Conquer your exams with confidence
Conquer your exams with confidence

The big moment has arrived, it’s exam day, and now is your chance to shine. Don’t let your hard work go to waste by letting your nerves get the better of you. Follow these effective exam technique tips.

1) Stay calm - you’ve got this!

Try your best to enter the exam room calmly. You may want to do some simple relaxation and breathing exercises to calm your nerves. Think positively, see the exam as a challenge, not a threat.

2) Read the question properly

Take your time, and make sure you read the instructions and questions carefully. Re-read each question so that you understand exactly what you must do, underlining or highlighting key information in the question that you need to answer.

3) Time is a key factor

Once you’re clear on the questions you’ll be answering, plan your time. Take note of how many marks are allocated to each question, this will help determine how much time should be given to your answers.

Write down what time you’ll begin each section or question and remember to leave enough time to proofread your paper. 

4) Your exam, your order

Tackle the exam in whichever order works for you. There is no rule that says you must complete the paper in chronological order. Find your quick wins (topics you know inside out), then you’ll have more time to focus on the trickier questions.

5) Just move on

If your mind goes blank - put your pen down, take a deep breath and relax for a moment. If you're in the middle of an answer, read through what you’ve written so far. If nothing comes to you, leave a space and move on.

If there’s a question you can’t answer, skip it and regain confidence by answering a different question first. Remember you can always come back to it.

6) Keep an eye on the clock

Check the clock after every couple of questions – this will help ensure that you leave yourself enough time to answer every question.

7) Give it a go!

You’re likely to gain more marks by attempting all your planned questions than writing strong answers for some but leaving others blank.

8) If time is running out

Don’t panic! Look at the questions you have left to answer and divide your remaining time equally. Be efficient – make a point, support it with evidence and then move on to the next point. If you really can't finish in time, briefly list the points you wanted to make.

TOP TIP - Quality versus quantity: the quality of the argument is more important than the number of words you use.

9) Every second is precious

If you think you’ve finished and there’s still time left, don’t leave early! Proofread your answers, check spelling and grammar, formulas, and find ways to strengthen your arguments. Don’t waste any valuable time.

10) Once the exam is finished, forget about it.

Don’t keep re-living the exam once it’s over. Comparing answers on social media, or with your friends won’t help in any way. You’ve done your best and can’t change anything now.

11) You did it! Time to reward yourself

It might be tempting to dive straight back into your revision notes for the next exam, but it’s important to give your brain a break. Reward yourself by doing something non-exam related. Why not watch that film on Netflix? Go for a walk or run around the park? Or listen to your favourite playlist?

Good luck!