After three years of online at-home exams, many students will be sitting in-person exams for the first time in ages this December, which may be stressful. In this exam mini-series we will give you some advice and tips on how to do your best during the upcoming exam diet.
This post looks at the best ways to get started with revision and preparation for your exam. Knowing what you will do before you start and having a proper plan can be very helpful.
Before starting your revision, find out the following:
- How long the exam is. This might have changed from the previous year, so make sure all your information is up to date – you don’t want to arrive at the exam hall expecting an hour more than you’ll actually have.
- What is expected in your answers? Open-book and at-home exams followed different rules, for example they may have required bibliographies and referencing, which traditional in-person exams do not. Read through the course information and ensure you know what exactly you have to do. If anything isn’t clear, ask your course organisers or lecturers for clarification.
- Is there anything you need to bring to your exams? E.g. a calculator or a set text? Are you allowed annotated notes or a formula sheet?
You will need a deep and detailed knowledge of the material to do well in an in-person exam (any exam!), so you’ll have to spend time linking topics and writing out your thoughts about given theories/evidence. You will also probably need to make some notes, but you can use what you already have, especially if you have systematically been making notes throughout the semester.
Do a topic stock-take:
- Do your notes help you understand all the key and sub-topics?
- Have you got a complete set of notes and materials?
If your answer to these questions was “no”, you should prioritise studying gaps in your knowledge. Have a look at our Topic stock-take sheet in Exam Bootcamp.
There is a lot of content to revise, so it is important to be organised and plan your revision well, so that it doesn’t become overwhelming.
In our next exams post, we will be looking at the best tips for revision and exam preparation.
Further resources are available:
Study Hub Learning Resources has advice on Exams and Time management.
There is also advice on preparing for, revising and sitting exams in Exam Bootcamp (a self-enrol course in LEARN).