What to do the night before an exam?

Apr 8, 2021

So you’ve got an exam tomorrow, and you’re wondering what you can do tonight to give yourself the best chances of acing your exam. Well, you’ve come to the right place! In this post, we share top tips on what to do the night before an exam. Don’t panic!

1: Review your notes

By the night before the exam, you should have summaries of all the chapters written out, neatly, each chapter on its own.

A summary would include the topic, a definition of the topic or an explanation, and a list of key points about that topic.

It is quite possible that your summary should include your opinion or conclusions about the topic. Start reviewing your summaries. Focus on the key points instead of trying to learn all of your notes by heart.

You’ll be amazed at how much you already know and remember from your time in the classroom. Watching and listening to others is essential to learning.

Evie Flynn

2: Review a few mock exam papers

Once you have reviewed your summaries, attempt to answer a  past exam paper. Complete it under exam conditions. Writing answers, especially short answers or paragraph questions, focus our concentration on what we are saying.

By this point, you should have practised several exam questions and be familiar with the content that you will be assessed on.

If you have already completed past papers, go through them and look out for questions that you got wrong in the past or struggled with. take a look at the mark scheme for them and refer back to your textbook or notes if necessary.

UnJaded Jade

Writing past exam papers is definitely a great idea. Just as good or if not better, is to teach someone what you have been learning. Take them verbally through the past exam papers and answers. If they understand you, you are on the right track. If they don’t understand you – tell them to ask

3: Schedule a last-minute group study session

On the night before your exam, your last minute revision should not be too intense. So refrain from pulling an all-niighter in the library.

You want to avoid overwhelming yourself by cramminig in lots of new information.

The evening before your exam, schedule a group study session with your classmates via an online call or in person.

During the study session do a high-level recap of the entire module. Discuss key topics, predict what may come up and go through common exam questions step by step.

4: Prepare everything that you’ll need the night before the exam

On the night before your exam, make sure that you have everything that you need for your exam.

This will reduce your stress levels on the morning of the exam.

  • Set out the clothes you’ll wear the next day
  • Pack your bag – don’t forget to pack a bottle of water and a snack
  • Ensure that you have all the equipment that you will need for the exam
  • Plan to have an early night to ensure that you get enough sleep

Things to keep in mind 

Hopefully, the above suggestions will serve as a guide as to what to do the night before the exam. You should keep in mind that taking a break is also part of the learning process. As the Osmosis team says: ‘Taking a break will give your brain time to absorb the information for the long-term. Once you see your productivity levels starting to flag, it’s time to step away from the books and do something else, even if it’s just for a few minutes.’ 

There are also other things to do that will help smooth our approach to the exam. Do you have the pens and paper you need, if any? Pack a spare battery for your computer mouse if using your own laptop. Plan what you will eat for breakfast and fill up the kettle so that it’s ready for morning coffee. Pack some small snacks and a bottle of water.  Choose your “exam” clothes for the morning. 

Vee Kativhu

Final Words

These are the things that are so easily forgotten or can cost us precious time if we haven’t done them. Set your alarm so that you can get up on time. Set ten alarms, at five-minute intervals, on your phone if you have to. Ask a friend to give you a call in the morning to make sure you are up. Make sure that however you are going to the exam, you can get there. Fill up with petrol two days before if you are driving. Sleep – your brain needs the rest and so does your body. Take a deep breath and do your best!

Featured image by: cottonbro from Pexels

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