The 30 best exam tips

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To succeed in 2021 .. Attention exam candidates! We have collected and selected the best exam tips to help you pass the final exams! Any tip that increases the chance of success or simply facilitates learning is a welcome bonus. With the following tips & tricks you're assured of a good general preparation. These are the tips every exam candidate should read.

If you're going to take an exam this year, read these tips and tricks first. The best exam tips and advice in a row.

Exam tips for preparing for the exam

Exam tip #1: Practice old exams

Taking an exam is more than memorizing facts. It's mainly about teaching yourself skills to be able to arrive at certain insights with the exam material. By taking old exams, you're better prepared for the upcoming final exam. In this way you become familiar with the level of the questions and the type of questions that are asked. Roadmap:

  • Practice for a few hours at a time. This allows you to get used to taking the exam for 3 hours. After all, you don't want to find out for the first time on the real exam how long 3 hours of exam actually is.
  • Make at least 2 old exams of each subject. By taking several old exams of a subject, you'll see a common thread and you'll know which subjects have a good chance of coming back on the exam. Then look carefully at the answer model and check your answers.
  • Learn from your mistakes. Ask your teacher to explain things you don't understand. Then make sure that you train even more on the subjects where you didn't score so well. Also look at the guidelines for each question on the answer sheet. This will give you a better understanding of how teachers will assess your answer and you can adapt accordingly.

Exam Tip #2: Use Videos

The exam material of many subjects is also explained in videos on YouTube. Some teachers spend a lot of time making videos to explain the material to you. The combination of image and sound often helps you understand the material better. Video sticks better than dry text and sometimes offers a slightly different perspective. For example, a channel we recommend is Digistudies. You can also search by term or chapter on YouTube. Take advantage of this!

Exam tip #3: Learn the exam material theme by theme

It makes no sense to stamp all the exam material into your head at once. Therefore, cut the exam material into bite-sized chunks and learn each theme separately. By always focusing on one part, you keep the peace for yourself and the material stays better in your head. Focus mainly on the parts that you don't yet master. In our summaries we have already divided the exam material into themes for you. You can also make a summary for yourself per theme.

Exam tip #4: Combine different resources to help you pass

Combine different resources to learn the exam material. Use your book or the Exam Overview summary. Also make use of videos on YouTube and explanations on the internet. Ask your teacher to briefly explain the material again and also practice old exams. Perhaps exam training can also help you. Google the most important concepts of each subject or check Wikipedia. Here you'll find explanations that might suit you better. Textbooks are often boring or unclearly explained. All means are sacred to make you pass the final exam. By combining all means you increase the chance of passing the final exam!

Exam tip #5: Start learning on time

A pitfall for many exam candidates is lack of time. Therefore, start on time with going through the exam material. Learn the material step by step. Make a plan with all the topics you need to learn and indicate when you'll go through the material. If you start on time, you'll have enough time for all exam subjects. Then you only have to go through a summary in the last days before the exam.

Exam tip #6: Explain the exam material to someone else

Studying alone can sometimes feel boring and lonely. This tip makes learning fun! Occasionally meet up with a classmate and explain the exam material to the other person. You often understand for yourself how something works, but it's still a challenge to explain this to someone else and by explaining it to someone else, you in fact also practice explaining the exam material to your exercise sheet. By explaining the exam material to someone else, you often look at the material again and in a different way. With this active form of practice you'll discover things that you had not noticed before.

Exam tip #7: Consider extra help for difficult subjects

Sometimes major measures are required to pass the exam. If you really don't master that one subject, you can still consider taking tutoring, taking exam training or using summaries. There are many parties that offer tutoring, from two-day courses just before the exam., to tutoring students in the evenings. Exam training courses aren't cheap (often between €200 and €300), but they're effective in increasing your knowledge considerably in a short time. A summary is often a cheaper tool.

Exam tip #8: Make sure you've enough relaxation

You can't continuously learn all day long. It's important to take a break every now and then and do something completely different. Take a walk outside for some fresh air or go crazy. After relaxation you'll also be able to absorb new material more easily. Learn for a maximum of one hour each time and then take a short break of, for example, fifteen minutes.

Exam tip #9: Learn in an environment that suits you best

New exam material is best learned in a quiet environment. Provide few distractions. For example, put your mobile phone away and make sure that no one can disturb you. Also make sure that the desk where you study is clean and tidy. If not, you may be distracted. So provide an environment where you can really focus on the exam material.

Exam tip #10: Make a plan

The most important exams are all crammed into two weeks. It's not wise to study for the last exam until after the penultimate exam has finished. You don't learn an exam two days before you've to start the final exam. Whoever throws it at that will probably go crazy from the stress and nerves. Instead, try to plan ahead. How do you do that?

  • Discuss with your teachers which parts each exam consists of and break the material into manageable chunks that you can learn in one-hour sessions.
  • Then write down somewhere which subjects you want to learn and when.
  • Also take breaks into account.

