Preparation Tips to Help You Excel in Exams | CityBlock

So right now it’s the Easter holidays. Ideally you would love to be lazing in a park at home enjoying a picnic; taking a leisurely stroll round your favourite part of town or gorging on Easter eggs till you never want to look at chocolate again. This however, isn’t the reality for students, as is the case with the Christmas holiday; Easter doesn’t bring much relief from grafting. If you haven’t already started revising for the delight that is exam time, you should really start making a revision timetable now and planning out your time.

A Month Before Your Exams

It is now approximately a month until the exam season is in full swing. If you have more than four exams you should have ideally have started revising by now, however it is understandable that other commitments and assignments such as dissertations prevent this from happening. Create a timetable of how much time you have and assign yourself time slots during the day where you will revise for each of your exams. Remember to factor in time for breaks and don’t just revise for one module for a solid day.

Set up your space so that you have everything you need within easy reach. City Block’s student accommodation  has spacious, well organised rooms that are designed with studying in mind. There is a spacious desk so you can spread out and have room for all you notes. Above the desk are shelves so you have your files and books in easy reach. There is also a pin board where you can stick notes and flow charts. Make sure you stock up on stationary: if you’re going to need large sheets of paper for posters then buy them at the start of the revision period.

Two Weeks Before

Two weeks before the exams you should have made a fair dent into each of your module files and have covered at least one of the terms. In order to consolidate your knowledge, you could start up a study group with course mates. This will give you a chance to discuss possible exam questions, plan potential answers and you can also get help with anything you don’t understand. A great way of reinforcing information is to discuss your ideas with friends as talking helps you remember things.

A Few Days Before

A few days before the exam you should condense the information you have learnt into key facts and points and draw this up on a visual poster or mind map. Use highlighters and illustrations to help the information stand out. If your exam answers are essay style then you could write up some key quotes to fit in or examples.


When it comes to exam period you should make an extra effort to look after yourself. Cut out the alcohol for a few weeks and drink plenty of water to keep up your concentration levels. For main meals, make sure you are eating plenty of green vegetables, whole foods and fish if possible. Snack on fruit, nuts and yoghurts instead of things with high sugar. Also aim for nine hours sleep a night as this will help your concentration. Professor Sarah Moore, co-author of The Ultimate Study Skills Handbook says “The fresher and more energetic you feel, the more it will support your ability to tackle the cognitive challenges.”

 The Morning of the Exam

Before you know it, the dreaded exam day will roll round, However if you have prepared well you will have no need to fret. Before setting off for your exam make sure you have eaten a healthy and hearty breakfast to help you concentrate: this can be fruit and yoghurt or cereal.


Make sure you have the right equipment with you and double check your exam timetable for the time, location and seat number if you are issued with this in advance. Make sure you pack: three pens (you never know when they might fail you), a bottle of water, your student ID, a calculator if it’s a maths or physics exam. Don’t take your mobile phone even if you’re convinced you turned it on silent; by not taking it you’ll guarantee it won’t go off.


You should take time to enjoy yourself these holidays so that you get a good work/ rest as this will mean you are productive. The key is to be organised and arrange all your notes clearly so you can easily digest the information. Revision really isn’t that bad when you get the right technique!

Posted on April 14th, 2014