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Exam Tips 101: How to Prepare Before and During Your Exam - 3 min read

Want to pass your next exam? Keep reading.

Lix picked the brains of bachelor students studying in Denmark and the Netherlands to uncover the best study methods and test-taking techniques to ace your next exam. And while exams are neither easy nor fun, these awesome exam tips and tricks showcase how to best prepare before and during your exams. So sit back, relax and discover some amazing exam tips and tricks from students like you, that will help you crush it!

Preparing Before Your Exam

So the saying goes, “prior preparation prevents pitiful performance.” And while the preparation phase requires dedication and stamina, Tim Brons, a University of Groningen student says, “it’s very important to stay calm and prepare yourself for the exam in the best way possible.” 

Tim suggests the following tips: 

Create a plan of action

“Make a daily plan of what you’d like to accomplish each day. This provides a clear overview of what you need to accomplish in order to nail your exam and gives you some peace of mind each time you complete a task.”

“Make a daily plan of what you’d like to accomplish each day.”

Summarize Key Points

“Write down what you deem important for the exam and then summarize each key point. This way, you’ll be able to better memorize the material you’re studying.”

Get Motivated  

“What gets you motivated? For example, if you know that you definitely won’t stick to a 2-week plan, it’s a waste of time to create one. But if you work well under pressure, work under pressure. Get to know yourself and what works for you. There is no right or wrong way to study as long as you pass your exam.” 

Treat Yourself

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Yep, it’s a reference from that creepy Stephen King movie, The Shining. But it’s important to treat yourself. According to Tim, “sometimes, you need to take an evening off from studying. Play video games, hang out with friends or go out to dinner with your significant other. This will recharge your batteries and you’ll be ready to hit the books again the following day.” 

“Sometimes, you need to take an evening off from studying. This will recharge your batteries and you’ll be ready to hit the books again the following day.”

Preparation During Your Exam

The big day has finally arrived. You’ve been studying for weeks and the moment of truth is about to unfold. Of course, you’re a nervous wreck—that’s common. But try to relax. Think to yourself, “I’ve got this.” You’re ready, well prepared and more than capable of passing your exam with flying colors. 

Written Exam Preparation

According to Mads-Frederik Klostergaard, an Aalborg University student, “during the written exam, my number one priority is to remember water and food. I always bring almonds and fresh fruit. It is a form of ritual for me. 

“On the day of the exam, I always arrive an hour early to ensure I have plenty of time to get comfortable, set up my computer and review my notes. 

“On the day of the exam, I always arrive an hour early to ensure I have plenty of time to get comfortable, set up my computer and review my notes.”

“When the exam begins, I read through the entire assignment without taking notes. Then, I re-read it a second time and write down notes under each topic. The third time I read through the exam, I try to answer as many questions as I can without looking at my notes. 

“For the first hour to hour and a half of the exam, I just write as much as possible without the help of my notes, books or other relevant literature. For the questions I haven’t answered, I go through my notes to find the right material. Additionally, I look through old assignments to determine if any of the questions on the current exam are similar to the questions from my previous work.  

“Towards the end of the exam, I start correcting any grammatical or spelling errors I may have made.”

Oral Exam Preparation

To prepare for an oral presentation, Mads suggests “reading through both the project and presentation over and over until you’ve practically memorized it.” He also recommends “practicing your presentation in front of a mirror. When I was younger, I was so afraid of oral exams that I started stuttering the moment I was in front of an audience. Even worse, I forgot everything I had previously rehearsed. But my mom suggested practicing in front of a mirror and today, I still implement this strategy because it gives me comfort. While it may not work for everyone, it certainly worked for me.” 

“Practice your presentation in front of a mirror.”

Share Your Own Exam Tips

Do you have your own exam advice? What study methods and test-taking strategies paid off for you? Leave us a comment and share your top exam tips and tricks. And be sure to check out our useful article, 5 Useful Study Hacks to Help You Ace Your Exam.

Kristy is a copywriter and former student at Columbia University. Having lived in New York City, Berlin and Auckland, she's a bit of a nomad, but has found a home away from home (wherever that is) in Copenhagen. When she's not busy writing on everything 'study-related,' she can be found in vintage shops and coffee parlors all around Copenhagen.

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