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How to study for exams ๐Ÿค“

How to study for exams

How to study for exams

Introduction ๐Ÿ‘‹

Exams are where you are tested, to see how much you know about a particular topic.

Whether it’s:

  • Qualifications exams at school ๐ŸŽ“
  • A driving test/exam ๐Ÿš—
  • Work/career exams/qualifications ๐Ÿ’ผ
  • Job interview online tests ๐Ÿ’ป

exams can be really stressful. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

This is because you:

  • Have to memorize a lot of information ๐Ÿง 
  • Have a limited amount of time to learn everything before the exam โŒ›
  • Are under pressure to perform ๐Ÿ’ƒ
  • Might be embarrassed if you fail ๐Ÿ˜ณ
  • Might lose out on money or opportunities if you fail ๐Ÿ’ธ
  • Could have friends that find the exams/topics easier than you ๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™€๏ธ
  • Could be compared to other people can be uncomfortable โš–๏ธ

Pass or fail – completing exams is an amazing way to improve your:

  • Confidence ๐Ÿ•บ
  • Resilience (being tough ๐Ÿ’ช) ๐Ÿ‹๏ธ
  • Memory skills ๐Ÿ’ญ
  • Creativity ๐ŸŽจ
  • Problem solving ๐Ÿค”

which are all qualities that employers are desperate for! ๐Ÿคฉ

So – completing exams could also make you money, by helping you with your career! ๐Ÿ’ธ

Today we’re giving you the ultimate guide to revising for exams. ๐Ÿ“–

1. Start revising as soon as you can ๐Ÿ—“๏ธ

When it comes to revising, the earlier you start the better. โŒš

“But what if I forget all the stuff I revised months ago?” ๐Ÿ™„

I hear you say.

Well – until you start revising, you won’t know how much you need to remember for the exam, or how difficult it will be! ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

Revising early is a safety net. ๐Ÿฅ…

If you:

  • start revising early,
  • read the whole syllabus,
  • take past papers

AND find it all really easy – then sure, maybe you can postpone revision.


For most people, revising early gives you plenty of time to feel ready and confident for exams. โœจ

Exams might feel scary and put you off revising early – BUT imagine how scary the exam will be, if you don’t have enough time left to revise! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

2. Obsess over the syllabus๐Ÿ“–

One of the biggest mistakes people make when taking exams is to:

  • ignore the syllabus,
  • and memorize random class notes to prepare. ๐Ÿฅด

Part of acing your exams involves knowing what is actually going to be in the exam! ๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ’ƒ

Every exam should have a “syllabus“, that explains **every single thing** that will be included in your exam.

Study the syllabus, and you won’t be taken by surprise!

This will also tell you exactly what to study for the exam.

Tip: find out if your exam is going to be based on essays – you might not have to learn the whole syllabus! ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

3. Make a revision plan ๐Ÿ•ต๏ธโ€โ™€๏ธ

Next, plan out your revision timetable. ๐Ÿ—“๏ธ

Make sure you know:

  • What days/times your exams are โŒš
  • How long you’ve got left to revise before the exams (how many weeks/months?) โŒ›
  • How much revision time you can fit in before the exams e.g. 5 hours revising for 1 hour each week ๐Ÿ“–

You should consider:

  • When you work best – morning or afternoon? ๐ŸŒ‡
  • When you feel most motivated to revise? ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™€๏ธ
  • How flexible are the topics you’re revising – how long would each topic need? ๐Ÿค”

You need to decide:

  • What topics you’re going to revise ๐Ÿ“š
  • What days/times you’re going to revise and for how long ๐Ÿ“†

Make sure to block out time for:

  • Resting ๐Ÿ˜ด
  • Exercising ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™€๏ธ
  • Taking breaks ๐ŸŽฎ
  • Hanging out with friends ๐Ÿง‘โ€๐Ÿคโ€๐Ÿง‘
  • Extra study time – try not to book out every possible slot in case topics take longer than expected!๐Ÿ“”

Tip: Why not use the calendar on your phone to plan out your schedule, and set reminders! ๐Ÿ“ฑ

4. Use your teachers as much as possible ๐Ÿง‘โ€๐Ÿซ

Whether you love or hate your teachers – they are the EXPERTS on the exams you’re going to be taking.

