The University of Southampton
University life

Exam and revision techniques

It's important to plan and prepare for your exams at any level of study, to avoid late-night, last-minute revision.

Make the most of your studies and hard work by taking a look at some of our top tips and techniques for revision and exam preparation.

Worried about how to cope in the exam room? We have some advice for you too.

Tips for effective exam revision

 

Give yourself plenty of time to revise
Planning your revision is important

1. Know your learning style

If you are a visual learner:

If you are an auditory learner:

If you are a reader and a writer:

If you are an active learner:

2. Develop a routine

3. Plan ahead

4. Use old exam papers

5. Pace yourself

6. You are not alone

7. Reward yourself

8. Look after yourself

 

Coping with exam conditions

Many people find sitting in an exam hall a stressful experience, so it's a good idea to be prepared for the big day. Follow our suggestions to help you keep calm and collected.

1. Eat well

Even if you don't feel hungry, try to eat a healthy meal before the exam.

2. Trust yourself

Try to avoid discussing the course and content before and after the exam. Your coursemates comments may make you more nervous or confused, and you may begin to panic. Trust your knowledge and your revision, and focus on your work.

3. Get organised

Arrive at the exam venue in good time and make sure that you have all the equipment you need. Always carry spare pens and pencils, and make sure you know in advance whether or not you need extra equipment like dictionaries or calculators.

 

Make sure you've revised and have all your equipment
Get organised before your exam

4. Make yourself confortable

Make sure that you will be warm enough, and that you are wearing suitable, comfortable clothing. You will be sitting dtill for a few hours as you complete your exam, so this is important. Don't forget to take a bottle of water if you want to.

5. Calm your nerves

It is normal to get nervous before an exam. Try not to panic, take deep breaths, sit down and drink some water. Remember to focus on doing your best.

6.  Take note of instructions

Make sure you read the instructions very carefull before you begin to make sure you understand them and know what is expected of you. Look through the questions, assess how much time you can spend on them, and allow a few minutes at the end of the exam to read through your paper to check your answers. Make sure you haven't missed any questions on the back of the exam paper - this is a common mistake.

7. Read the question

Make sure you read the questions carefully and be aware of how many questions you have to answer and how many marks are allocated to each. For example, if you are required to answer four questions, you will recieve marks for each one. Don't spend all your time on two questions, as you'll never get more than 50%. Attempt to answer all questions if you can to increase the marks you could be given.

8. Be prepared

If you are asked to answer essay-style questions, spend some time jotting down ideas and a brief plan to help you to use your writing time effectively. This is something to practice as a revision technique.

 

We wish you the best of luck with your upcoming exams and revision.

Discover more of our study skills resources

Choose Southampton

Choose Southampton

Find out more about why Southampton is chosen by thousands of students each year

Visit our Campus

Come to an Open Day

Book your place to visit our campuses and get a feel for life at Southampton

Find out about our accommodation

Our accommodation

Discober more about the accommodation options and our guarantee for new students

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×