Revision and exam preparation

Cheryl Cliffe & Daren Mansfield Academic Subject Librarians

Aim & Learning Outcomes
Aim: • To consider how to succeed in examinations by effective revision and preparation Learning Outcomes: • identify preferred learning style • identify and employ effective strategies for before, during and after an exam

Good and bad experiences
Introductions • Discuss good and bad experiences… • What would you have done better? • What exam strategy would you adopt?

• Get organised – Select topics for revision – Divide the unit into topics/sub topics – Notes - collate, condense and summarise – Revision schedule – Study in short spells – Past exam papers – Build up your handwriting speed – What can be achieved under exam conditions?

• What’s your learning style? - Learning style questionnaire (10 mins)

Learning styles and study methods
VISUAL LEARNER• Involves memory and • note taking techniques AUDITORY LEARNER• Music • Aural Mnemonics • Technology • Repetition • Friends and groups KINAESTHETIC LEARNER• Also known as tactile learners • Learning by doing

Before the exam
• Be positive – Understand reasons for exams – They are an advantage to you – You have control over the process – Check your own learning • How many exams will you have? • When, where and what are the exams? • How will you be assessed?

Managing stress & relaxation techniques
• • • • • • Breathe calmly Healthy diet Sleep 7 hrs a day Regular exercise Celebrate success Take regular breaks

During the exam
• Positive mindset • Take time to read ALL the instructions and ALL the questions……then re-read the questions, make notes/highlight keywords • Divide your time equally among questions carrying the same marks • Use rough paper to organise structure and thoughts • Time
– Go over what you have written – At end read answers and make amendments

Writing exam essays
• • • • Fewer examples than coursework Miss out background detail No reference list Grammatical and spelling errors, rushed handwriting generally less important • But…ensure that your handwriting is legible

‘What if I go blank?’
• Too Tense – use relaxation technique • Brainstorm • Keep writing – jot down words on spare paper to prompt your memory • Who? When? What? Where?

Exam planning
• Devise exam question
– Deconstruct question – Plan your structure – Use mind map – identify relevant headings – Consider time spent on each paragraph

After the exam
• Don't beat yourself up, what is done is done! • Think about what you could improve/focus on for the next exam
– How well did you prepare? – What could you have done better? – What will you do differently next time?

• Always another opportunity • Put it in perspective!

Additional support
• Enrol on the Bb community Learning Development @ Lincoln • Further hints and tips in:
– Cottrell, S. (2007) The exam skills handbook. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan – Tracy, E. (2006) The student’s guide to exam success. 2nd ed. Maidenhead: Oxford University Press [ebook] – Cottrell, Stella. (2008). The Study Skills Handbook. Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan.



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