  • Use their expertise! ๐Ÿค“
  • Ask for their advice! ๐Ÿ’ฌ
  • Get their feedback on your work and revision notes! โœ…

Your teachers want you to succeed – their job depends on it!

So make the most of it – if you stay on your teachers’ good side, you can make the most of their help.

5. Pick your favourite revision techniques ๐Ÿค”

Next, decide what different revision techniques you want to use, to help prepare for your exams!

The revision techniques that work for you, might be different to anyone else. ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

We’ve listed our favourites below!

1. Short answer questions/flashcards ๐ŸŽ™๏ธ๐Ÿƒ

“Short answer questions” are one of the BEST revision techniques you can use.

They turn the syllabus into a quiz, for you to memorize everything you need to know for the exam. ๐Ÿง 

Turn every sentence in the syllabus into a question, with a short answer.

For example,

“The dog or domestic dog (Canis familiaris) is a domesticated descendant of the wolf, characterized by an upturning tail.” ๐Ÿ•

could be turned into 3 short questions…

QuestionShort Answer
What is the latin for dog?Canis familiaris ๐Ÿถ
Where are dogs descended from?Wolves ๐Ÿบ
What is a characteristic of a dog?An upturned tail ๐Ÿฉ

You can then put these questions onto flashcards so that you can test yourself – or ask a friend or family member to help quiz you! ๐ŸŽค

2. Mind maps ๐Ÿ—บ๏ธ

Mind mapping is where you write a word/phrase in the middle of a page, then write/draw everything you know relating to that topic around the word! ๐Ÿ’ญ

They can help you to organise your thoughts and help you remember lots of different facts about a topic.

Why not test yourself and redraw your mind maps from just your memory? ๐Ÿ•ต๏ธโ€โ™€๏ธ

3. Teach your friends ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿซ

One of the best ways to prove that you know a topic well is to try and explain/teach it to other people. ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

It might sound weird, but chatting to your friends/family and explaining your revision notes/topics to them, can actually help you to remember them! ๐Ÿฅณ

You could even combine “teaching” others with something fun like going for a walk or eating dinner together whilst talking about your revision topics. ๐Ÿž๏ธ

4. Songs ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐ŸŽค

Do you ever get songs stuck in your head? – There’s a reason for that – songs are very easy to remember! ๐Ÿ•บ

Why not turn your revision notes into a song?

5. Dances routines ๐Ÿ’ƒ

If you’re someone who learns by moving around, why not create a dance routine to help you remember your revision notes? ๐Ÿ’ƒ

Who knows – you might start a new Tiktok trend at the same time!! ๐ŸŽต

6. Rhymes ๐ŸŽถ

Poet and you didn’t know it? โœ๏ธ

Psychological studies show that:

“If you can make something rhyme – it gives your memory a better time!” ๐Ÿง 

Making up rhymes can make it a lot easier to remember facts for your exams.

7. Drawing pictures instead of words ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐ŸŽจ

If you love drawing, or prefer to remember things through pictures, why not draw pictures to represent your notes? โœ๏ธ

You could turn an entire piece of text into mini doodles! ๐Ÿ–ผ๏ธ

This can be particularly helpful when you’re learning a different language, and struggle to remember the words! – You can draw something the word sounds like. ๐Ÿ‘‚

8. Recording yourself ๐ŸŽค

Love the sound of your own voice? ๐Ÿ˜

Recording yourself reading your revision notes can help you to memorize things! ๐ŸŽ™๏ธ

Both recording yourself, and listening back to your recordings can help important facts to sink in.

