Preparing effectively for your exams can help you achieve the results you want. Here's some advice to get you started.
Before you start
- Everyone has their own approach to revising and there isn't a 'best way' or a secret trick. You're the one taking the exam, so try a few different approaches to see what works for you.
- It's important to be healthy and maintain some balance during your revision and exams. Eat well and drink plenty of water as this will keep you feeling alert, and include some physical activities in your breaks.
- Start planning far ahead of your exams so you can give yourself enough time to get through all your work.
- Make a note of all important dates – when assessments are due, exam dates and commitments like work shifts or sports.
- Set long-term and short-term goals to clarify what you want to achieve. Work out your revision plan and use a planner to help you stay on track; this way you can include time for other commitments and well-deserved breaks.
- Declutter your study space so you can work comfortably and concentrate. You might find it helpful to remove all distractions from your study area.
- Gather your study resources and revision tools in one place. You will find subject specifications, past papers and supporting materials very useful – see our revision resources page. Also ask your subject teachers for specific revision tasks or materials.
- Research shows that learning is much more effective when spaced out over longer stretches of time. It's easier to remember information from several shorter study sessions than one long one, so take a few short breaks during your study sessions.
- Use practical memory aids where you can, such as flash cards, infographics, mind maps or videos.
- Explain key points to another person. Teaching is a good way to remember key facts.
- Test yourself and ask someone to test you – try online tests and games.
- Recognise your achievements along the way and celebrate reaching your revision milestones.
- Set scheduled breaks alongside your revision targets. This will give you something to work towards and keep you focused.
- Finish your household chores first so you're not tempted to use them as an excuse for avoiding revision.
- Remove distractions – block your 'go to' websites, de-activate gaming or social media accounts and turn off your phone. As a reward, access these once you achieve set revision tasks.
- Try the 'ransom technique' – ask your parents to keep your favourite things until you have completed agreed tasks or specific parts of your revision.
Ahead of your exams
You might find our page on exam day helpful, as it includes information about what to expect on the day.