Study Tips

Getting Prepared Before Exams Creep Up On You

When the school year starts, exams seem miles away. But before long, they sneak up on you and you’re completely frazzled, and quite frankly, freaking out. The stress of the exam alone is excessive, and paired with being unprepared only makes matters worse. Even if you are a straight “A” student,  planning is essential. It makes all the difference in how well you can handle the heat.


Don’t let exams get the best of you. Will they be a walk in the park? Perhaps for a handful of students, but everyone is on edge. That’s why preparation is a plus. These tips will get you ready for the exams, helping you put your priorities into perspective, and giving you the best shot at getting grades mom and dad will be proud of (No pressure!)

1. Study All Semester Long 

Easier said than done, but really efficient!

You probably have all sorts of stuff jammed into your calendar, from dental cleanings to dates with the new person you’re seeing, but it is just as important to carve out time to hit the books. Even if you don’t have a paper due or a test coming up, it’s smart to stay on track with study sessions you commit to by plugging them into your calendar.

Use Jumbea app, meet up with classmates, or just go to the library for a few hours to read and review. This way when exams roll around, you won’t have to chaotically cram. All you’ll need to do is skim through your notes to make sure you’ve got it down. While the other students are pulling all-nighters, you’ll be sleeping like a baby.

2. Treat Well Your Body 

Exams means using your “noodle,” but there’s far more than brainpower that goes into acing those exams. If you are not in good shape physically, your performance may suffer. We’re not talking about six-pack abs or fad diets, but all-around good nutrition, regular exercise, and getting plenty of sleep. Doing so will not only make you feel great, but will give you the stamina you require to maximize your exam-taking potential. Plus, when you treat your body well, your brain will get the message. Not to say you can’t have “cheat days” or go out on occasion with friends, just make it a habit to be healthy.

3. Ditch The Distraction

As exams get closer, the more you can focus on the preparation, the better. There are tons of distractions that can steer you off course, so do what you can to eliminate temptations and avoid situations that aren’t particularly exam-friendly. If you are trying to study in your dorm room but your roommate won’t stop blabbing, go to the study lounge or another quiet space. When everyone’s ordering a late-night pizza but you’ve already had dinner, turn down the invitation to chill, because we all know one slice leads to hours of hanging out. Take a break from the phone and that Netflix show you’re currently binge watching. Stay focused and you’ll learn the material in no time.

4. Practice With Old Exams 

One of the most effective ways to prepare for exams is to practice with an old version of previous exams. Also, an old test will help you see the format and formulation of the questions and it will be good for you to know what to expect but also as a worthy practice for measuring the time you need for the actual test.
Practice it in real conditions: don’t cheat by looking at your notes every minute, ad try to answer as much questions as you can. You’ll be then able to identify which parts of the course you master, and what you don’t.

It’s also really useful to identify classic tricks questions and avoid them the day of the exam. Try to draw up a sheet to summarise all tricks you found, and read it just before the exam, just to be sure to have them all in mind!

5. Ask For Help

Don’t be afraid to ask your teachers for help – they’ll be glad to assist.

If you need clarification on a topic you’re struggling with, then ask them to talk you through it. Don’t panic in silence when there’s a support network around you.

Asking help to your classmates is also a good idea, as they may have another point of view on a subject that could sounds more clear for you as well. It’s always interesting to confront different points of views, and it may save you for the exam!

6. When You’re In The Exam Room… Take Your Time!

When waiting outside the exam room, avoid the temptation to discuss what you’ve studied with your friends. You’ll probably all have studied slightly different things so don’t panic each other!

Just sit quietly outside the room, breathe deeply and avoid looking at your notes. Once inside, read the exam instructions very carefully. Allocate time for each question and keep an eye on the clock.

If you don’t know the answer to a question, skip it and return to it later. Never leave an exam early, use your time given to fully complete and revise your answers. And remember – you can only do your best.

Written by Elisa – 22/10/19