In this way it becomes clear how much time you need to learn all the material. You can also indicate for yourself how well you think you master each subject. In this way, in the run-up to the exam, you can specially practice those parts where you score less well.

Tips just before the exam

Tip #11: Be rested

There's no point in preparing late the night before. Rather make sure that you can start your exam sharply without stress and fatigue. Get a good night's sleep and plenty of sleep in the period before and during the final exam. In your sleep, the material you've learned during the day is processed.

Tip #12: Make sure you know what you can bring to the exam

It's important to know what you can bring to which exam. For example, you're allowed to use a graphing calculator on some exams and not on other exams. So check in advance what you can take with you to the final exam.

Tip #13: Trust your own skills

Trust your own skills. After all, you've practiced a lot to get a good grade for the exam. The day before the exam, do at most a few easy assignments. This will give you confidence for the exam. Make sure you've practiced the difficult exercises in advance.

Exam tips during the final exam

Tip #14: Always give an answer

Always answer. An empty answer is always wrong. If you don't know something, take a guess. Also for the open questions. Writing down a single formula can sometimes earn you points. Not writing anything always yields 0 points. If you're short on time and still miss a number of questions, always fill in a multiple choice answer. In any case, something has been entered.

Tip #15: Don't linger too long on one difficult question

If you don't understand a question, skip to the next question. Don't waste too much time on a question you don't understand.

Tip #16: Make use of the time

Don't be fooled by classmates who leave the room early. Take the time you need yourself. Check all your answers if you've time.

Tip #17: Keep calm

Exams are invented by people, and some people come up with weird things. If you come across a strange question on the final exam, keep calm and think logically.

Tip #18: Never give more examples or reasons than are asked

If you're asked for 3 reasons, only the first 3 answers will be approved. Don't give more answers than necessary. If you're asked for 3 reasons and you know 5 of them, first write down the answers that you know for sure.

Tip #19: First look through the exam globally

By first browsing through the exam you know what is being asked and how many questions there are. Start with the problems you understand first. If there is an exercise you don't understand, skip it and come back to it later.

Tip #20: Look at the number of points you can earn with the question

The number of points you can earn with a question gives you an indication of how extensive your answer should be.

Tip #21: Check afterwards whether you really answered the question

Sometimes your answer may be substantive, but you've not answered the question. Always check that your answer covers the question. If you need to calculate something, make sure to put the unit next to the answer. Also make sure to write down the entire calculation. Failure to do so may cost you points.

Tip #22: Think about what information you need to answer the question

Sometimes a lot of information is given before a particular question is asked. However, this context isn't always directly relevant to the question and may mislead you. Always consider in advance what information you really need to answer the question.

Tip #23: Make sure you're on time

Although it's nice to stay in bed, it's important that you arrive well in time for the final exam. The added stress of being late isn't pleasant.

Tip #24: Make sure your answers are legible and that you turn in everything

You are an exam student and not a general practitioner. Make sure the teachers who will review your exam can read your answers. If they can't read your answer, it will be counted as wrong. In addition to the answer sheet, make sure you also submit any attachments or worksheets. Don't forget to write your name on the answer sheet.

Tips after the final exam

Tip #25: Check your answers

You can check your answers immediately after the exam. This way you can see approximately how many points you've earned and you can roughly (depending on the standards of course) already see whether you've passed the exam.

Tip #26: Complaints? Report them to the LAKS

If you've complaints about the final exam or something that happened in your school while the final exam was taken, you can report these complaints to the LAKS. Complaints can be submitted by telephone, but also through the website. The LAKS will bundle, filter and feed back these complaints to the Examination Board. If the LAKS receives many complaints about a certain question, they can insist on the deletion of that question or a more flexible standard.

Food and drink

Tip #27: Eat healthy and avoid junk food

It's important that you make the exam fit and vital. A good diet helps with this. Make sure you get enough vitamins and minerals by eating enough fruits and vegetables. Bananas contain dopamine, which improves your ability to concentrate. Bananas also help against the nerves. In addition, fish has many good substances. Junk food makes you feel good while eating and drinking, but after that you get a dip. Your brain is less active during this dip and is therefore more difficult to absorb new things. So be sure to avoid junk food on high school days. The same goes for foods with a lot of sugar, such as candy.

Tip #28: Be careful with energy drinks

Energy drinks give you a temporary energy boost, but can also make you unable to sleep. Some people get headaches or get restless from energy drinks, while others say it helps them learn. Be aware of this and think carefully about whether you learn better with energy drinks.

Tip #29: Eat chewing gum

Some studies indicate that chewing gum has a stimulating effect on the brain. This way you can concentrate better and therefore perform better.

Tip #30: Drink tea while learning

Drinking tea helps you relax. This way you can better absorb exam material. Just don't drink too much tea before the exam, because then you've to go to the toilet all the time.

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