Tips and tricks for revising for examinations and tackling exam questions
Organising Your Revision
- Make a list of topics covered in your module and deal with them systematically.
- Reorganise your module materials (collate notes and readings into coherent topic bundles – use the handbook to help you).
- Add to and comment on your old essays and notes - you know more than you did then.
- Look at previous examination papers in the Library and attend the review sessions organised by your module co-ordinator.
Plan your time
- Timetable your revision programme (e.g. daily study slots, group study sessions).
- Allow time for breaks.
- Review what you have revised regularly.
- Allow time for relaxation and exercise.
- Think of revision as a process of consolidation. This is an opportunity for you to make sense of the whole year's work.
Reviewing the Exam Paper
- Do not attempt to write anything until you have read the whole paper.
- Check how many questions need to be answered.
- Read each question to make sure you understand what is being asked of you.
- Select the question in the order you feel happiest with and put number 1, 2 etc beside it.
- Once you have made your choices stick to it.
Interpreting the Question
- Look at your questions carefully.
- What type of question is it (compare, assess, how far do you agree with... etc.)?
- What are the content assumptions underlying the question?
- What are the discourse assumptions?
- What is the issue to be discussed?
- What do you think about the issue?
Organisation of Ideas
Consider the following in organising your response:
- Topics you need to cover.
- Terms/concepts you may need to define.
- Examples to illustrate your arguments.
- Theoretical models you may need to apply.
- Evidence and scholarly arguments to support any arguments.
- Include a concluding paragraph which sums up concisely how you have answered the question.