Exam Season: A Study & Prep Checklist to Guide You to Success


Just before you finish for summer, your uni knowledge will be put to the test in a controlled environment. That’s right: we’re talking about exam season. There’s no asking your mates for help, and there’s definitely no flicking to the back of a textbook to find the answers. Because of this, good preparation is the key to getting through the busy exam period.

There are a few things that you can do to make sure you get the grades that you want, and knowing what to do and when to do it will put you in a good position to sail through those tricky months.

Leading Up to the Exam

You know that you’ve got an exam coming up in a few weeks, and the nerves are starting to kick in. Getting on top of your revision early on is a great way to make sure that you learn everything well in advance, and also to keep those pre-test nerves at a minimum when you enter the exam hall.

  • Make a study plan: create a timetable to make sure that you manage your time properly leading up to the exam. Give priority to earlier tests and make sure you give difficult topics plenty of revision time.
  • Incorporate practice time into your plan: you’ll be giving yourself plenty of time in between learning a topic and sitting the exam, so make sure that you’re giving yourself time to regularly refresh your knowledge leading up to the test.
  • Create learning resources: it’s important to give yourself all the tools that you need to learn properly. If this means creating activities, diagrams, and flash cards, then you should ensure that you use these cues to your advantage early on in the study process.
  • Team up with fellow students: when it comes to exams, everyone is in the same boat. Arranging a study session with your coursemates is a great way to fill in the gaps in your collective knowledge, because you will all be able to put the information into terms that each of you can understand.
  • Prepare your study space: take some time to figure out which type of environment you work best in. If, for example, you find that you work better in well-lit spaces while wearing comfortable clothing, then ensure that you’re studying in this type of environment.

Preparing for an exam isn’t just about learning the course content – it’s also about getting yourself into the right frame of mind.

  • Try breathing exercises: we learn best when we are relaxed and comfortable in our settings. Put yourself into a focused state by regulating your breathing pattern. This type of exercise will help to relieve stress and increase the flow of oxygen to your brain, prepping you for your studies ahead.
  • Try visualisation techniques: visualising yourself achieving exam success is a great way to combat any negative feelings that you might have towards your upcoming exams. It provides you with a level of confidence that inspires productivity and helps you through those long study sessions.
  • Eat the right foods: your diet can have an impact on the way that your brain functions, and ensuring that you follow a balanced diet with plenty of vitamin-rich superfoods will ensure that your brain is on top form both before and during the exam.

On the Day of the Exam

  • Make sure that you’re alert: this doesn’t mean waking up and drinking as many energy drinks as you can – in fact, those would only cause you to crash later on and reduce your concentration mid-exam. Make sure that you get plenty of sleep the night before, and give yourself time to eat a light-but-nutritious breakfast.
  • Ensure that you’ve got everything you need: make sure that you’re leaving your flat with all of the necessary equipment, your student card, and any other resources that your tutors have advised you to bring along.
  • Give yourself plenty of time: you need to be able to get from your flat to the exam hall at least 15 minutes in advance. If you have to use public transport, make sure that you factor in enough time to account for traffic or other potential delays along the way.

Whether you’re on the lookout for more exam survival tips, or you just want to find out more about student life, our blog is full of useful information to keep you on top form throughout your time in uni.

The key to academic success is making sure that you’re feeling prepared leading up to the busy exam period. Give yourself the best chance by choosing comfortable accommodation with dedicated study spaces and plenty of resources to help you through exam season.

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