Tricks and tips for passing your exams

examsLove them or loathe them, the simple fact of the matter is that at some point or another you are going to have to take an exam. It doesn’t seem to matter how many times you sit terrified in an exam hall waiting anxiously to turn over the paper and get started, they don’t get any easier.

It’s perfectly normal to feel nervous before an important test or exam, and a little bit of adrenaline may actually enhance your exam performance. But too many nerves will have the opposite effect, making life very difficult for you and putting to waste all your careful sat test prep or exam revision.

Thankfully there are a multitude of helpful hints and tips to help you not only survive the gruelling examination process, but to also pass them. Here are a few of the most useful tricks out there:

Preparation
As with most big events in life, preparation is key. You really don’t want to be cramming last minute revision the night before the exam as this will only make you tired on the big day and you’re very unlikely to have retained the majority of the information anyway.

Plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time to revise in a calm and collected way. Try out a few different ways of revising to find the most effective one for you; do you work better in silence or with some music playing? Is it helpful to rewrite your notes or just make bullet points? Does varying your location help?

Another great way to prepare is to get hold of some old exam papers to familiarise yourself with the layout and types of questions you can expect.

The night before the exam go to bed at a reasonable time – not too early so you lie awake panicking, and not too late that you’ll feel tired. Lay out your clothes for the next day and pack everything you’ll need in advance. This will help you feel mentally prepared and as organised as possible.

On the day
Avoid doing any last minute revision at all on the day of the exam as this will only confuse and unnerve you.

Reduce stress by focusing on positive thoughts; this could be a very small event from the previous day or something in the future that you’re looking forward to. The point is that you are taking your mind away from negativity by giving it something positive instead.

During the exam try to remain calm and focused on the bigger picture. If you let panic set in now you will be unable to think clearly and will not perform to your best ability. If you find you can’t think straight just stop trying to concentrate for a few seconds, look away from your papers and take a few deep breaths. Once you feel calmer make a few basic notes to help you get back on track before attempting the questions again.

Once you’ve answered all the required questions take some time to re-read your answers to make sure you haven’t missed anything and that it reads well; this is particularly important for any essay-type questions.

After the exam
Once it’s all over try to forget about it as much as possible. Going over and over the questions and answers you could have given is pointless and won’t change the end result. Just breathe a sigh of relief that it’s over!