How to prepare yourself, practically and emotionally, for an examination

Exam desksI feel I should congratulate us all, we are one step closer to our goal – Graduation! The examination period is the most academically stressful period. At this time of year, we have to prove to teachers and, most importantly, ourselves that we have done well all year long. To help us get through this difficult time, I have developed some techniques that personally help me, not only during exams but all year long.

First, something pretty obvious is not to let time pass all year long and thus study at the last minute before exams. We should leave one-two months prior to exams to get comfortable with past papers and familiarise ourselves with the format of each exam.

My most important personal tip is to build weekly schedules. I personally try to study from Monday to Saturday with only one day a week (Sunday) to relax and accumulate what I’ve learned. I also develop a weekly schedule every Sunday in which I indicate what course I will study on which day of the week. Don’t panic if you move away from the plan. Just remember to build flexible schedules that can be adjusted to switch courses during the week, depending on other responsibilities.

Notepad and penAlso, try to keep notes both from essential readings so you don’t need to re-read them and during your study from the subject guide. This way, during revision, you will instantly remember key concepts. Furthermore, make sure you know the learning outcomes from the end of the chapter while trying to do one or two sample examination questions.

Now, if you are taking more quantitative courses like mathematics, statistics, economics etc, I strongly encourage you to try and practice as many exercises as possible to get familiar with the way particular exercises have to be solved.

On the mental part of the game, I would like to point out that only studying extensive hours without regular breaks can actually have a negative result. Don’t forget to add some exercising time to your schedule (go to a gym or a local stadium) as exercise can improve our mental and cognitive ability (read my previous article).

Good LuckAlso, do not eat lots of junk food, eat healthy food and a lot of fruit to help you maintain a healthier attitude. Last but not least, try to maintain normal sleeping hours and get up early in the morning to study (however some people find it helpful to concentrate better at nights).


Eleni is studying the BSc Economics and Politics by distance learning in Greece.

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