How to Survive the Exam Season

Exam Revision

Exam season is upon us! It’s the culmination of several months of serious revision, and more than a decade of schooling. These preparation tips for students and parents will help ensure your child does their best.


Study Tips for Students

Draw up a sensible study timetable based on when your exams are, and how confident you are with the material you need to cover. It doesn’t make sense to spend equal amounts of time revising everything – focus on the aspects which carry the most weight in an exam. Your tutor should be able to tell you this, or you can find out by looking at past exam papers on SQA’s website.

Put your social life on hold, saving late nights and parties until after your exams. It’s a small sacrifice to pay for feeling rested and confident when you sit in front of your paper. Set up a study group with friends you know you will work well with. Eat nutritious foods that are easy to digest and which won’t slow your body and brain down. Avoid exam day panic by getting everything ready and familiarising yourself with the exam venue ahead of time.


Exam Tips for Parents

You can help your child through exams by giving them the time and space they need to study. Remove distractions, such as games consoles and mobile phones. Have a copy of their study timetable so you know when they should be working. Even if you’re not familiar with the subject matter, you can still use a revision guide and their class notes as a prompt for asking questions.

Accept that your child may react badly to the pressure in the lead up to exams, and make some allowance for this. Encourage them to take a short break every hour, and give them healthy snacks and regular meals. Keep them focused on the result, reminding them that it’s only a short period of time, and when it’s over they will have ample opportunity to do the activities they may have to temporarily sacrifice for the sake of study.


On the Day

You will have enough adrenaline coursing through your body without the stress of running late or getting lost, so double check the time and venue, and allow 30 minutes more than you think you require. Your brain needs breakfast, so have something like a banana or flapjack, even if you feel you’re too nervous to eat. Keep a positive mental attitude – you’ve done the work, and now is the time to let it shine. Avoid anyone who may be having a last minute panic attack lest you get sucked into the mire of panic yourself.

Exams are a way of helping you move on to the next phase of your life. Look on them as something positive and you’re already halfway to getting great results.