Top tips when taking exams at Notre Dame




Have your own revision timetable and start planning well before exams begin. Your teachers will be able to help with this – make sure you ASK.
Make your books, notes and essays user-friendly by using headings, highlighting and revision cards. You can also get tips on other revision techniques from teachers and friends with experience of exams and you could buy revision guides if needed.
Take notes of the important points when revising. Try to answer the questions of past exam papers, explain answers to tricky questions to someone else to help you get your head round them.
Find out what routine suits you best, as everyone revises differently. This could be alone or with a friend or parent/carer; early moring or late at night; short, sharp bursts or longer sessions; with music or without noise.

Ask for help from your teacher, learning mentor, parent/carer or a friend if there are things you don’t understand.


Don’t leave revision to the last minute.

Don’t avoid revising subjects you don’t like or find difficult.
Don’t forget that there is life beyond revision and exams.
Don’t cram all night before an exam – you’ll be really tired in the morning and a good night’s sleep is important.

On the day of the exam

Have a good breakfast if you can.
Make sure you know where the exam is being held and what time it starts, and give yourself plenty of time to get there.

Take all the equipment you need for each exam, including extra pens and pencils.
Take in a bottle of water and tissues.
Go to the toilet beforehand!

If you feel really anxious, breathe slowly and deeply while waiting for the exam to start.
Read the instructions carefully before starting the exam.
Ask the teacher or exam supervisor if anything is unclear.
Read through all the questions before starting writing (don’t just rush into the first question), and make sure you are clear how many questions you are required to answer.
If there is a choice, start by answering the question you feel you can answer best.
If you are stuck on a question, go on to the next. You can always come back to it later. If you are really stuck, try to have an intelligent guess anyway.
Leave time to read through and check your answers before the exam finishes.
Plan how much time you’ll need for each question.

Exam Stress Advice