How to prepare for exams

The end of the year is slowly creeping up on us, which means the exam period is approaching. It is a stressful time, indeed. With these tips, we hope to relieve some of the stress and help you take control of your studies.

Of course, how you study may change depending on the subject. Feel free to adjust these tips however you see fit.

  1. Join a study group – You can create your own study group, but ensure the intention is to study. It may be difficult to study with certain people, so finding the right group is key. Study groups are important to discuss ideas, clear up misunderstandings, open your eyes to different perspectives, and more! If you can’t get a clear answer from your group, then seek your teacher.

  2. Seek your teacher’s feedback – I know, some teachers can be scary, but try not to be afraid of them. Remember, they don’t want you to fail, they actually want you to succeed. Knowing they can make a difference in your life is usually the reason why they are teaching in the first place. If your teacher happens to leave the note “please see me” in your workbook, you should definitely speak to them to see where you went wrong. Tutor Zoe likes to read over content by annotating and highlighting, and writing down any questions she may have for her teachers to answer.

  3. Write your notes and organise them – As previously mentioned in How to get the most out of online learning, handwriting your notes will help you remember information better than simply typing and/or reading them. Zoe says she likes “brainstorming ideas on poster paper and using lots of colour and pictures to really help visualise the information.” Tutor Amanda says “If it’s rote learning like bio (sic), I just do lots of brain storming and flow charts." She also creates a checklist and timetable to ensure no topic gets missed!

  4. Teach someone else – The best way to feel confident about a topic is if you can successfully explain it to someone else. It is the best way to retain information as it challenges your understanding. Remember when your teacher asked you if you knew the meaning of a word, and your answer was “yes, but I can’t explain it”? Well, that answer won’t fly this time!

  5. Practice, practice, practice! – Try answering questions from previous units to see how much information you have retained. When you have completed questions from your textbook, move on to exam papers. Tutor Simon advises that he normally completes past exams from earliest to latest. “The exam is likely to be most similar to the latest,” he says. He then marks each exam to see his results and improvements over time.

If you need more help with your studies and your friends and teachers do not have the time to assist you, getting a tutor is a great solution! Send us an email about your struggles and we should be able to find a suitable tutor that will not only assist you with your education, but with your study habits too!


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