Before the exam
1. Focus on being practical.
2. Make sure you know exactly where each exam will take place. Visit the room if possible.
3. Plan to leave much earlier to get to the exam than the journey usually takes. If
something makes you late, this will not be taken into consideration by examiners.
You are expected to plan for transport delays.
4. Check you have spare pens, pencils and any other permitted equipment.
5. Take water to drink.
6. Do not take notes or luggage with you unless you have somewhere to leave them
outside the exam room.
7. Stay positive. It is easier to revise and remember when we are in a positive state of
mind. Avoid people who make you feel anxious about the exams.
8. Get enough sleep.
Before you look at the exam paper
1. Relax your shoulders: make sure that they are not up around your ears!
2. Relax your tongue: it is a large muscle and will help relax your whole upper body.
3. Breathe deeply for a few seconds: concentrate on breathing out fully.
4. Check the obvious: are you in the right room, at the right desk?
5. Run through in your mind the last minute facts that you need to remember.
6. Breathe deeply again once more just before you look at the paper.
During the exam
1. Write down the time you must move onto the next question so that you have time to
answer the right number. It is easier to pass if you answer the right number of questions
rather than to write a few good answers. Leave about five minutes each to check
through essay answers at the end.
2. Number each question. Leave space between each answer so that you can add in points
later if necessary.
3. Read the questions slowly. Highlight key points. Ensure you have really taken in what
each question says as it is easy to misread questions or miss parts of questions when you
are in an exam.
For further information please see Chapter 14 of The Study Skills Handbook and The Exam Skills
Handbook by Stella Cottrell.