Why not use your voice recordings to help you get to sleep at night? ๐Ÿ›Œ

9. Revision walls ๐Ÿงฑ

If you’re keeping all of your revision notes locked away in a notebook, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to get those notes soaked into your brain! ๐Ÿง 

Why not stick your notes up on the walls in your home, so that you see them more regularly? โœจ

The more often you see them, the more likely you are to remember them. ๐Ÿ‘€

Tip: You could even change your phone wallpaper to photos of your revision notes, so that your brain starts to remember them in the background ๐Ÿ“ฑ

10. Past papers/test papers๐Ÿ“Ž

If you can get copies of old exam papers or test papers for the exams you’re sitting, you can recreate what the final exam could be like! ๐Ÿซ

When taking past papers/test papers, it’s important to:

  • Make sure that you’ve got the right papers for the syllabus you’re taking – the wrong papers will make revising really confusing! โœ…
  • Avoid beating yourself up for any mistakes you make. Use them as an opportunity to learn! ๐ŸฅŠ

11. Acronyms๐Ÿ‘‚

Did anyone ever teach you:

“Never Eat Shredded Wheat” ๐Ÿฅฃ to remember “North East South West”?๐Ÿงญ


“My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Noodles” ๐Ÿœ to remember the planets “Mercury Venus Earth Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune”? ๐Ÿš€

Acronyms are where you shorten lists of words to make them easier to remember, by using the first letters of the words. ๐Ÿ” 

Making your own acronyms can make long lists of words easier to remember for exams! ๐Ÿค”

12. Stories ๐Ÿ“–

Did you know that your brain has a natural ability to remember stories really well? ๐Ÿง 

You can turn your revision notes into short stories, to make them more easy to remember!

The more interesting the story, the better! ๐ŸŽ‰

13. Role play ๐Ÿฅธ

Sometimes it can get really difficult to motivate yourself for revision – it can be really boring, right?

One way that you can “get in the zone” is to pretend to be a character related to the topic you’re revising. ๐Ÿ’ƒ

Need to revise for a science exam? Why not role play as a scientist preparing for an experiment?๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ”ฌ

Need to revise for an English exam? Role play as a world famous author, writing a new book! ๐Ÿง‘โ€๐Ÿซ

You could even wear a costume to get you in the zone! – Costumes would make your revision really memorable. ๐Ÿ‘ทโ€โ™€๏ธ

6. Get revising ๐Ÿ“–

Once you’ve picked your revision techniques – it’s time to get cracking!

Work your way through the syllabus, using your different revision techniques. ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐ŸŽ“

7. Make it fun! ๐Ÿ’ƒ

Life is too short for exam revision to be boring. ๐Ÿฅฑ

So – make it fun! – (it’ll also help your memory!) ๐Ÿง 

Things like:

  • Novelty ๐Ÿคนโ€โ™€๏ธ
  • Colour ๐ŸŽจ
  • Jokes ๐Ÿฅธ
  • Silliness/things that make you laugh (maybe even rude things)๐Ÿ˜‚
  • Rewards ๐Ÿ†
  • Friends ๐Ÿง‘โ€๐Ÿคโ€๐Ÿง‘
  • Drama ๐ŸŽญ
  • Excitement ๐Ÿฅณ
  • Games ๐ŸŽฎ

make revision stick in your memory!

Worst case scenario – you’ve had fun! ๐Ÿ˜บ

Best case scenario – you’ve had fun AND you did well in your exams. ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿช…

8. Practice, practice, practice ๐Ÿ”

It might be tempting to stop revising once you’ve gone through the whole syllabus. ๐Ÿ“–

Don’t stop! โ›”

The more you repeat your revision, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to remember everything. โ™ป๏ธ

Repetition is one of the best ways to help you remember things. ๐Ÿง 

9. Self-care ๐Ÿง˜โ€โ™€๏ธ

When you’re studying for exams, you put your brain through a LOT of work. ๐Ÿง 

It’s important to take care of yourself and look after your health to avoid burning out. ๐Ÿฅด

You should’ve included wellbeing breaks in your revision schedule – make sure to use them!

Check out our top ideas for self-care below! ๐Ÿง˜โ€โ™€๏ธ

73 self-care ideas ๐Ÿ›€

10. Exam time! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

Before you know it – it’ll be exam time! ๐Ÿ˜จ

Here are our top tips to help you prepare!

