Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Exam Tips

Here is a selection of tips that will help you get the most from yourself during that crucial period of examinations:

Before the exam

Two months before your exam start to prepare your revision timetable.

Get a copy of the current syllabus - there's no point in revising something that's not on there and it would be a mistake to miss something that is! 

Get as much information about the exam as possible - how long will it last? What types of questions will they be - multiple choice, essay, case study? How many marks does the exam count towards your overall mark? 

Visit your local British Council library and look at the exams and stress management book collection.

Balance your studying with other things. Remember to take a break from your revision and have some fun - meet up with your friends, go for a walk, spend some time doing things you enjoy. 

Make a list of key topics that are important for each paper. You can't learn everything but by learning the key topics for your subject in more depth and concentrating on those and the areas that you struggle with you'll probably pick up more marks. 

Make revision notes that will condense the information down into more manageable bite-sized chunks.

Learn actively:

-do as many past papers as you can 
-make mind maps for each set of revision notes/each topic 
-write index cards so that you can ask friends and family to test you 
-annotate your revision notes - use colour pens and pencils to highlight key points 

Revise at the right time for you - everybody has different body clocks. Some people prefer to work in the morning whereas others work better in the evening. Also, review your notes at appropriate intervals - read through your notes after each class, each section and each term - your revision will not be as daunting if you are already familiar with the material.

The day before your exam, check you have everything you need and what time and venue the exam takes place. 

If you use good revision techniques you will not need to cram the night before your exam - so use this time to relax. Try some deep breathing exercises and get a good nights sleep. 

During the exam

Spend your first minutes of your exam reading the question through, select the questions that you are going to answer and then plan your response. 

Plan and manage your time - so that you finish the exam! 

Ensure that you structure your exam answer. Always have a beginning, middle and end. 

The beginning should explain what the essay is going to be about. The middle should contain all the detail and you should spend about 75% of your time on it. And the end should be a conclusion or summary to your essay.

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