Revision and Exam Techniques used by students

These are the revision and exam tips and techniques that students have given us. This is their advice and what has worked for them:

Exam Preparation: 

“Visualising myself in the exam and imagining myself doing well and handling anything that comes up. I did this again and again and it really helped when I got in there!”

“I didn’t listen to other students when they complained about how much work they were or weren’t doing. I knew that non of that really affected me.”

“I ALWAYS go to bed early the night before an exam. There’s no point by then losing sleep.”

“Using Amy Cuddy’s ‘Power Pose’ before the exam to boost my confidence ( During the exam I also made a special effort not to curl up in my body posture but to stay open and tall.”

“If I’ve learned something and I can help a friend by teaching them it I always do. I find it really helps me to be sure of what I know and to remember it.”

“Walking the route to the exam the day before so I knew exactly where I was going.”

“Wearing my favourite underwear for the exam. It makes me feel great and totally empowered. No-one else knows but that’s what so cool about it. It’s me and my preparation.”

Revision Techniques: 

“I watched the film ‘Thirteen Days’ to help me revise for my American History exam on the Cuban Missile Crisis. It really brought it all to life and I remembered so much more. I always look for movies now to help me learn more.”

“I started taking breaks throughout the day and it meant I reduce how long I procrastinated for, because I knew I’d be having a break again soon.”

“I got a white board in my room and it helped me draw ideas out quickly and in a big way. I never worried that they didn’t look good because I’d just be wiping them off soon. It meant I started focusing on what I could remember. Then I took photos of the good stuff and re-wrote that up into flashcards.”

“I swapped mobile phone’s with a friend who was working in another part of the library to me. It meant that I didn’t get disturbed by social media but also I felt too embarrassed to go and ask him for my phone back as he was still working. I got loads of work done.”

“I got into a routine each day. Started with the easiest stuff first, then after lunch did anything that I was dreading and later in the day went over it to see what I’d learned.”

“I always worked with friends around. Usually they were studying different topics from me which helped so we didn’t talk. But we did test each other later and that’s the stuff I really remembered in the exam.”

“I drew cartoons about anything I found wasn’t sticking in my head after I did exam questions. For physics I would draw a series of cartoons of the examiner asking me questions and what I would answer. I felt embarrassed at first but when everyone kept borrowing them I just kept going.”

“I made up rhymes and songs about boring lists that I had to remember. It made them more fun so I actually did the work but also I never forgot any of them.”

Exam Technique: 

“ Whenever I do an exam I make sure to take three deep breaths before turning over the paper. It means that I feel that I am in control of what’s happening and I promise myself that whatever happens I will just try my best.”

“I always read the exam through twice. Once to know what’s on it and the second time to decide what questions I will do and in what order.”

“I don’t look at other students in the exam. It can freak you out if you think that they are all working and you’re not, but I know that it’s not really like that.”

“I do my best questions first. If it’s multiple choice and I don’t know an answer I move on and go back later. This way I stay focused and I know I’m doing my best straight away.”

“If I get stuck and I can feel myself getting anxious I wriggle my toes and count them. It helps me stay calm and gives me something else to focus on for a few minutes.”

“If I can’t remember something I make a note of it and say to myself ‘It’ll come back’ and then I move on. It usually comes back, I just need to relax about it.”

“If I have a really good idea in the exam I write it down straight away on a pice of scrap paper. Otherwise they just go again.”