OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more


Read my exam tips

Photo of Bridgett Duran
0 0

Written by

You’ve spent months, weeks (or a day) revising and at last your first exam is upon you. Whether you’re the confident or the nervous type, follow these five tips to score as well as you can. By the way, these tips were written by me with the help of my work colleague. You can see what we do by visiting and if you need to write an article or a dissertation, feel free to contact us.

Combat Nerves

If you get nervous before the exam, try to rationalise your feelings. If you’ve stuck to your revision timetable remind yourself this – you’ve done all you can to do well. Even if you haven’t stuck to your plan or done very much, tell yourself that there’s nothing you can do about it now and that worrying won’t help. Inversely, if you’re the confident type, beware – you don’t want to be too relaxed either. A little worry will release some adrenaline and this can sharpen the senses!

Stick to Your Plan

If your revision plan includes revising on the day of the exam, make sure you stick to this, but also be realistic. If you’ve left everything to the last minute you won’t be able to cram it all in so be selective of what you choose to read over. Also be flexible. If you’re revising something you’re certain you’ve learnt, move on.

Know When to Stop

If you have been cramming on the days or hours leading up to your exam, know when to stop. There’s no point working yourself up into a state if it means you walk into the examination hall and your mind goes blank.

During the Exam

Pack some water so you can re-hydrate during the exam if you need to. The invigilators will guide you through the process; you will be asked to turn your phones off and hand them in and instructed not to talk throughout the exam. The moment the exam begins read through all the questions first and allocate how much time you’re going to spend answering each one. You will be provided with extra sheets of paper on request so you may want to draft some loose essay plans. Also, if you think there’s a chance you may forget anything you crammed in last minute, make a note of this too the moment you sit down whilst it’s still fresh in your memory. If you start to panic, take a deep breath and a moment to compose yourself.

After the Exam

Don’t celebrate after your first exam unless it’s also your last exam. Whether you did well or badly, forget about it for the moment and start to focus on your next exam. During exam week early nights are preferable to all-nighters – whether you’re partying or studying. After each exam it will be helpful to ‘debrief’ with your fellow students but don’t despair if they answered questions in a different way to you. Also don’t make the mistake of relaxing too much until you sit your final exam – at that point you can let your hair down and go mad!

Find this story inspiring? Add your own!


Join the conversation: