6 Tips For Exam Success

6 Tips For Exam Success

Thanks to the G20 long weekend the precious SWOTVAC week was cut to a tiny three day stress fest.

BUT, with SHOC's six tips for exam success and a little planning you can still slay your end of year exams and assessments.

Remember! If you have any questions or comments leave them in the comments section below or contact SHOC's Education and Equity advisor directly.


1. Be In The Know

Be informed – the more you know before you start studying the more you can tailor your study specifically:

  • Attend the lecture where the exam content is discussed.
  • How much is the exam worth to your overall mark in the subject?
  • How many marks do you need to get for the grade you want?
  • What type of exam is it? Is it a multiple choice, essay, open-book or take-home exam?
  • How much will each specific question or task be worth? Spending the right amount of time on each question is important. You should be spending half the time on a one mark question than you would on a two mark question.




2. Look at Past Exam Papers

Get your hands on any old exam papers from the subject and familiarise yourself with their structure and format. Check the library website under course resources then exam papers or check in with your course coordinator.

Practise answering the questions within the specified time limits and check your answers against your notes to make sure you’ve got them right.


3. Don’t cram. Really.

Stick to what you already know when studying the night before an exam. Tackling new information will only make yourself nervous. Instead, review your notes and test yourself on key points.

Studies show that a gradual learning schedule works best, so set yourself difficult and specific goals for SWOTVAC so it’s not all left to the last minute.



4. Keep your cool

Don’t talk to other students about the exam, before the exam. Although it's tempting to get chatting about what you did,or didn't do to prepare you could end up feeling confused and discouraged. Instead approach your exams with a quiet confidence.

A bit of stress can improve performance, but so much stress that you feel like throwing up is a bad sign. Take some deep breaths and remind yourself that you studied hard and all you can do is your best. It’s not the end of the world.


5. Use perusal time wisely

  • The way you use your reading time could make or break you in the exam. Use it to plan your writing time and start thinking about some answers.
  • Read the instructions very carefully before scanning the whole exam paper. Be sure to check how many pages there are and how much each question is worth.
  • Plan how much time you'll spend on each answer and the order in which you’ll answer them. Start with the questions you’re most confident with.


6. Break it down

A great approach for any exam is to break the questions down so that you really understand what you’re doing. If you don’t answer the question properly you won’t get full marks for it.

Look for the key parts in the question and these will give you clues on how to answer it. For example you can split this question into four parts:



  1. Explain - give reasons to show how or why something is the way it is.
  2. The difference - what are the distinguishing factors between study and revision?
  3. Study - what is study?
  4. Revision- what is revision?



Get organised and know your rights. Check My Advisor for information regarding the exam procedure.

Exam FAQ's Guide

Do you need more help?

Book a free, independent appointment with SHOC's Education Advocate online.



Tags: Education, Exams

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