How to pass exams

How to pass exams

How to pass exams: It’s getting to that time again. Exam time. The big question for many of you is “how do I not fail my exams?” Mookychick wants you to pass exams with flying colours, so here’s how…

How to pass exams? Or, if you’re feeling a bit panicked and glass-half-empty, how not to fail exams? It’s a question I’ve been asking myself a lot lately, and from copious research on the topic (as in, from not having failed any exams yet), I am here to offer you all a few words of wisdom. You can trust my words of wisdom, for I suffer from a horrible affliction called Headteacher’s Daughter Syndrome…

Where to begin?

It sounds obvious, but make sure you know your courses and exam timetables. Click here for British exam timetables for all major British examination boards. They are all helpfully listed in confusing modular form. They make these sites confusing on purpose, I think, to test whether you’re awake enough to revise. If you can’t even work out which exams you’re taking, you should go back to bed. Fact.

Alternatively, you could ask someone who’ll know. Like a teacher. Or the gremlin under your desk. Yes, the same gremlin you’ve been ignoring for weeks, because he says you should have started Not Failing Exams a while back…

You should also probably check exam specifications. Checking exam specs in advance will make you feel like the exams are real and you’re really doing something towards them. Seeing those exam specs in front of you will also help you realise that the exam structure isn’t as awful as you think. Exam specifications can mostly be found online, by searching by exam board and qualification on Google – but exam board websites can bamboozle even those most likely to pass exams. Soon, they’ll start running degree programmes in “how to navigate the AQA website”.

Good luck with that lot.

Okay, so you know what my exam is about, and when it is. Now what?

How to revise for exams

Get some big paper, some blutak and some really colourful, thick pens. You’re going to make a list. This list will help you know how much you’ve revised (be proud and happy when you tick something off the list!). It will also make it clear what you still need to do. You sometimes need to guilt trip yourself into working. Writing that list also helps your mind feel more tidy and less messy. It really helps. Do it as soon as possible.

So, use your big paper and big pens to make a big list of everything you need to do – then stick it up somewhere prominent, so that you can’t miss it.

How to use your list to revise for exams

  • Start at the beginning.
  • Cross everything off when you’ve done it.
  • Work out how you revise best – diagrams and posters work well for some people. For me, it’s flashcards and practice papers all the way. You might find a different way altogether!
  • Reward yourself. Chocolate, cups of tea, and girly film evenings work well. If you’re a girl. Or embracing your inner girl.
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself. Everyone deserves a break once in a while.
  • Equally, don’t be too soft on yourself. If you’re breaking more than you are working, you’re not Not Failing Exams, are you?
  • Ask for help. No, not from the gremlin.
  • Create a revision playlist of happy, calming music, for when your nerves become too frazzled.
  • Don’t work in your room all the time – you’ll get sick of the sight of your four walls. Go to the library instead; it’s quiet, and being there, you’ll feel like you have to work. Sometimes it’s nice to have a third place with no distractions. Then you can show the world you mean business.

Two nights before the exam

  • Create a list of stuff you absolutely have to know
  • Sleep, and don’t panic

The night before the exam

  • Test yourself very quickly, using the list you made last night
  • Check your equipment
  • Check your equipment again
  • Have a bath, and a cup of tea, and a BIG PIECE OF CAKE
  • Sleep, and don’t panic

And… you’re done. Now, go party, until results day. Then you’re allowed to panic.

Not that you’ll have to, because by now, you’ve already Not Failed Your Exams.

Good luck!


write for Mookychick