Failing to prepare is preparing to fail

Man studying at desk

Get exam ready with Eagle’s checklist.

You can study hard, attend all your classes, but if you don’t prepare properly before an exam you’re not giving yourself the best chance at passing.

Here are our top tips for preparing for your exams.

1. Make a realistic revision schedule

Work out how much you have to do and the amount of time you have before the exam. Split it up into manageable chunks and aim to do a few hours of revision each day. Make sure you schedule in some breaks, and mix up topics so you don’t get bored.

3. Find a revision style that works for you

Some people prefer to revise in absolute silence, some prefer to revise with music on in the background. Whichever suits you best, make sure that you’re not being distracted. You may like to revise with a friend to bounce ideas off them and collaborate – but again, make sure they’re not just a distraction from concentrating on your books.

4. Tackle the tough stuff

We all have topics and subjects we prefer, and find easy. There’s no point focusing your revision on these areas – you already understand them, and might even enjoy them. The tough subjects are the ones you need to concentrate on. Make extra time for them, even if you don’t want to. It’ll pay off come exam time.

5. Use all the resources you have

Many courses and study methods come with practice questions and/or mock exams. Make sure you do these as often as you can so you can get used to the feel of the real thing. To get the full experience, separate yourself from other people and distractions, and take the practice test in silence. This way you’ll fully understand how it will feel when it comes to the actual exam.

6. Time management

When you’re practising for your exam, get used to the amount of time you’ll have for each question. Make sure that if a question is worth 1 or 2 marks, you don’t spend too much time on it. If you can’t get it straight away, leave it and come back to it. When a question is worth 10 or more marks, spend some time drafting out what you want to say on a piece of paper, and then write it out properly.

7. Take breaks – but don’t procrastinate

It’s important to take breaks whilst revising and preparing for exams, but don’t let little things distract you. That pile of washing, the dog needs a walk, the pictures are a bit wonky – they can wait whilst you take a short break to refresh, and get back to the task in hand.

Final thoughts

Best of luck in your exams, no matter what qualification you’re aiming for. If you’re ready for your next level, or a new qualification, check out our AAT, ACCA, or CIMA pages for more information.