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On the Day


Follow these simple tips to ease your nerves on exam day.

The night before the exam

  • The night before can be hard. Don’t start revising completely new areas, it’ll just freak you out. Instead, stick to key points and summaries, rather than big chunks of text.
  • If it feels like nothing’s going in, don’t worry. Whatever revision you do now will pay off later. Finally, get a decent night’s sleep and you’ll perform better.

On exam day

  • Be sure you know exactly when, where and how long each exam is.
  • Allow plenty of time for travel and arrive on time – you may not be allowed to sit the exam if you are later than the specified time.
  • Ensure you have the right equipment for the exam e.g. pens, ruler, calculator, where appropriate.

During the exam


  • All the instructions carefully so you know how many questions to answer, what they’re worth and which ones are compulsory.
  • All the questions and avoid leaping on the first ‘easy’ one you spot.


  • Which questions you want to answer and in what order.
  • How much time you’ve got for each one – put your watch in front of you and try and stick to your timings.
  • A list of points to give you a structure for essay questions.


  • Answers to the questions that have actually been set, not the ones you’d hoped to see. Beware of questions you recognise from past papers, they may have been subtly changed.
  • As concisely as possible – keep to the point.
  • As neatly, and as quickly, as you can. Try not to spend too long on any single question however much you get into it.
  • A concise list of what you would have put in your answer if you find yourself running out of time, that way you should still score some points 
  • Use any spare time you have at the end of the exam for checking through your answers.


•   Panicking – sometimes your brain takes time to find facts. Calmly re-read the paper and you’ll soon get into gear.

Mobile phones

  • The examination boards do not permit mobile phones within the examination room. Do not take your mobile phone with you, however if you do bring it into the examination room ensure it is switched off and placed in your bag.

Good luck!