Top Tips for High School Exams

07 JUL 2021

Top Tips for High School Exams

1. Make a study plan early

The end of year examination period can be jam-packed, with some students having two papers in one day. This means that you need to be on top of your study plan, and you need to do it early.

To create the most effective study plan:

List all your exams in order with the date, time, and length of the examination

  • Decide what papers you need the most preparation for
  • Make a detailed list of the topics and subtopics you need to review for each exam
  • Estimate the number of hours you need to spend on each topic
  • Allocate a set number of study hours to each exam paper by working backwards from the start of the exam period
    • Make sure to dedicate a set amount of time to each topic and subtopic
    • Do not allocate more than 6 hours of studying per day
  • Your study plan should cover approximately 2-4 weeks depending on how many exam examinations you have

The most important thing is that your study plan is realistic and leaves time for activities that you enjoy, such as going for a walk, watching a movie, or hanging with friends!

Check out our Roadmap to Medical School to understand the best way to plan around medical school admission requirements.

2. Find the best study technique for you

It is critical that you use your time efficiently when studying for your exams… this means figuring out what study technique works best for you!

There are many study methods to choose from, which one is right for you depends on what type of learner you are. The four core learning styles are visual, auditory, reading and writing, and kinesthetic.

If you're a visual learner…

  • Ask for a demonstration
  • Incorporate white space in your notes
  • Use flashcards
  • Create graphs and charts

If you’re an auditory learner…

  • Participate in class discussions as much as possible
  • Record yourself reading key terms and their definitions out loud
  • Repeat facts with your eyes closed
  • Read assignments out loud

If you’re a reading and writing learner…

  • Take notes
  • Rewrite your notes
  • Use bullet points
  • Turn diagrams and charts into words

If you’re a kinesthetics learner…

  • Teach others the material you are studying
  • Create flashcards online
  • Make mnemonic devices to remember the content more easily
  • Schedule frequent breaks to get up and move around

A great technique is The Pomodoro Method, which works like this:

  1. Decide what you want to accomplish and estimate how long you will study for
  2. Set a timer for 25 minutes and start studying
  3. After 25 minutes, take a short 5-to-10-minute break
  4. Repeat for another 25 minutes
  5. After 4 Pomodoro intervals, take a longer break for 20-30 minutes; grab a coffee, go for a walk, or do something else relaxing

If you finish a task or topic area before the Pomodoro ends, use the remaining time to review what you have learned or to prepare study material for the next Pomodoro.

Check out our blog for more tips on how to prepare for exams!

3. Take practice exams under test conditions

This is probably the most important part of preparing for your exam examinations. To be successful in exams, you must take practice exams under test conditions.

To take an exam under test conditions:

  • Replicate the exact length of the exam, e.g.: 2 hours vs. 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Find a quiet room where you won’t be disturbed for the length of the exam
  • Minimise other distractions by turning your laptop and phone on silent
  • Don’t look at any notes and only access acceptable materials, such as a pencil, eraser, scrap paper and a calculator

Taking practice tests will also give you a baseline understanding of where you are at, your strengths, your weaknesses, and will allow you to tailor your study plan to focus on specific areas as you get closer to the exam. Book a consultation to learn more about our 1:1 academic support!

4. Review your mistakes regularly

Reviewing mistakes may seem boring, and sometimes pointless, but it can be one of the most important components for your success on test day!

To review your mistake:

  • Go back through your results and identify what type of questions you consistently missed.
  • Were the questions multiple choice, short answer or long answer?
  • Did you miss mostly easy questions because you weren’t paying attention, or were there specific content areas where you struggled?

Once you notice patterns of mistakes on a particular type of question or in a particular section of the test, you can plan for what you want to cover in your upcoming study sessions.

Final Thoughts

Have more questions about medical school? Speak to an Academic Advisor for free today about how we can help you improve your chances by up to 4.5x the general acceptance rate!

Key Resources & Further Reading