Exams are generally hated by most students, and with good reason. The many pressures associated with sitting exams can be overwhelming, even for those students who perform well in class and are predicted to pass.

Walking into an intimidating exam room with no notes, texts books or any form of assistance can be seriously overwhelming. The sudden realization that you must now rely solely what you remember from class and revision can be extremely distressing and this can greatly limit your ability to perform.

Thankfully, contrary to popular belief, exams don’t have to be the stressful situation that many believe they are. Instead, there is a correct approach to revision; an approach that will help with memory retention and ensure you get the most out of the time invested.

This really comes down to revising the right way, at the right time. Whilst it’s logical to think that the few days prior to an exam are the best time to revise, they should be the only. Instead think of revision as a project in which you’ll be quizzed at the end. Like any project, you wouldn’t want to leave everything till the end.

The Right Type Of Revision

It’s no secret that the key to passing exams is revision. We all know fellow students’ who revised for hours every day yet still didn’t achieve grades that reflected such efforts. So why exactly does this happed? What exactly is wrong with this approach to revision?

6 Easy Steps to Help You Prepare for Exams

Make a Realistic Revision Schedule...

… With Targets
The issue here is one we’re all familiar with, and that’s cramming. Simply relying on revision, without any foresight or preparation (yes, preparing for preparation) is very similar conceptually as leaving a presentation till the last minute, then cramming in all the work and expecting it to be great.

So, how exactly can you organize revision to get the most out of it? Start by making a realistic revision schedule. This will keep you on track, and setting targets you can tick off once achieved will give a sense of accomplishment, and the enthusiasm to continue.

Unfortunately, there isn’t any quick and easy shortcuts that will guarantee success in your exams, but that’s not to say exam prep is difficult, as long as it’s done correctly, i.e. planned ahead of time, it doesn’t have to be any more challenging than a regular class.

Take Regular Short Breaks...

… and Sufficient Rest Overnight
The biggest handicap for any student is lack of sleep. Sleep is when the brain forms memories and recharges, and thus, getting a sufficient amount of sleep is imperative for optimal mental performance.

For similar reasons, be sure to take short breaks when studying revising. Information is easy to remember when ingested in short bites, as opposed to long drawn out sessions.

Finally, don’t overlook exercise; doing something physical offers many benefits when it comes to mental health. Not only can exercise reduce anxiety and improve cognitive function, it can also help establish a regular sleep pattern, which as previously mentioned has benefits of its own.

Revise Past Exams...

… Quiz the Teacher on What to Expect
Familiarize yourself with exactly what the exam will entail; the fewer surprises the less chance of making mistakes. Being thrown a curve ball can dramatically throw you off track, and suddenly coming to the realization that you may not be adequately prepared can knock confidence and disctract the mind from critical thinking.

Some course may have specific classes to go over exams. Whilst these are really great assistance, there’s a chance not all information that could be helpful will be included. Be sure to ask any and all additional questions that come to mind, so you’re safe in the knowledge you’ve done everything possible to pass.

Don’t forget to utilize the teacher; they’re there to help. Don’t feel afraid to ask what to expect in upcoming exams. Teachers will expect this and will share their knowledge of the questions likely to be asked. This will give you better insight into what could potentially be asked, and in turn, help you approach exams calmly, free from the mental distractions that so often have negative effects.

Customize Notes To Your Style...

… So You Understand Them
The task really starts by taking good notes during class. Although most course will provide all the material needed to study for exams, working from your own notes has a few advantages, not only because they’re quicker and easier to read, but the act of writing them down, carefully considering what to include, all works to aid memory retention.

With clear and concise notes, you’ll be able to reference them easier. And the quicker you located the information required, the more time you’ll have to go over things. The last problem you need when revising is to end up spending most of the time searching.

File your notes in a manner that suits the subject, or your study style. That could be chronologically, or by topic. By organizing notes so the info you need is easy to locate, you’ll maximize study time and reduce any lost time.

Make Sure You Understand Everything...

… The Concept in Full
The pressures of performing in the moment, based on how well you’ve prepared over the course of months, is extremely stressful. This anxiety and stress can make it difficult to recall information; which further exacerbates the problem to the point it may cause an inability to answer even simple questions.

It’s extremely important to understand the whole concept at hand, and not just the answers to specific questions. Learning answers in the hope those questions will be asked in an exam is a recipe for disaster, as there’s no guarantee they’ll be phrased using the same wording.

By understanding the subject as a whole, you’ll be able to answer any questions that might come up, instead of just those studied in class.

Don’t Leave Revision to The Last Minute...

… Use Your Notes
Revise your notes as you’re taking them. The best time to study your notes is when they are still fresh in mind. Whilst it might seem a little overkill revising so early on, you’ll find it’s not just easier to remember, it’s also quicker to go over.

This doesn’t have to mean dedicated revision sessions at such early stages, it’s likely that you’ll find a quick 15-20 min reading session (multiple if needed) will be sufficient.

Of course, it makes sense to ramp up the amount of revision you do closer to the exams. Just don’t plan to do hours and hours the day before, and neglect all the time you could be putting in during the couple of weeks run up to the exam/s.

Instead, organize shorter revision periods, more often. Try 40 mins to 1 hour study twice day, or three times daily if required. This allows the brain time to rest, recoup, and keep you from getting frustrated at prepetative study.


The Best Revision Coaching

With so many factors at play, even the most seasoned students can still find exams extremely daunting and intimidating, regardless of how many hours revision they may have done. But with a little coaching and strong direction, it’s possible to face these challenges head on and perform better than anyone could have imagined.

In some cases additional individual lessons may be suggested, for others, group classes may be the answer. We then discuss details of the syllabus, and work together to schedule a timetable convenient for all parties.

At AimBrightStars we understand the additional worries and increasing anticipation in the run up to exams, and we know first hand that revising the correct way builds all the confidence needed to eliminate any concerns.

Exam Prep
How to Prepare For Exams-6


Experience Exam Preparation at AimBrightStars

We offer expertly curated exam prep classes for students of any age and any level. With decades of experience, our highly-qualified teachers are certified to assist students in preparation for a variety of tests including: APTIS, MAP, WIDA, SAT, IGCSE and many more.

In addition to research and revision skills, our exam prep classes also pay special attention to developing time management skills, so students become proficient in preparing things for themselves.

So, if you’re looking for guidance on how to prepare for any exam, no matter whether it’s finals or in an in-class test, we can give you all the tools required to revise effectively and ace those exams.

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