How to Prepare for Exams

Examinations are normally conducted to measure a student’s understanding of class material. Taking an exam can be a stressful event for any student. When it comes to taking an exam, there is no real substitute for preparation. Preparation for exams should begin earlier than the day of the examination. You cannot cram an entire unit of infrastructure with an all-nighter. Preparing for an exam can be stressful and time consuming but it does not have to be. By doing a few simple things ahead of time, you can ensure that you are confident and ready for anything the test throws at you.

You must know that one way to be sure you are fully prepared is to study hard and know your subject. Attending lectures every day or completing assignments on a regular basis is very important when it comes to retaining information. Thus, you must study regularly. Don’t wait until the last minute to cram for the test. Instead of cramming, prepare for an exam by taking time to periodically review what you have already studied.

You must begin making yourself a calendar; outlining a daily schedule of topics for review. Cover a small amount of material for each lecture each day. Every time you complete a topic, give yourself a mini review.

 Preparation for Exam: Before, During and After

  1. Try to understand how the exam content is organised. Is the test multiple choice, true or false and or essay style? Just knowing how the questions are organised will help you prepare for an exam. Find out also how the exams are scored.
  2. In order to be in the best shape for the exams, make sure that you eat and sleep well. Eating properly can have an amazing impact on your body and mind. A good night’s sleep will affect you similarly. Make sure you take time to sleep well the night before an exam. And when you wake up, eat a healthy and nutritious breakfast.
  3. Just before the exam, it’s important to stay calm. The more agitated you are, the worse you will perform. If you feel nervous, close your eyes and take a deep breath. It is suggested that you take four deep breaths, continue to breath slowly and deeply until you feel calm.
  4. A good advice is not to rush during the exam time. Work through the exams slowly and read all the questions before answering them. During the examination, the following steps might be important:
  • First of all, read the question paper quickly.
  • Select the questions you will answer.
  • Decide the order in which the answers are to be attempted.
  1. Plan how you will answer the questions. In selecting the questions or its part, you are the best judge. Underline key words in the question and understand them well. Always remember that, a serious attempt at a question is more valuable than a casual attempt at two.
  2. You must answer the questions you are most confident to answer correctly. It will reveal your best to the examiner. This will also give you more time to answer more difficult questions.
  3. You must also relax post exams. Don’t let the panic overwhelm you. Even if you have failed the examination, worrying will not change your marks.
  4. It might however affect your mind set for your next paper. Make sure you are prepared for the rest of the papers and stay focused on the next one. Odds are that you didn’t do as badly as you thought.
  5. In the event of having difficulties in studying and preparing for exams, seek help at the Counselling Centre. It is hoped that with adequate preparation, fear and anxiety will go away and one can perform at his or her maximum. With prayer and a belief that one can excel, one can enter the exam room confidently.

Wish you all the best.


Dr. Bernard Kissi-Abrokwah
Head, Counselling Center
[email protected]
+233 20 824 8314

Visit the Counselling Centre behind Faculty of Earth and Environmental Sciences for assistance.

Thank You.