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Revision tips for STEM exams 

Revision tips for STEM exams 

We asked some of our students studying various STEM subjects, from Mathematics to Engineering, to share their best tips on how to revise for STEM exams and how to manage revision when you have a lot of exams you need to prepare for. This post highlights some of the tips they told us about.   

Making notes  

Having a good set of notes can be very useful, no matter how many exams you have to prepare for.  

“Going over lecture notes and making sure you understand all the relevant topics throughout the semester is crucial. This way you can clear all your doubts when support from your lecturers or tutors is still available.”   

Civil Engineering student  

“I start by making my notes clearer and then add some additional content that I think may be important.”   

Chemical Engineering student  

Further information on how to make effective notes is available on the Learning resources Making notes page and in this blog post. 

Practice questions and past papers  

Making notes and learning theory may be at the centre of your revision, but, especially in the case of STEM exams, practice makes perfect:  

“I find that for my degree, practice is the best tool to learning the material. I go over all the homework and tutorial questions, doing them again and looking at solutions. Then I usually do some textbook exercises if I have time, before doing at least two past papers.”  

Mathematics student  

“After finishing all my notes, I do tutorial questions and any other related examples we have been given in the past, and then past papers.”   

-Chemical Engineering student  

Organisation and time management  

Good time management and organisation skills are crucial, especially when you have to revise for many exams within a short period of time. There are many different methods and tricks you can you to stay on track and ensure you manage to do all the revision and preparation you need.  

“My preferred method of planning is creating and organising to-do lists. First, I write down everything I’ll want to do during the revision period for a certain subject. […] Next, I make a rough timetable – I usually divide the revision into roughly equal sections and allocate the sections to however many weeks I have before the exam. Then I repeat this for every other subject I need to revise for.” 

Astrophysics student  

“To balance my revision, I plan really thoroughly, writing a timetable for each day and sticking to it (although this I find tricky!).”   

Mathematics student  

Prioritising revision  

Even with very good planning and time management skills, you may find that everything takes longer than you anticipated – the exam date is coming closer, and you still have lots to do. This means that you may have to prioritise your workload and decide what definitely has to be done and what you can potentially skip. Here’s some advice on how to do that:  

“If I have many exams, I prioritise going through problem sheets – these contain key information and all the problem-solving methods you’ll need in the exam”   

Astrophysics student  

“If you’re short on study time, prioritise example/ past paper questions over studying just theory. Completing the questions will help you improve your exam technique and will help you learn the theory as well.”   

Civil Engineering student  


Further advice and information on how to revise for exams is available on the Learning resources Exams page. 



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