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7 exam tips to help you succeed

07/09/2023 |

The time has come, you’ve worked hard all year and now you just need to showcase how much you’ve learned! With Year 12 exams approaching, we want to you to feel as prepared as possible and equip you with our know-how to help you succeed.

UWA will be thinking of you and wishing you the best of luck! Just study hard and focus on doing your best.

Here’s our top seven tips to help you prepare for your exams, take care of yourself and reduce stress this exam season:

1. Start early and space out your study 

Procrastination can get the better of anyone, and while a last-minute cramming session the night before your exam may seem like a good idea, it’s best to start studying for your exams as soon as possible.

Research shows that it is more effective to split your study time over multiple sessions, rather than cramming study into big blocks of time. Even if you feel like you are wasting precious time, it’s important to keep revisiting the same material more than once. The more often you are exposed to the same information, the more likely it will be stored in your long-term memory and you’ll remember it when an exam question pops up. Make sure to keep revisiting the subject material as it gets closer to exam time.

2. Test your memory

Although reading over your notes and highlighting may feel productive, its just a small part of what you could be doing to prepare. To take your studying to the next level, try  testing yourself to see if you can remember your notes without looking at them. Source some practice examples or questions from past test papers, or create flash cards and your own quizzes to help you understand and remember.

This process of calling information to mind and recalling from your memory consolidates that information in our brains. Active recall is when you put your notes away and test what you know, which is exactly what it will be like on exam day. This may feel hard at first, but you will be amazed at just how much information you can recall from memory.

3. Stay motivated and avoid multitasking

Do you ever scroll through your phone, watch TV, talk to a friend, and eat snacks all at once and then realise you’ve only been paying attention to one of the things you’re doing? That’s because we're not as good at multitasking as we think we are. We're actually just rapidly switching between tasks.

That’s why it’s best to minimise all distractions when it’s time to study. Choose a quiet place to study, turn off your phone or leave it in the next room, close any web browsers and focus on the task at hand.

Student studying on laptop outside Reid Library

4. Use concentration tactics

If you are struggling to concentrate, there are plenty of tactics that can help you get in the zone. Try breaking up your study sessions with the Pomodoro method: study for 25 uninterrupted minutes, then take a short break. After four of these blocks, take a longer break and treat yourself to a reward. Short bursts are more achievable and are very effective at keeping you motivated.

5. Look after yourself 

The study break and exam period can be a stressful time. So, it’s important that you focus on your wellbeing. Remember to take regular breaks, leave some time each day for an activity you enjoy, try to avoid junk food, eat well to fuel your brain, get some fresh air and move your body to relieve stress and improve cognitive function.

And, don't forget to get lots of sleep. Make sure you get your study done and leave enough time to get a good night’s rest. Avoid all-nighters! Sleep is essential for memory consolidation and mood management.

6. Keep breathing to reduce stress

When we feel stressed, our breathing can change to become more rapid and shallow so that we’re not taking in as much air as normal. We’ve put together some breathing tips to help reduce stress.

7. Be confident

It may seem like so much information to remember in the lead up to exams, but don’t forget that you’ve got this! Be confident in all the work you’ve put in over the last year and the effort you’ve put into revising, you should be so proud.


If you have any questions about studying at UWA, we’re here to help. Submit an enquiry through askUWA, call us on 131 UWA (131 892) or book an appointment.

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