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Exams: the Essential Guide

Exams: the Essential GuideExams are stressful for everyone. Find out how you can keep control and get the best results.


Revision is the main preparation you can do for your exams. To make sure you get through it all effectively:

  • Make a revision schedule when you start and stick to it
  • Try out different revision methods: you'll find which ones work for you, and the variety will keep you from getting bored
  • Do plenty of practice exams and exam questions to check your progress
  • Remember to build in times for breaks

Find out more about how to revise effectively:

Exam skills

Although exams are meant to test how well you know the subject, there are exam-specific skills which will help you to make the most of your knowledge. Key skills include:

  • Understanding the format of the paper and how long you should spend on each question
  • Reading questions thoroughly to make sure you understand what you are being asked
  • Taking time to check your answers at the end of the exam
  • Preparing appropriately before the exam so you will be calm, comfortable and focused.

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Stress and anxiety

Exams are high-pressure situations, and can cause a lot of stress and worry. Sone of this is unavoidable, but there are ways to manage stress so that it affects your exams - and your life - as little as possible.

Being prepared will help: if you know you have revised and practiced, then you will be more confident in the exam. But if you do find yourself panicking during an exam, remember that this is common and that it will pass. Give yourself a few moments to calm down before you continue.

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After the exam

Once you've left the exam room, try not to dwell on the exam you've just done: worrying about it or comparing answers with your friends won't be helpful. Instead, try to do something relaxing, and then start thinking about the next exam.

If your results are worse than expected, you may be able to get your exam re-marked. It's common for marks to change in this situation, but remember that your mark can go up as well as down.

Find out more about getting your results: