Exam 101 – Tips and tricks – Pumpkins and Planners

Hey friends,

Welcome to Exam 101!  In this post I’m hopefully going to be sharing with you my tips and tricks on how to survive exam season!   I have just finished my run of exams and so I felt in a good position to be able to advise.

The idea behind each of these tips, is that they hopefully can be customised to suit whichever subjects you are taking at whatever level (college or uni).

Build up to exam day –


Use revision cards as a study aid –    One thing which I usually find helpful on the build up to an exam is revision cards.   For the things you need to memorise (i.e. flow chart symbols in ICT) these are an invaluable tool I feel.     Wilko sells my favourite revision cards here in the UK – they always have a cute theme to match the rest of the stationery lines they sell and are sturdy.


Get a yourself a study buddy! –  I find it useful year round to have a study buddy, but particularly as exam time approches.    Take turns reading information to each other or quizzing each other and generally doing whatever helps you to feel prepared!  My top activity to do with friends is after you’ve completed your practice past papers (and have your answers written down) ask each other questions and see how you could improve your answers!   I did this for my recent exams and got reasonable results so can testify that it really works.


Practice past papers –  Past papers are an absolute savior when exams time comes.   Around a month before I recommend you start going through them.    Not only will doing so help you feel more comfortable with the layout of your exam, but it will also help you identify any areas you aren’t as confident in.  Make a note of these and be sure to revise some more !


Don’t overdo it!  –  You may be thinking ‘but Mali I don’t have a chronic illness, so this point doesn’t apply to me’ – wrong!    Everybody gets tired and stressed out if they overwork.  Obviously for those living with a chronic illness (i.e. me) this happens a lot quicker, the for healthy teens, but still it is a concern.    Make sure in the days leading up to the exams you get to bed on time (not 3AM – I know its boring but 9pm bedtimes are good !) and do some things that are fun (and not study based) too!    If you’re feeling relaxed you’ll feel better during your exam –  which leads me onto my next point…



Exam day –


Don’t get stressed out or overthink! –   I have tied these two points together in one, because I feel they go ‘hand-in-hand’.     I’m going to be honest with you, even with all the positive thinking in the world  – exams are horrible and tedious.    The fact is though, they have to be done.   Based on my own experience, if you get worked up about them it won’t acheieve anything except exhaust you and make you feel anxious – both factors which prevent you from thinking clearly which is the one thing you’re trying to avoid in this situation!   The days before try not to think about taking the exam, just revising.   I feel like if you take a ‘just another day in the office’ stance – you do better.    Be happy in the knowledge that even if you fail (which rarely happens) you’ll normally be able to resit it serval times later in the year.


Have confidence in yourself!  – I know that that exams seem scary, but even the fact you’re googling this post on my blog I know you must have been trying to do your best this year.    I have done exams whilst feeling sick, in the hot summer , in the freezing winter, etc…   Each time I’ve convinced myself I’ve done badly and I haven’t.     Just feel confident and do your best on the day.  Don’t forget to reward yourself afterwards too!


Take the minimum of items into the exam room – I know that this can be difficult because often you exams are held on a day when you’re in college or uni, but if at all possible leave your bag behind or with a trusted friend for the time your in the test.  That way you can avoid having your phone confiscated or having to leave your bag somewhere awkward outside the exam room.


After the exam –


‘Treat yo’ self!’  – Don’t forget to reward yourself for putting in all that hard work.  You’ve done great!    Do something fun with a friend or even just watch you’re favourite TV show.  Be happy that you’ve done it : ) Eat a doughnut or two and give yourself  a pat on the back!


Thats just a few of the tips I have pulled together from my experiences, if you’ve got any of your own, please let me know!   Got any questions for me ?  Get in touch in the comments below!


Thanks for reading my post!   See you next time.



*Please be aware I was not sponsored to write this post.  All opinions are my own.   Images sourced from Pixabay.com.   Check out they copyright free images!

Don’t forget to follow me on social media!  (Links at top of page).