How Should University Students Prepare For Exam Season?

With the exam season only two or three months away, I cannot encourage you enough to start preparing yourself now. Therefore, when the exam season does start you are more prepared and it is a lot less likely that you’ll get overwhelmed. So please expect plenty of useful tips in today’s blog post.

How To Prepare For The Exam Season?

Personally, I am not a big fan of exams and will often try to minimize the number of exams I have when I am able to select my modules. For example, as I write this post, I’ve just chosen by final year modules and thankfully there were more than enough interesting modules to choose that didn’t have any exams. Of course, this might not be available to you, or you might do better in an exam compared to coursework. We are all different and you need to do what is right for you. That said, even if exams are your preferred format, preparation remains key.

The simplest way to start preparing for the exam season is by starting to look at what exams you actually have.

Look at and understand the exams you have, know how many you need to prepare for, double check the details, and process how long you have in-between exams. For example, during my second year, lots of my exams were different to each other. Some of them were open book, others were closed and the rest were multiple choice questions, while some had small gaps between them, while for others I had weeks.

This sort of “deeper” understanding of your exams will really help you plan and prepare for them.

For instance; you have five exams and three of them were open book (meaning you can have a textbook open next to you) but the other two were closed book exams with two essay questions each. In this scenario, it is extremely important to factor in necessary time for the closed-book exams since you technically have more to revise for compared to the open book ones – considering you’ll need to have memorised a lot more content by heart.

Anyway, all this will depend on your own course, exams and how they work. I do not envy law and accounting students!

Create A Revision Plan

I know you’ve probably been told that millions of times and I know it can get extremely tiring but it is important. Additionally, when you factor in the importance of knowing your different exams then a revision plan can get very effective.

Therefore, all you need for that is create a few sessions in your busy university schedule that drops completely in the exam season to start revising your different modules. And to be honest, the reason this post is early and before the exam season is simple.

Start revising before the exam season!

That will give you plenty of time to see what you know, what you need to revise and improve on. Then if you need to get the extra help then this buffer between you starting early and the exam season gives you the time to get it.

For example, let’s say you gave yourself ten hours a week to study (do not take that as advice) and you have five exams to study for. Theoretically that means you have two hours a week for each exam, but you might not need that. I know if I was doing this, I wouldn’t need that long to study for a clinical psychology exam since I know it fairly well due to my podcast and other activities. But I know cognitive (mental processes) psychology a lot less well because it is a bit more complicated to me, so I might spend an hour on clinical psychology and three on cognitive.

That is why knowing your exams is so important, and this sort of flexibility needs to be put into your revision plan. As at the end of the day, you need to create a revision plan (and actually do it) that will help you as much as it can.

Then I recommend you find out what revision techniques work for you as well. There’s no point in you using a technique because it is “the right way to revise” if it isn’t working for you.


This post really has all but scratched the surface of a very important topic that will be explored in future posts. But I really do recommend you start revising early, I know it doesn’t sound fun but it is helpful, and I know whenever I have started something early I am really grateful I did that.

It definitely prevents all the stress of working right up to a deadline!

Therefore, start early, create a revision plan and revise effectively for you. The exam season doesn’t have to be scary, and those three things can definitely help you avoid the fear.

Connor Whiteley
Connor Whiteley

Psychology Student, Podcast, Author