Exams can be stressful, start your preparation early so you feel confident going in on the day:
Creating a workable study timetable will increase your sense of control over the task, reduce anxiety, and help you become more time efficient:
Effective revision enables you to get material from your short term memory into your long term memory; long term memory is like a library – information that is placed in it in a systematic way is more likely to be retrievable; revision is more effective when you are actually doing something rather than passively trying to absorb information:
Check out this free online software and draw a mind map of your subject.
How can we improve our memory and learning skills?
Once you know the exam format you can prepare for particular questions types such as multiple choice:
Tip: If you run out of time on your essay question then write notes/points. Set out a plan of how you would have answered the question if you'd had time
These types of questions are most common in science, mathematics, engineering and accounting.
Don't be lulled into a false sense of security. With limited time and much to write, you will not have time to sift and sort through books, notes, etc. Open book exams require you to learn for understanding rather than just remembering and to apply the information in your sources to the questions. What you will be able to do, provided you are well organised, is to refer to your materials for theories, arguments or quotations.
Suddenly you cannot remember some key information or you just can't seem to get started on an answer. Don't waste time!
Tip: If you cannot remember some key information or you just can't seem to get started on an answer, don't waste time. Move on and return to the problem later.
If the act of writing becomes painful, you are probably gripping your pen too tightly.
Try using a differently shaped pen.
Write more slowly for a little while.
Try writing in a slightly different style.
Suddenly you realise you don't have enough time to finish all the questions.
[Adapted from University of New England Learning Hub]
Video: Exam strategies
Watch Mr Bean - The Exam on YouTube and identify his exam strategies. What to do when you have the wrong paper?:
Although a small amount of stress before exams may aid your performance, too much anxiety will negatively affect your exam performance.
There are several strategies you can try to reduce your anxiety before and during exams:
Around exam time, the La Trobe counselling service runs group seminars/sessions on exam success. If you feel overwhelmed by exam stress or study motivation problems, you may like to make an individual appointment with one of the counselors.
See also advice on managing exam stress: