passing your exams

5 tips for studying and passing your exams

We’ve all been there before. The school year is starting slowly. It feels like the exams are a long way off. But time passes quickly, we realize that the session is approaching, and we are far from ready.

Student preparing for exams


Find the right method

manage your time

Organize your workspace

Be efficient

Avoid unpleasant surprises

1) Find the right method

When it comes to studying, we are all different. Some like to listen to music in the background, while others need complete silence. Some feel more productive in the morning, some in the afternoon, and still others in the evening.

Unfortunately, there is no foolproof technique for passing exams. In fact, the best study method is one that suits your personality, needs, and preferences. If you’re looking for a way to study effectively, ask yourself a few questions:

When are you most productive?

Very early in the morning? In the afternoon ? In the evening ?

Where do you study best?

At home ? In a library?

How do you prefer to study?

On a computer screen or on paper? With summaries, or with your books and class notes?

You may be more flexible in some aspects than in others. Sometimes it takes a bit of time to find the optimal working method. You should feel free to try different methods (preferably before the exam period) and then choose the one you like best.

Do not hesitate to break the routine from time to time. For example, you can study once in a café if you are looking for a more relaxed atmosphere. On the other hand, we advise you not to make it a habit, because it rarely works in the long term.

We recommend that you take stock after each exam session. Take a critical look at your study: what do you think went rather well? What gave you more difficulty? A quick and effective analysis will allow you to gradually improve your study.

You should also know that you will certainly have to adapt your method to the course you are studying. For example, even if you don’t like summaries, you may need to do them to study a dense course.

2) Manage your time

You have a lot of things to study and you don’t know how to organize yourself? You can very quickly lose control of the situation, especially if you don’t do it in time.

Our advice: make a list of tasks for each subject. Write down all the tasks to be done and when you have completed one, cross it off your list.

Example :

To do

Study the book: chapter 1.

Listen to podcast 1.

Do the exercises: chapter 1.

Practice for the June 2020 exam.

…Not to do

Study the book.

Listen to podcasts.

Do the exercises.

You can also make a detailed study plan. Try to set achievable goals per work day. Track your productive hours: do the hard stuff when you’re productive and the easy stuff when you’re less productive.

If it helps, after studying a course you don’t like, reward yourself by doing something you enjoy. That said, try to stay regular and rigorous, and don’t neglect a lesson you dread. Also think about completing your schedule with hobbies. If you feel the need, regulate your work and breaks with an app (like Pomodor ).

3) Organize your workspace

Your concentration and your productivity depend among other things on your work environment . Have you decided on a place of study? Take a few minutes to prepare your workspace and create an atmosphere conducive to study.

First, make sure the room and office are clean and tidy . Then check that the room is illuminated and, as far as possible, favor natural light . Then, prepare your study materials and get rid of all distractions (phone, social networks, games…). Finally, sit in a comfortable chair .

It is generally advisable to separate work spaces and relaxation areas: for example, sit at your desk to study, and in your bed to watch a series or sleep. This little trick will trick your brain into associating the location with the activity. You will find it easier to concentrate during the day, and to fall asleep at night.

4) Be efficient

Studying a lot is not enough; still need to be studied effectively . Your course materials, grades, and summaries must be up to date before you start studying. To avoid wasting time during exams, you must therefore be organized throughout the year.

If possible, adapt your working method to the type of exam. If it’s an oral, practice out loud; if, on the contrary, you have to write an argumentative text for the exam, practice by developing your reasoning in writing.

Keep in mind that rote study alone is rarely the best option. Teachers also require an understanding of the subject: you must therefore be able to grasp the links between different parts of the course. Before the exam, think about the questions you might be asked. Prepare to answer very specific questions, but also more general comprehension questions.

If you have access to old exams , practice answering them in real conditions, with the same time limit and the same tools. Ideally, you should do this a day or two before the exam to check that the material has been acquired. Also remember to redo all the exercises in the course and if you feel ready, do not hesitate to explain the material to a friend.

5) Avoid unpleasant surprises

Nowadays, teachers often communicate with their students by email or through a sharing platform. It is therefore essential to regularly check all communication channels . As soon as possible, download and read important documents , such as the course syllabus, required/recommended readings and evaluation methods.

Finally, write down the time and date of the exam as soon as they are communicated to you. Please note: it may happen that an exam is moved to another room. Always check that you have the correct information before going to the exam.

Bonus: the key to preparing for exams is to provide regular work . What’s the point of studying for ten hours straight the first day, if you don’t do anything afterwards? Follow your schedule carefully, but don’t be discouraged if you sometimes fall behind.

Good luck !

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *