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My Updated Guide to Exams

Two years ago, I wrote a guide for exams. I still agree with everything I wrote in that first post. However, over the two years since I've written that post, I've taken quite a lot of exams and gained more experience/knowledge on the topic that I wanted to share. So here is a new updated guide to tackling exam week!

  • Exams are extremely overwhelming. Therefore, staying organized is very important.

  • For exams, I always create a document on google docs with checklist bullet points as shown bellow. Using these bullet points allows you to create a to-do list that you can check off as you complete your studying.

  • I go through each subject and list out each of the units and main topics in each unit.

  • This is a good way to stay on top of the work that has to be complete.

  • I always print out this checklist and put it in my exam folder.

Exam Folders:
  • I always create an exam folder to keep myself organized during exam week

  • On one side of the folder, I put my checklists.

  • On the other side, I put copy paper for studying.

  • This helps me keep everything in one place.

  • I put this in my backpack and take out this folder to study in any free time I have during the school day.

Exam Studying:
  • Studying for exams for me is a little different than studying for a normal test.

  • I work really hard during the year to commit the material I am studying to my long term memory. Therefore, a good deal of my exam studying focuses on reviewing the material to regain confidence in my ability to recall and apply the material.

  • For exams, I do my study notes on copy paper. This allows for more creativity which keeps me extra entertained/focused. I provided some examples below of what my exam notes look like.

  • I try to hit the high points in my exam notes because there is a lot of material to cover.

  • When I finish my notes for the class, I like to read over/ talk them out. This helps me make sense of the material once again in my mind and helps me practice retrieving the material from my long-term memory to my working-memory.

Study Breaks:
  • I have a blog coming up about taking breaks/taking time to recharge. However, I want to include some info in this blog because I think this is especially important during prep for exams.

  • I like to include at least one longer break per day during exam week to keep myself focused.

  • One break I like to include is working out. I have a whole blog post dedicated to the importance of exercise for your mental wellbeing (linked here). Exercise keeps me in a good mindset and recharges my focus.

  • I also like getting out of the house and out of my study space for some time each day. This is another way I maintain my focus.

Summing Up:

I hope this helps. Feel free to include your tips for exam prep in the comments. Good Luck!!

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