Top study tips for exam success

Top study tips for exam success

We wanted to check-in and make sure you’ve got everything you need.

It can be super tempting not to revise. There are just so many things to distract us these days…the list is endless. But seriously – we both know that revision is the only way to get stuff in and do well in exams!

We’ve got some great revision tips and things you can do to get ahead early on.

1. Do you get it?

Sounds obvious but it’s a good idea to actually understand the information you’re trying to learn. This will help make it a lot easier to remember! Use all the resources you have. This could be a quick visit to your local library or a Google search for websites or videos that break down the topic.

2. Active recall

Once you understand the info, then you can start trying to remember it. A great way to revise is to test yourself.

Flashcards are amazing for this. Write a question on one side of the flashcard, then try to recall the answer. After that, flip to the other side and see if you were right. Not quite? Not to worry. Repeat this technique for the things you can’t remember… until you do!

Quizlet is an incredibly useful tool here. You can always pair up with a study buddy to test each other too.

3. Get creative

When note-taking leads to yawning rather than learning – find other ways to take in the information. You can do this by creating mind maps, posters, quizzes and PowerPoints.

Get as colourful as you like, add photos and funky fonts! Make sure you’re taking in the information as you create. When you’re note-taking, try keep them “to the point” – highlighting key phrases only. Use headings and bullet points to split up the information clearly so it’s easier to review.

4. Practice makes progress

What sort of questions might come up in the exam? What might the examiner be looking for in your answers? Go over past papers and do some timed mock tests to give yourself a taste of the questions and how much time you have to answer them.

If you do enough practice papers, you could find that some of the questions on the day are super similar to the ones you’ve already done.

5. All work and no play… no thanks.

Make sure you break up your time with fun activities to look forward to. It allows you to focus on other things and then, hopefully, you return to your revision re-focused, refreshed and ready to go.

6. Revision timetable

Short bursts of learning have been proven to be more effective as you don’t lose concentration. Work out a timetable of 30–40-minute sessions when you can study. Plot in the topics you need to cover in the timetable. But don’t spend ages on the timetable and let it become a distraction – yes, we are speaking from experience!

The Forest app has a great timer that will can help keep you from distractions.

8. You’ve got this!

Activate Learning has won awards for our Learning Philosophy, which shows how emotions can affect learning. If you’re feeling stressed, you may feel negatively about your exam. That negativity may impact your ability to focus. By making a start, planning out the things you need to learn and following the tips above, you’ll get the motivation to smash your exams.


Think positive. Know you’re going to do well, and all your hard work will pay off!


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