Exam Tips

For many people studying as adults, taking an OU or similar exam may be the first time they've taken an exam for many years.  It can be daunting, but don't let it be!Here are my top tips for taking OU exams - in fact., this probably applies to most exams... Most of it is pure common sense, but this can often go out the window if you're in a panic

1. Preparation, preparation, preparation...

The key to this is to get ready well before the exam (and I mean WELL BEFORE - weeks or even months!)  If you're really smart, try and make your normal study notes in the sort of format that will ease your revision technique later.Examples of good revision techniques are:

Different things work better for different people, so find a technique that suits you and stick to it.One important thing to note is that you shouldn't expect to remember *everything* after a revision session.  It's all about revision and then recall, so the more you revise, the more things will stay in your head over time.

2. Revision Timetable

To get you started in doing the above, make a revision timetable.  Know what you have to do and when.

3. Practice/previous exam papers

If there are practice or previous exam papers available, make use of them!  They will give you good clues as to:

4. Use Revision discussion groups and forums

Most people taking an exam will find that they are not alone! Find a discussion forum to join to talk with other students before the exams. 

For OU students, use the revision conference boards on the student site.  The administrators there are excellent and are there to help, plus you'll meet other students in the same situation.

5. Use your tutor!

Whether you're studying with the OU or not, if you have any contact with a school/college/university tutor, make as much (academic) use of them as you can!  They are there to help you, they WANT to help you pass the exam, so don't be afraid to ask them questions or ask for extra help if you're stuck on a topic.

6. Getting close to the day of the exam? - don't panic!

If you've prepared carefully, you should be in a position where there is nothing to worry about. If you're still a bit panicky, or you feel nothing is going in your head and staying there, try to relax (easier said than done, I know) and read the next item.

7. Examiners are NOT out to trick you!

Myths about almost all exams:

Facts about almost all exams: 8. The night before the exam 9. On the day of the Exam... 10. In the exam room... So, best of luck!