a healthy diet

It’s easy to fall into the trap of reaching for junk food when you’re pushed for time but snacking on brain food will help you remember those all important facts and key points.

Fish, nuts, seeds, dairy, and fruit will all help keep you healthy and your brain at peak working condition – exactly what you need during exam season.

Know how exams work

Make sure you know the days and times of all of your exams. You don’t want your hard work to go to waste because you’ve turned up at 11am for an exam which started an hour ago.

Also, know how long you have for each exam and how long that gives you for each task or question. Practice working to those times at home so you don’t feel rushed in the exam room.

Stay hydrated

And that means plenty of H2O rather than energy drinks or too much caffeine. Keep that water bottle topped up during revision sessions and take a bottle into the exam room on the day if you’re allowed.

Take a deep breath (or two, or three)

When we find ourselves in stressful situations we sometimes hold our breath, mostly without realising it. However, for maximum brain power we need maximum oxygen levels, so at the start of each revision session and exam, take a few deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth.