How to Prep Like a Pro for Exams

By Cardiff Metropolitan University Modified on March 03, 2018

Cardiff Met blogger Kelsie shares her exam survival tips


Exam season is never going to be fun, but here are a few survival tips to help make your exam prep less painful:

1. Make a plan

What topic to study, what evenings/days you’ll study. Or a detailed plan breaking down each topic you need to cover, and cross them off once you’ve done them.

2. Start early

The earlier the better! I know it’s easy to say but difficult to actually start, but push yourself to start and you’ll be so glad of it closer to exam season.

3. Don’t cram

Last minute revision really won’t help you learn or remember it any better, so don’t tell yourself you’ll do 12 hours the night before the exam to learn it all. Start early and set a timer (20/30mins) and study in short (and frequent) bursts, rather than 6, 7 or 8 hour stretches. You’ll learn better and work harder in short bursts and it’s less tedious because you know a break is coming.

4. Remove distractions

Put your phone on airplane mode! Or if like me you’ll still find distractions, download everything/print what you need and turn the internet off completely at the wall and just use your notes and books.

5. Get a study buddy

Studying together (without chatting!) is SO helpful. Your study buddy might have knowledge you don’t and vice versa. You can also test each other, so you learn and they do at the same time.

6. Do practice questions

I know we already have enough homework and reading to do, but if you can spare 30 minutes to an hour to work on a past paper question or two and ask a tutor to mark or give you feedback (or look up the answers once you’ve finished), it’s going to help when you’re in the exam SO much because you’ve already done loads of them.

7. Flash cards for key information

When you’re revising make little flashcards for key information. Summarize, summarize, summarize! You can also pop little questions on them and put the answer on the back to test yourself when you’re on the bus or waiting for a class.

8. Reward yourself

I doubt anyone really enjoys studying, but one way to make it a bit less painful is to reward yourself. For example, if I answer a past paper then I’ll treat myself to a cup of tea and a little break, then I’ll get onto another 2 topics and reward myself with a 2 hour Netflix binge (don’t get stuck for too long though!). Even at the end of the exams, I don’t go wild and spend all my money, but I’ll treat myself to one thing I’ve been wanting for a while. It makes the light at the end of the tunnel shine that bit brighter!