Studying Effectively

Approaching your exams

Getting organised

  • Check where and when your exams will take place - at The University of Nottingham these details are usually available on the Student Portal
  • Write these details of dates, times and length of exams onto a wallchart or calendar
  • Keep bullet point revision notes on cards for reading during 'dead times' on the bus or in the bath
  • If you like to 'talk' your revision, record your notes onto your iPod or a digital recorder - good to listen to when walking around campus
  • Eat and sleep properly - avoid starting new diets and working through the night
  • If possible, cut down on your evening / weekend job - talk to Financial Support if appropriate.

Where you have experience of taking exams in the past, use your experience of what helps and what hinders you. Do all you can to build on what you know works for you.

In the exam

Use strategies for managing stress to help you keep calm

  • Make sure you sit at the correct desk - check the number
  • Make sure your desk and chair are stable - ask the invigilator if you are unhappy
  • Lay out your equipment on the desk
  • Read the instructions on the front of the paper very carefully
  • Using information provided about the value/marks for each question, try to proportion the time you need to spend on each one
  • Read each question carefully and if it helps, do a short plan before you start writing
  • For essay questions aim to include analysis and evaluation
  • If necessary, come back to answer any Multiple Choice Questions you can't answer first time around.
Student preparing for an exam



Further Reading

Practical strategies for examinations

more from Academic Services study resources

Managing exam stress

more from the Counselling Service

People who can help

Talk to someone in your school or a specialist support service

People who can help

Talk to someone in your school or a specialist support service


Studying Effectively

Kings Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5151
fax: +44 (0) 115 951 3666
Contact us