Ten Top Tips to Nail Your Exam Prep

Personal Excellence | Published: Wed 11 October 2017

It is coming to the business end of the school and university year, with a number of students soon beginning exams and completing their final assessments.


Preparing for your exams is absolutely key and will allow you to go into them as comfortably and confidently as possible. Give yourself the best chance of being successful by following our top 10 study tips below:


1) Get in Early/Make a plan: Set up a timetable for your study that allows you to balance your training commitments and study commitments. Write down exactly when your exams are and organize your study around these exams. You may want to focus a little more on particular exams, so create a plan that you will feel comfortable with. Then follow the plan!


2) Create an environment that suits you: A non-negotiable is creating an environment that will allow you to learn best. Make sure you have enough room to spread your textbooks and notes out. Are you comfortable? Do you have enough light? It is important you remove yourself from any distractions and set your desk up in a way that suits you. Some students like things spread out on the desk, while others will need things neat and tidy. Create an environment that will allow you to get the best results in your revision process.


3) Know how you learn best and work with that: It is important you know what will work for you best when it comes to study. If you are an auditory learner perhaps you should record your notes and listen back? Visual learner: Create mind maps, flowcharts, stick your notes on the wall. Grab a study partner if that works for you or meet up with a group. Create your study notes in an organized and structured way. Some will listen to music lightly in the background whilst studying, others will need complete silence. Know yourself when it comes to study and work with that.


4) Review what you don’t know and chunk your material: It is obviously really important to review the content you are unsure of. Break down the larger subject matter into sections that you can manage. Self-test your knowledge so you can readily identify what you need to revise and try explaining your answers to others to deepen your understanding.


5) Complete past papers (some under test conditions): Practicing past papers is one of the most effective ways to prepare for exams. It will help you get used to the format of certain questions, how to structure your answers and of course, time yourself to ensure you spend the right amount of time on each question. It is very important to attempt at least a few past exams under the same conditions you will be under in the real thing. Rely only on the required materials and don’t refer to your notes, complete it in the allocated time and remove all distractions. Mark the exam afterwards (or get someone to mark it for you) and reflect upon the areas you require further study in.


6) Never be afraid to ask for help: Don’t be afraid to make appointments with your tutors/lecturers or teachers to get assistance with any content you are unsure of. Ask them to mark past papers. All they can do is say no, but at least you asked! As always, your WAIS Personal Excellence Advisor is always willing to help!


7) Take regular breaks: You may think you need to study 24/7, but this can be counter-productive. Taking regular breaks will actually allow you to retain your knowledge better. Develop a study routine that works for you. Don’t feel guilty about taking breaks. Get outside and get some fresh air.


8) Reward yourself: After longer study sessions, reward yourself with something to refresh the mind. Watch an episode of your favorite TV show, take the dog for a walk, or anything you enjoy doing. Just make sure you stick to your study plan.


9) Stay healthy: Getting the right amount of sleep, sticking to your healthy diet and drinking lots of water are extremely important steps to keep your brain working best. Don’t go away from your routine. You can’t reach your best without staying healthy.


10) Have a plan for exam day: Make sure you have everything prepared well in advance on exam day. Have all your materials ready, know where you need to go and plan your journey. Plan to arrive in enough time to make you feel comfortable. You don’t want to be running to your exam and feeling frazzled on account of being unprepared.


If you follow the above preparation tips you will give yourself the best possible chance for success in your exams. They will also help you to manage your stress. Remember, you’ve got this!

As always WAIS athletes, if you want help creating a study plan or need any assistance with your exam prep, get in touch with your friendly and supportive WAIS PE Advisor to set up a meeting.