Examination Strategies : Tactics & Tips

Study for Exams

Every student or graduate knows how hard the first experience of passing exams is. Preliminary preparation starves the nervous system and the physical condition of the human body, however, the exam itself is always a stressful situation, which requires a candidate a great manifestation of mental and physical abilities.

Therefore, just the knowledge of a subject is not enough for the exam. The examinee needs to have high self-organization, ability to keep his emotions and absolute confidence in his abilities.

Most people, who successfully passed a few dozen of examinations, advise to adhere to the following tactics:

 Before the exam:


• Try to sleep. Do not repeat the past material the night before the exam. This time is better to spend on healthy sleep.

• Be sure of having breakfast. It is best to eat a normal habitual meal. If you are not hungry in the morning, drink juice, sweet tea or coffee. The best option of breakfast is food glucose-rich. It is quickly absorbed without loading the stomach.

• Prepare your passport, pen, paper, markers, rulers etc. in the evening. If you forget documents proving your identity, you will not be allowed for passing the test. Remember that only the examiner has the right to use a red pencil or ink on your draft. Your notes in red may be considered as fixed mistakes that will reduce your mark.

• Dress simply and conveniently. Remember that the classroom may be warmer or cooler than outside or in your home.

• Be sure to visit a consulter, feel free to ask any questions concerning the organization of the exam.

• Try to reach the classroom in time. The best option is to arrive a little before the appointed time. Remember about traffic jams and difficulties in the work of the public transport.

During the exam:


• If you are an applicant, then forget about a crib sheet. Teachers can sympathize to students or applicants, but they do not forgive cheating. This fact does not mean that you should categorically refuse of cheat sheets. Firstly, the work on creation of cribs let you quickly learn the material. Secondly, the situation may be so desperate, that a chance to copy from cribs will be the best solution.

• Watch out of the time allocated for the exam. Do not hurry to perform all the tasks at once, but do not delay answering. Otherwise you may have not enough time to do the last questions.
• Move from simple tasks to the most complex. The success in solving even one simple question will help you to gain confidence in your abilities. In the end or your exam, you will calm down and  easily cope with all the other tasks.

• If there is a hitch and you can’t remember the correct answer or solve the problem you would better go to the next question. Remember about the time and do not try to perform the task that caused the problems, leave it and resolve in the end of the list.

• If something of the content of the examination card is not clear, be sure to check the controversial points with your examiner since the card may contain typographical errors and questions may be set incorrectly or inaccurately. The examiner should explain you all of them, and if you find a mistake, it is possible that you will be thanked for vigilance.

• If you have poor health, or feel bad during the examination then the best option for you would be to postpone the exam and go to a doctor. With fever or severe pain you will not be able to pass the exam, but well-established hospital certificate allows you to participate in the reexamination.

• During the exam, focus only on your own needs and do not respond to other people’s requests or questions, because you will not have time to decide your own tasks. The worst result of the exam is that you can be even put out of the classroom because of the hints.


In conclusion, a few words about the excitement before the exam. There is no need to be afraid of your emotions. Naturally, when a person is in a stressful situation, the body produces adrenaline, hard breathing and frequent heartbeat; the feelings and thoughts come into confusion. In this case, try to calm down, take a deep breath and drink some water. If you use medicines, it is a good idea to take a pill of «Valerian», but nothing more, as too strong sedatives can blunt the thinking and reaction. If you feel a strong worrying, reach the place of your examination on foot. Breathing exercises and walking can help calm down and put your thoughts in order. Good luck!