8 Practical Exam Prep Tips

By September 21, 2022 News
Female student taking exam in classroom

Students often feel anxious about taking exams because they have no idea how to prepare for a test. It’s actually simpler than you may think — and the right prep can make a huge difference to your performance.

1. Start Early

The longer you give yourself to prepare for the exam, the more information you’ll retain. Decide when you’ll start and then create a schedule that specifies when you’ll study and what activities you’ll do. If you have several exams around the same time, it may make sense to devote more time to the most challenging rather than to split your time evenly.

2. Create a Study Space

Clean your desk to turn it into a space where you can study comfortably. Remove anything that’s likely to distract you or that’s taking up too much space, as you’ll need to be able to spread out papers and textbooks. In addition, check that you have enough light to read printed materials. You may need to move your desk to a different place in the room or purchase a lamp. Finally, figure out what kind of environment helps you concentrate — options include silence, white noise, or background music.

3. Use Past Exams

If possible, find exam papers from previous years that you can use to practise. This is a great way to familiarize yourself with the structure of the exam and to see how the questions are worded. During at least one exam, time yourself to check that you’re able to finish within the amount of time you’ll have on the day.

4. Practise in a Group

It can be difficult to stay focused when studying on your own. Inviting others to study with you can mean you stay on track. Whereas you could just ask people you know to ask you questions from flashcards, it’s even better to form a study group with classmates and prepare for the exam together. Cover a different topic each session and use the opportunity to explain concepts to each other to ensure you’ve understood.

5. Make Visual Aids

Mix things up by drawing diagrams, flowcharts, and timelines. These could represent processes, events, or key facts.

6. Take Regular Breaks

After a certain amount of time, your brain becomes too tired to take in any more information. Figure out how long this is for you and schedule short breaks in between bouts of studying. Going for a walk is ideal, as your mind will benefit from the fresh air and sunlight.

7. Stay Healthy

Keeping your body healthy makes it easier to prepare for and do well on an exam. Stay hydrated and eat a balanced diet with foods that boost your memory, such as fruits, nuts, seeds, and yogurt.

8. Be Prepared on Exam Day

Find out the time and location of the exam to determine how you’ll get there and what time you’ll need to leave home. Prepare everything the night before to avoid the stress of forgetting something.
It’s always difficult to prepare for exams when your study space is noisy and you’re constantly being interrupted. The solution is to move out of residence and into off-campus housing. You can find London, Ontario, apartments for students at Foundry First. You’ll receive a bedroom in a fully-furnished suite (with the option of a private washroom) and you’ll have access to a range of great onsite amenities. Apply now before all the units are taken.