Top 10 tips for staying cool at exam time 

Let's face it, few people enjoy exams... but with a little preparation you can stay cool! 

Here are our top tips to help you get through exam period.

1. Understand what is involved

Before you begin revising, make sure you understand the format of the exam – for example, what topics could it cover?  How long will the exam last?  What is the examiner looking for and how should you tackle the questions?  Ask your tutors for advice.

2. Plan ahead

Give yourself plenty of time to revise and get copies of any books or notes you may need. Plan what you need to revise and when you will do it.

3. Practice makes perfect

Ask your tutors for previous exam papers and practise answering them.  This will give you an idea of what to expect and help you refine your exam technique.

4. Be an active learner

If you read pages and pages of text, the chances are you will forget.  Try making short notes or highlighting key points as you read.  This will help you to remember and organise your thoughts.  Alternatvely, ask others to test you, or pretend you are giving a lecture on the subject to someone else.

5. Relax!

If you work too hard, you may burn out. Get lots of sleep and rest.  If you are calm you will be able to think more clearly.  Yoga and meditation are great relaxation techniques.

6. Stay healthy

Do lots of exercise and eat nutritious food – a great way to stay on top form and boost your brain power.  Even a 30 minute walk each day can work wonders.  

7. Motivate yourself

At exam time, even vacuuming your room seems more exciting than studying! Plan what you need to revise each day and reward yourself when you have achieved your goal. 

8. Overcoming challenges

If you are feeling particularly anxious or have any challenges that may prevent you from being successful in your exams (for example, health problems or family problems) talk to your tutors or other staff on campus. They may be able to help you.

9. Take it easy the day before the exam

How about a swim, a walk in the countryside or seeing friends?  Hopefully you will sleep well, but if not, don’t worry. The human brain is capable of great things, even when tired.

10. Bouncing back

Hopefully, your hard work will pay off and you will get the exam results you want - but if not, don’t despair.  Talk to your tutors.  There may be a chance to re-take the exam or perhaps to switch to a new course... or perhaps this is an opportunity to do something completely new?  With a positive attitude, you can turn an obstacle into the start of something great.