How to succeed in an exam: Our top 5 revision tips

How to succeed in an exam: Our top 5 revision tips
With the exams season fast approaching, preparation is key to success. As Benjamin Franklin famously said: ‘Failing to prepare is preparing to fail’. So, on that note, here are our top 5 tips on how to ace your exams, whether you are sitting GCSEs, A LevelsBTECs or Degree level!

Practice Makes Perfect

Ever heard the saying ‘practice makes perfect’? Well, it’s an old adage that holds a lot of truth… the more something is practised, the better you will become at it.

Revising frequently is a vital study technique that can help improve retention of information. In fact, scientific research has shown that the more often you review something, the more likely you are to remember it. By revisiting information regularly, we reinforce it in our brains and move it from our short-term memory into our long-term memory, where it can be retrieved later on.

Reviewing information once a day for a week, then once a week for a month, then once a month for a year can really help cement the information in your brain and therefore assist you in succeeding in an exam.

We say, revise, revise and revise some more!

Sleep and eat properly

Preparing for an exam can be stressful, so it’s important to take care of your physical and mental health. Two elements for exam readiness are sleep and food.

Sleep is more important than you’d imagine. It helps your brain store all the important information that you’ve learned throughout the day. A lack of sleep can lead to impaired performance on cognitive tasks and can also cause a decrease in attention, memory and problem-solving ability. Therefore, it’s important to prioritise getting enough sleep when preparing for an exam.

Eating a healthy, balanced diet can also help improve your body and mind in readiness for an exam. A well-balanced diet can improve cognitive function, reduce stress and improve mood — all of which are essential for exam success. In particular, foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish and nuts, have been shown to improve memory retention. In addition, drinking plenty of water and avoiding sugary drinks can help you keep hydrated, feel less lethargic and improve brain power!

Organise your study space

When it comes to preparing for exams, the environment in which you study can have a significant impact on your productivity and focus. An organised study space can help you to stay focused, reduce distractions and improve your memory.

Ensure you have a tidy workspace with room for all your books and your laptop. This will help you feel more in control of your workload and it will create a positive mindset where you feel less overwhelmed.

Look for a quiet room where you can fully focus without any distractions. Turn your phone off or on silent to help you stay focused, motivated and achieve your academic goals.

Get organising!

Take advantage of past papers

You’ll find it far easier to answer questions in an exam if you’ve tried similar ones beforehand.

Past papers are an invaluable resource as they help to familiarise you with the exam format, structure and types of questions that may appear. By understanding the exam format, you can prepare yourself mentally and physically for an exam, helping you feel more confident and less stressed when the real exam day arrives!

Sleep on your exam notes (optional)

This will enable you to revise via osmosis — the process of unconscious assimilation of knowledge! Stick a revision guide under your pillow before you go to sleep and as if by magic the next day, you’ll find that the full contents of the guide have been absorbed into your brain…

If only it was that easy!

By implementing these tips, you can increase your chances of exam success while reducing your stress and anxiety. Remember that effective revision takes time and effort, and it’s important to stay focused and motivated throughout the process.

By staying organised, practising regularly and taking care of yourself, you can approach your exams with confidence, knowing you have given yourself the best chance to achieve your academic goals.

Good luck! And if you haven’t already started revising don’t put it off any longer — get going today!

Take the next steps to a fantastic future after your exams with a course at New City College.