Exam time can be a stressful period for most students, making sure you prepare for your exams are extremely important in order to do well.

Throughout your studies you have gained valuable knowledge on your specific subject. Now it is time to put that knowledge to the test! 

Why Is It Important To Prepare For Your Exam?

When walking into your exam venue, it is vital that you walk in with confidence.

Knowing that you have studied and prepared well for your test lifts a weight off your shoulders.

However, if you don’t take the time to prepare for your upcoming exams, you will not know what to expect and you are most likely guaranteed to fail.

Exam Preparation Tips

Follow these tips on how to prepare for your exams:

  • Start your revision early
  • Create an organised study space
  • Know your timetable
  • Develop a study plan

Start your revision early 

Thinking you have enough time is the worst mistake you can make. Start your preparation for your exams from day one!

Do not wait until the last minute, or even when you receive your exam timetable.

Being prepared relieves the stress of having to study those thick textbooks in the span of a month. Furthermore, you will have a lot more time to revise your notes.

Create an organised study space 

Your working environment definitely affects your work. If your study space is filled with distractions and clutter you will have a hard time focusing on your studies.

Create a neat, quiet workspace for yourself. Make sure you are comfortable, but not too comfortable that you become lazy and demotivated. 

Know your timetable 

Once you receive your exam timetable, go over it and familiarize yourself with the dates and times of your exams.

Make sure there are no clashes and schedule it in your diary so that you make no other commitments!

As a result, you can make sure you are well prepared before the day of your exam.

Develop a study plan

You should create a study plan for yourself once you start the year.

Plan out exactly how you will spend your time each day; how many hours and on what.

A good idea would be planning which sections you will be focusing on each week. In addition to this, once you have received your exam timetable, slot in revision days leading up to your test.

Bellview logo with the words "how to prepare for your exams" in white with a white frame on a blue background

Strategies to Prepare For Your Exam

Here are 5 study strategies that are guaranteed to help you prepare for your exams:

  1. Review past papers
  2. Mock tests
  3. Make notes
  4. Visuals
  5. Study groups

Review past papers

Majority of exam papers can be found online, if not on your college’s website.

Find past exam papers and answer them as revision. Oftentimes, there are likely to be a couple of questions included in your paper.

Apart from this, you will become familiar with the way it is set up and how questions are asked.

Mock tests

In every chapter, there are revision questions to test your understanding and knowledge after each section.

Be sure to answer these as they will help you identify areas which you struggle in and where you should put your focus.

Make notes 

Upon receiving your study materials, it would be a good idea to make summaries for yourself as you go along.

Rewriting specific key points in your own words will be helpful to you as it shows that you are actually understanding what you are reading.

Sure, memorising a sentence could be great for your exams, but you need to think beyond that too.

For example, in the working environment, knowing a sentence off by heart isn’t going to get you as far as actually knowing what that sentence means.


Having a couple of visuals in between sections could be quite good to make use of.

Not only does it give your eyes a break from the long paragraphs, but adding a bit of colour and making it stand out could help with memorising.

The human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text, and 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual.

Therefore, drawing mind maps, diagrams or even illustrations is a good way to incorporate a few visuals in your notes. 

Study groups

Find people who are studying the same thing as you, it could be highly beneficial on both parts as you could help each other out.

If you are struggling with a specific section, someone else may find it a breeze and could explain it to you.

Read our article on Together We Pass to find out more about study groups and connecting with others.

On the Day of Your Exam

Before and during your exam it is important to make sure that you:

  • Get enough sleep 
  • Eat a good breakfast
  • Read over notes
  • Don’t get distracted
  • Stuck? move on

Get enough sleep

The evening before the exam you should be sure to get a good night’s rest.

You have worked so hard up until this point and should take the time to relax a bit.

You don’t want to sit in that exam venue struggling to keep your eyes open.

Read more on why sleep is so important!

Eat a good breakfast

Eating a healthy, balanced breakfast is not only good for your body, but for your mind.

As a result you will have the energy needed for the day which will help you to feel more awake and alert.

Therefore, you will be able to concentrate on your exam, resulting in good marks for the work that you’ve studied so hard!

Read over notes

Take the time to go over any last minute notes. If there is something you feel you are still unsure of, read over it a few times to make sure it gets stuck into your head.

With the way life works, the questions you struggle most with always have a funny way of popping up. Therefore, be prepared when that happens and own that question!

Don’t get distracted

Yes, even in a quiet exam hall there are tons of distractions. Your mind is working in overdrive and your train of thought may drift off to other things.

Stay focused on your exam at all times, don’t look at your surroundings. Those brick walls aren’t going to help you pass this exam.  

Stuck? Move on.

There will always be those pesky questions that you need a little extra time to think about.

Don’t sit there wasting time not writing anything. Simply move on to the next question and get all of those easy questions out of the way.

You can always return to the questions you are unsure of afterwards.

We Aim To Assist and Support You!

Bellview Institute is a distance learning college committed to improving the careers of working individuals around South Africa.

We offer a variety of accredited career-development courses and the best benefits, including support and assistance whenever needed.

Contact us using one of the following ways:

  • Give us a call on our toll-free number 0800 39 00 27
  • Fill out our contact form at the bottom of the page
  • Chat to us on WhatsApp 082 318 8892


Author: Kayla Preston
Date Published: 20 July 2020