Passing exams

Preparation for exams and tests starts on day one of the trimester. Find useful advice on studying towards exams and tests.

The best way to feel prepared for exams is to establish good habits throughout the trimester: go to all your lectures and revise daily by reworking your notes within 24 hours after the lecture. Plug gaps in knowledge and understanding as soon as possible after you encounter a difficult lecture or concept. Our handout on effective listening below tells you how to make the most of lectures, while our handout on memory skills tells you how to keep your brain active in order to improve your memory of material.

Strategise to pass your exams and tests by:

  • finding out what is in the exam
  • simulating the exam or test experience.

Find out what is in the exam by looking at exam papers from previous years on Blackboard or in the exam paper database on the Library website. In the case of tests or exams for new papers, try asking lecturers and tutors how the paper will be structured and what types of questions will be asked.

Simulate the exam or test using old papers or mock questions. Give yourself the same amount of time allowed in the exam, and practise writing answers or doing calculations. Doing this in a group can be fun, and you can discuss each others' answers. This activity will help you realise what you don't know, and it will also help you beat some of the stress that comes with exams.

You may have more than one exam to prepare for. Use the Revision action plan to create a revision timetable that ensures you cover all the topics in your exams and allocate enough time to prepare.

Download our handouts for more information about getting ready for exams.