Tips for Exams

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Psychology class in action.

Please make sure you are managing your sleep patterns so that:

  1. you are getting enough sleep and
  2. you are awake in time to get to your exam promptly and be able to concentrate


Remember as well that your body is the physical support mechanism for your brain – so, it needs:

  1. good nutrition (the right food, regularly)
  2. fresh air and exercise (a brisk walk outside is fine)
  3. good hygiene (don’t miss your showers or laundry)


And remember that your friends are one of the best support mechanisms for your mind – so:

  1. organise breaks together
  2. make each other laugh
  3. remind each other that you are not alone in revising and sitting exams

Toby, Deputy Principal for Oxford International College

Before the exam:

• Pack your exam equipment the day before, get a good nights sleep and have a nice breakfast

• Look at one A4 sheet of little bits of knowledge you regularly forget but don’t try to learn anything new

• Remind yourself of timings and key things to do (e.g. this may be referring to real-world examples, including relevant diagrams or using theory to develop your points)

After the exam:

• Be sociable and say hi but don’t hang around to do an exam de-brief – once it’s done it’s done 😊

James, Teacher and Examiner for Business and Economics

Compare the wording for the different mark levels in your mark schemes – words like ‘consistent’, ‘frequent’, ‘confidently’, ‘accurately’ show a higher expectation; this reinforces precisely what the examiner will look for to give the highest marks, and thus what you need to do.

Justin Reay, FSA FRHistS

1. Trust in your teachers and revision process, and believe that you can solve any question on the exam.

2. Pay close attention to detail, read questions carefully, and be aware of the difference between what you think and what you write. Getting adequate rest before the exam can help improve your focus.

3. Use your time wisely. If you’re stuck on a question, move on and come back to it later. Break down the question step by step if necessary (remember you have the ability to answer it).

4. After answering questions, use confluences between ideas you are sure about to give yourself confidence or to notice when you might have made a technical mistake. Double-check the whole paper for both small (e.g wrong math sign used) and significant (e.g wrong physics concept applied) errors.

Tutor in Maths and Physics