Preparing to succeed – last minute exam tips

As your exam draws closer, your revision strategy needs to adapt for those few final hours. Here’s our top tips on revising the day before your big test..


The day before

  • Lose all distractions. Turn off the TV, your phone and tell your parents or housemates not to disturb you. If necessary unplug your internet connection. Think of it this way – in a months’ time you’ll be happier you focused on revision rather than checking Facebook!
  • Make cheat sheets. The closer it gets to the exam, the smaller you want your revision notes to be – use mnemonics, diagrams and the like to avoid just ending up with a page full of text. The act of writing the cheat sheet itself will actually help you take in and learn the information.
  • Eat brain foods. Junk food may be comforting but isn’t going to give you the mental energy to make the most of your revision. Read our article on superfoods for some healthy and energising ideas.
  • Stay positive! Panicking right now is not going to help you do any better, no matter how underprepared you may feel just remember that staying calm and methodically recapping your revision is the best way forward. Stress can lead to mistakes so relax, take deep breaths and remind yourself: at the end of the day, it is only an exam.
  • Prepare yourself. The night before, get your pens, books, notes, calculator and ID ready – everything you’re going to need in the room on the day. You don’t want to be running around panicking right before your exam.


On the day

  • Wear a watch. Always wear a watch to your exam, it’ll remind you to plan out your time spent on certain answers and will be invaluable if you can’t see the clock from your seat.
  • Concentrate. Keep the last hour before the exam free from distractions so you can be calmly recapping your notes.
  • Visualise. Psychological studies have actually shown that time spent thinking about Academics can increase your academic performance on tests. So in the last few minutes before you enter the exam room think of your tutors, think of smart and successful people and imaging yourself acing the exam – it’ll boost your confidence.
  • Focus. Before entering exam, don’t over-discuss it with your friends. Avoid the contagious last minute panic, or discussions of what you all have/haven’t revised – at this point it’s all about you and your knowledge


Our next post will cover our tips for managing your time in the exam – keep an eye out!


Most of all remember to stay calm – if you’ve put the effort in it will show and you will earn that mark. Good Luck!


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