Revision Tips and Exam Techniques - The Day of the Exam For GCSE, A-Level & University Students

The day of the exam

Eat a healthy breakfast. Brains need glucose. Slow release carbohydrate such as cereals are better than high sugar content foods which give you a short boost of energy but are likely to leave you feeling drained a couple of hours later. But the main thing is eat something no matter how nervous you feel.

Give yourself plenty of time to get to the exam venue. Avoid groups of nervous candidates waiting to go in. Talking to these people will only unnerve you. Especially avoid people whose topics of conversation include lines like "Have you revised such and such topic. I reckon it will definitely be on the paper" and similar. Sod's law will dictate that they will mention the one topic that you may feel a little weak on. Stand on your own even if it gives the impression that you are "Billy no mates" and try to stay calm and serene.

Make sure you visit the toilet before you go into the exam hall. Very important if the exam is a long one. If you need to go once the exam has started you may need to be escorted by an invigilator to make sure you can't cheat. Apart from being a bit embarrassing and becoming a hassle for the exam invigilators you are also losing time that could be better used answering the questions and checking your work.

In the exam

If you are allowed to choose your own seat choose your seat carefully. If your calculator is solar powered you may need to sit close to the window but avoid anywhere where the sun maybe in your eyes and avoid sitting next to a boiling radiator. Overheating leads to your body releasing even more stress hormones and you will probably be pumping out quite enough of these already.

Listen to the examiners instructions carefully. Only turn over your paper when instructed to do so. Immediately check that the paper is complete and there are no missing pages and that all text is readable and the text has printed properly. If the text is unclear or there are any sections missing ask the invigilator for a replacement paper.

Complete the paper in order. Read each question slowly at least three times before attempting an answer. Any questions you can't answer leave out and move on. You can always return to it before the end. If you feel your self getting panicky, put you pen down close your eyes and take three deep and slow breaths. Imagine yourself somewhere nice and relaxing like a quiet sunny beach. Count to ten open your eyes say to yourself "I can do this, I have prepared well" and then re-read the question. It is amazing how many times when you do this that the question becomes a lot less scary and a lot easier to answer. If you still don't know the answer move on to the next question.

Make sure that you complete as much of the paper as possible. Try not to leave anything blank. You will get no credit for unanswered questions. Guess if you have to just write something for each question.

Leave enough time to carefully check through the paper at the end. Pay particular attention to any calculations. Make sure you have fully answered each and every question as fully as possible. Any errors you spot may make the difference between getting the top grade or not. Every mark counts.

Stay in the exam hall to the very end. Leaving an exam early should be a criminal offence punishable by DEATH. Ask yourself how you would feel if you leave twenty minutes early and then ten minutes later suddenly remember the answer to question two, or realise that you got question five completely wrong. If you have left early you can't correct it. If you are still in the exam room you may have time to put it right.

After the exam

Avoid any "post mortems", they can ruin your confidence. This is especially important if you have further exams in the next few days. Keep away from the students who seem desperate to know what you put for question four and seem obsessed with telling you what they wrote. It is usually the same nervous crowd we advise against congregating with before the exam. Resist the temptation to play with their heads by concocting some elaborate but wholly wrong answer and making them question if they have just totally messed up their exam. Though fun, some might see this as cruel.

Be aware that there maybe other exams in nearby rooms that are still in progress. Be considerate and leave the exam area quietly.

Go home relax unwind and don't dwell on the exam. It is now out of your hands and there is no point in getting stressed out about it. As long as you prepared as well as you could and performed to the best of your ability that is all that matters.

We hope you have found this guide useful, informative and fun.

By Emlyn Price - Home Tutors Directory

This guide is original and was written using our own experiences of both being a candidate and advising students during many years of tuition. It is protected by copyright. You may use this for your own personal use or for teaching purposes. It should not however be re-published wholly or in part on other websites or in written publications and certainly not passed off as anyone else's work. If you have seen this article published elsewhere we would like you to let us know by by contacting us here. We can then take action against them.


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