Exam season top tips

GCSE and A-Levels exams are here! While it’s a stressful time, all your hard work will pay off. Inspira’s expert advisers have put together 5 top tips for the exam season.

Tip 1: Make an exam timetable.

To try and ease some of the anxiety the day can bring, make an exam timetable for yourself. Start by adding information like how many exams you have, when they are, how long they are, where they are and your seat number. It might seem a tad tedious but having a visual guide that allows you to plan what you have to do, and what time you have to do it, can help you be as prepared as possible.

Tip 2: Prepare the night before.

Being prepared is possibly one of the best ways to overcome the nerves and stress exams can bring. Packing your bag, the night before might seem insignificant but having everything ready can make your morning easier and give you the best chance of getting the grade you want. Give yourself five minutes before entering the exam to calm yourself and get ready – factor this into your day. There’s nothing worse than rushing to your exam without a pen, calculator or other relevant equipment.

What to bring to an exam?

  • Pens, pencil, pencil sharpener and a rubber. If you are taking a pencil case, make sure it’s transparent so invigilators can see the contents.
  • A copy of your exam timetable. This will be extremely handy, so you know what exam you have next but also when and where you need to be.
  • Water. Make sure to remove any labels from any water bottles before entering the exam hall.
  • School ID, exam number or student number. Different exams have different requirements for identification so make sure to check with your school.
  • Special equipment. Some subjects require the use of approved calculators, rulers, a compass and/or a protractor.

Tip 3: Past papers, mark schemes and example answers.

Make the most of what’s available to you. One way to do this is by completing past papers and checking your answers against the mark scheme. Not only can it make you more familiar with the exam structure and different techniques for answering questions, but it can also give you an insight into what the examiners are actually looking for. Studying example answers is an amazing resource you should be using, written by examiners it gives you examples of what they like to see and what not to do.

Tip 4: Make time for yourself.

Take a break. Do something you enjoy like hanging out with friends, spend some time outside or go to the cinema. While revision is important, if you aren’t looking after yourself you can put yourself at a disadvantage. Sleep is vital for healthy brain function so remember to keep a good sleep routine throughout the exam season.

Tip 5: Know when to start and stop.

Be proactive if you feel in the mood to revise, make the most out of it and don’t be afraid to ask for help. On the other hand, it’s important to know when to stop revising. Last-minute cramming might seem like a good idea, but it can send your brain into a panic. When creating your exam timetable it’s important to factor in time to review materials in a controlled manner before your exams.

After your exam, give yourself a pat on the back, you deserve it! Get in touch with an Inspira adviser for FREE 1:1 expert career advice and guidance - helping you explore your next steps today.

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