Blitzing Exams

Want to smash your exams? Here's some gold dust on how to do your best on the big day.

Sitting up late cramming often makes things worse

The Night Before

Look over your notes, but not for too long. Get an early night; sitting up late cramming often makes things worse and confuses your memory. If you can't sleep, make a warm milky drink.

Fresh air helps too; the exercise will reduce your stress levels.

At the start of the exam

Spend a few minutes reading the instructions and questions carefully. Make a rough plan of how long to spend on each section, and what you plan to cover, and stick to it. Start with the question you think you can answer best. Double-check your answers at the end.

If you start to feel panicky, breathe slowly and deeply. If your mind goes blank, remember you probably know more than you think you do.

Securing extra marks

If it's an essay paper, write a short essay plan (e.g. paragraph headings) and cross it out when you're finished. If you run out of time, leave the plan in your notes - you might get extra marks.

In language exams, try to use different forms of verbs and tenses to show the examiners how good you are. In science and maths exams show all your working out - you could pick up a few points for using the correct method, even if your final answer's wrong.

When it's all over

Don't get sucked in to endless discussions about the exam with your mates. They always seem to know the best answer to question 9B, and it's never the same as the one you had. You could end up worrying about it for weeks, when you were right all along.

BBC Advice factfiles are here to help young people with a broad range of issues. They're based on advice from medical professionals, government bodies, charities and other relevant groups. Follow the links for more advice from these organisations.


Related Factfiles

More on Studying & Work