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Exam Prep Made Easy by an English Writing Specialist

The thought of an upcoming exam can be stressful, but there are great preparation tips that will reduce anxiety and help you remember more. The good thing about exams is that it provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and their ability to apply and evaluate the course concepts.

In other words, in an exam, students should be able to:

  • Know and use the terminology/concepts of the paper
  • Name major theorists and what impact their theories have had
  • Provide good examples
  • Have practised every way a formula or equation can be applied.


Take the stress out of exam preparation by focussing on these 4 steps. This blog post deals with step 1 only. More information on Steps 2-4 will be added in time.

Step 1: Plan your study time
Step 2: Collect information
Step 3: Summarise information
Step 4: Memorise and revise

Step 1: Planning study time

Draw up a revision plan covering all your exams:

  1. Use a wall planner
  2. Use a timetable
  • Write exam dates on a wall planner.
  • Decide on the amount of time required to study each subject. E.g. If an exam is worth 30% and another worth 60%, you will need to spend more time on the paper worth 60%.
  • Plan the timetable to match the timing of the exams, beginning with the earliest.
  • Allow for 40 minutes study sessions as this is typical concentration length for many students.
  • Remember to factor in regular breaks for meals, physical exercise, and sleep.
  • Break each session into topics that you will study and practice.
  • Think about when (early or late) and where you will study. Find the best place and time for you.
  • Review your study timetable every week, make sure to note changes to your daily schedule.

Here is an example of an exam timetable:

“John has 3 exams in the following order: Marketing (60%), Research Methods (30%) and Human Resource Management (70%). He arranged his first week’s timetable as follows” (Massey University website).

Table 1

(Table 1: Massey University website)

Remember to log on to tutorocean.com for information on Step 2, which will be published in the following week.

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Elma B.
TutorOcean Tutor | + posts

Hi, I'm Elma! I'm a professional teacher registered in New Zealand who specializes in English and Academic Writing.

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