Exam Preparation Tips

Over the next few weeks students will be engaging in a range of assessments including examinations. One question that students continuously ask is ‘how do I study for my exam?’. Research shows that the more practice questions a student does, the higher the examination mark they receive. Whilst this may be stating the obvious, there are specific strategies that students can adopt to increase the effectiveness of their study. 

Step 1 – The Open Book Phase

Practice questions should first be attempted using an ‘open book’ to answer. Students should refer to their notes, textbooks and solutions as they work through the first few practice exam papers.The notes should provide a ‘trigger’ to spark some part of a student’s working memory. This process will take time, so it is important that students do not worry too much about how low it takes to complete a question

Step 2 – The Closed Book Phase

The next series of questions should be attempted without the aid of notes and textbooks. Upon completion, students should make a checklist of the questions they could answer without their notes and those they experienced difficulty with. Creating a list will identify the areas that require further revision.

Step 3 – The Timing Phase

This step involves students completing questions under timed conditions without the use of notes. This could be done question by question or for whole sections of a practice exam. This process helps students become accustomed to the conditions of an exam. After completing the questions students should check their responses against their notes and identify any gaps in knowledge/skills.

Helpful tips

  • Circle or highlight difficult questions, those questions you answered incorrectly, as well as those questions that address concepts that should be reviewed before the exams. Re-visit these questions in the week(s) leading up to the exams.
  • Cross out those questions that have been addressed and do not need to be reviewed so that you do not waste time revisiting questions that you do not need to. 



Dorian Kipriotis

Leader of Teaching