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Exam preparation

If you require alternative assessment arrangements Opens in a new window, then arrange these as soon as possible with the Disability Liaison Unit Opens in a new window.

Here are some general tips.

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  • Start revision early!
  • Prepare a subject revision timetable
  • Use your learning style preferences for memory and learning
  • Practise old exam papers under exam conditions
  • Stay healthy and balanced

Start revision early!

  • The best preparation for any exam is to know your material and to start as early as possible to revise during the semester.

Prepare a subject revision timetable

  • Prioritise the subjects that you need to complete and schedule subject study timetable by topic. When you're planning which topics to do first, do the ones that have greater course weighting. For example, if you spent 40% of time on moral philosophy, and 30% on aesthetic philosophy and 30% on phenomenology, then it's likely that the exam will have more sections on moral philosophy.
  • Study the subjects you find hardest first and when you're at your peak concentration.
  • Study for subjects that have a higher percentage exam weighting first and that are compulsory prerequisites for what you want to go on with.
  • If you have missed out on certain topics during the semester, it's best to know fewer topics well, than bits and pieces across topics.

Use your learning style preferences for memory and learning

  • Using your preferred learning modality such as visual, auditory or kinaesthetic to organise information and help create memory 'anchors' for the exam.
  • Use as many visuals and 'Post-It' notes around the house and your room in your preparation for exams. Focus on understanding the material rather than just rote learning.

Practise old exam papers under exam conditions

  • Practise old exam papers, under exam conditions, actually do them with no access to books or notes.
  • If you have open book exams, then be very organised with your notes and use tabs and index lists to make accessing material easier.
  • If multiple choice questions are a weak point for you, practise these and look carefully at the language used in them.
  • If you haven't managed to stay up-to-date or have had your studies interrupted through the semester then apply for special consideration Opens in a new window as soon as possible.

Stay healthy and balanced

  • Build in exercise and healthy eating during intensive exam study periods in the build up to exams. Avoid too much coffee; it may only increase your anxiety.
  • Visit the address stress section to get some ideas for dealing with stress.
The trick with exams is really that you start preparing at the start of semester, not the end! I now try and work out a revision timetable for each topic and work on my weak points early, so that nothing piles up at the end during the mad rush to do the exams.
— Melinda
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