Sitting an exam can be stressful. Find out how to prepare on the day, manage your time in the exam and cope with nerves.
Before the exam
- Find out where your exams are in advance. Watch how you can find out more about your exams (0:57).
- Before the exam, check if you are permitted to bring calculators, books or other written material to your exam.
- Arrive early to give yourself a chance to calm and focus your mind before sitting your exam.
What to bring to an exam
- Your ID card
- Pens, pencils and other writing tools in a clear case or clear bag
- Extra clothes if you think you will get cold during the exam
- Drinking water in a clear bottle
Your watch, phone and glasses case must not be on your desk and make sure your phone and other electronic devices are switched off.
For more information, watch what you can and cannot bring to an exam (2:05).
Inside the exam room
- Once you enter the exam room, talking is not allowed until you leave the exam room.
- Put your ID card on your desk.
- Do not start reading the exam questions until you are told to by the exam supervisor.
Watch what happens during exams (1:43) to find out more about what you can and cannot do during your exam.
During the exam
Read the instructions carefully
- Check how many questions you have to answer and if there are compulsory questions you must complete.
Plan your time
- Managing your time effectively is very important in the exam. Calculate the time you spend on each question based on the marks each question is worth.
- Make sure to include some time to plan and check your answers as well.
Read all the questions carefully
- Make sure you break down and analyse the question so you understand what your answer must include.
- Determine which order you want to answer the questions. You may want to start with the easy questions to build your confidence.
Answering questions during the exam
- Make a brief plan before you start writing your answer. This can help to present your ideas in a clear and organised way. Think about the main points you will cover and how you will structure your answer.
- Use strategies to answer different types of exam questions.
- If you come across a question you cannot answer, move on the next question and return to it later.
- Write neatly. Get the examiner on your side by making your answers easy to read and follow.
Managing nerves and other emergencies
- If you feel nervous and forget everything you studied, do not panic. Take some deep breaths and try to calm your nerves. You can try calming strategies to help you during exams.
- If you run out of time, outline your main ideas in short bullet points to give examiners an indication of your answer.
- If you cannot sit or complete an exam due to illness or a serious personal event, you can apply for an aegrotat or compassionate consideration.