The night before ๐ŸŒƒ

The night before your exam, make sure that you:

  • Get a good night of sleep – get to bed on time!๐Ÿ˜ด
  • Lay out your clothes, stationery and other things that you need for the exam (so you don’t have to worry about it in the morning!) ๐Ÿ‘•
  • Do something relaxing to help you to feel calm ๐Ÿง˜โ€โ™€๏ธ
  • Let yourself revise, but don’t overdo it with panic cramming! ๐Ÿ“–

The day of the exam ๐ŸŒ…

On the day of your exam, make sure that you:

  • Eat a good breakfast ๐Ÿž๐ŸŽ
  • Wake up with plenty of time to get ready and prepare โŒš
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated ๐Ÿฅค
  • Avoid doing anything too stressful on the same day ๐Ÿง˜โ€โ™€๏ธ
  • Skim through your notes before the exam to refresh your memory ๐Ÿง 

During the exam ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

During the exam, make sure that you:

  • Keep as calm and focused as possible ๐Ÿ˜Š
  • Breathe ๐Ÿ’จ
  • Take it one question at a time ๐Ÿ”ข
  • If you can go back to questions later – move on if you’re struggling with a question and return to it at the end! ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™€๏ธ
  • Keep an eye on the time ๐Ÿ‘€

After the exam ๐Ÿฅด

After the exam, make sure that you:

  • Relax! ๐Ÿ˜Ž You deserve it!
  • Think back to how worried you were before the exams, and feel proud that you were brave enough to complete them. ๐Ÿ‹๏ธ
  • Avoid trying to compare yourself to friends or anyone else taking the exams with you. ๐Ÿง‘โ€๐Ÿคโ€๐Ÿง‘- Your self-worth isn’t based on how you compare to your friends!
  • Try not to obsess over the answers you gave or what you could’ve done differently. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ
  • Think positively about what you’ve achieved – completing exams is SO brave, and you should be proud of yourself! โ˜€๏ธ

11. Pass or fail – just be proud that you tried! ๐Ÿฅณ

Regardless of your exam results, you’ve achieved something big by completing this exam.


  • shown confidence ๐Ÿ•บ
  • been resilient (being tough ๐Ÿ’ช) ๐Ÿ‹๏ธ
  • improved your memory skills ๐Ÿ’ญ
  • been creative ๐ŸŽจ
  • solved problems ๐Ÿค”
  • put yourself out of your comfort zone ๐Ÿง—โ€โ™€๏ธ
  • practiced being organised ๐Ÿ“–

So be proud of yourself – you’ve already achieved something huge! ๐Ÿ™Œ

If you don’t pass ๐Ÿ™…โ€โ™€๏ธ

When you look at someone who is successful, it’s easy to think that they’ve probably never failed at anything. ๐Ÿ…

In reality, people who are successful, usually make the most mistakes, and fail the most! ๐Ÿ‘Ž

Did you know that JK Rowling (author of the Harry Potter series), failed to get her book published 12 times, before someone agreed to publish it? ๐Ÿช„๐Ÿงน

Imagine if she’d given up after failing just once, or even 11 times! ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

There would be no Harry Potter! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿง™โ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿช„

How many times would you retry something if you failed? โŒš

Would you redo a test after failing it 12 times? ๐Ÿ”

The more you feel good about failing, the more likely you are to try again, and succeed. ๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ’–

Be kind to yourself, and try again when you’re ready. You can do it! ๐Ÿ™Œ

Conclusion ๐Ÿ‘

So that’s it!

You can study for your exams by:

  1. Starting revision as soon as you can ๐Ÿ—“๏ธ
  2. Obsessing over the syllabus๐Ÿ“–
  3. Making a revision plan ๐Ÿ•ต๏ธโ€โ™€๏ธ
  4. Using your teachers as much as possible ๐Ÿง‘โ€๐Ÿซ
  5. Picking your favourite revision techniques ๐Ÿค”
  6. Revising ๐Ÿ“–
  7. Making it fun! ๐Ÿ’ƒ
  8. Practice, practice, practice ๐Ÿ”
  9. Self-care ๐Ÿง˜โ€โ™€๏ธ
  10. Completing the exam! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

Hopefully these ideas have helped you on your way towards acing your exams!

If you know any friends or family members who might benefit from learning how to study for exams, share this post with them!

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