Prepping for your exams

Prepping for your exams

You have studied hard and now it is time for your hard work to be assessed. Some students naturally excel at sitting exams but for most of us it can be nerve-wracking…

…but wait! Don’t jump on a plane back home because you’re feeling nervous! This is your time to shine and demonstrate all the hard work you have done. 

10 tips to prepare for your English exam

Here are our top ten recommendations to ensure you are properly prepped to minimise stress and maximise success at assessment time:

  1. When it comes to revising, focus not only on your core language skills but also on the topics you have been studying. Your listening and reading texts will be on a topic covered in your text book, as is your writing assessment. Reviewing the vocabulary and main themes of your core topics will mean you arrive at your exam with background knowledge.
  2. Think about how you have been doing in your coursework and chat with your teacher about what skills you need to focus on. If you have identified a weakness and want guidance, support and extra practice, make an appointment with your Study Success Specialist on L3. We are here to help and the earlier contact with us, the more we can assist you!
  3. Revision needs to be regular and repetitious. Time management is essential so don’t procrastinate: review what you have done at the end of each week, making regular entries in a reflective journal and a vocabulary notebook. The night before your test, it is actually far more important to get rest, nutrition and a decent night’s sleep, rather than cramming all night long!
  4. Familiarise yourself with the format and requirements of your exams to reduce any fear of the unknown. You should refer to Canvas or ask your teacher and find out how long the test is, how many questions there are and what types of questions are included. If you have the opportunity of doing a practice test, don’t miss out, and make sure you do it under exam conditions if possible.
  5. Make sure you know where and when your exam is and how you are getting there so that you’ll arrive in plenty of time, and with everything you need. This is especially true if you’re using public transport.
  6. Read the instructions carefully and listen to all information provided by the examiner/invigilator. In your mind, you can break the exam down into manageable chunks and time periods. This strategy can help you to cope if you are having difficulty getting started.
  7. If it is a Reading Exam, remember that you can choose what order you read the articles and answer the questions. Therefore, consider giving yourself a confidence boost by starting with a section you find easier.
  8. Remember that there is a time limit. If you’re stuck on a specific question, move on to the next one. However, remember to come back to it and avoid leaving any unanswered questions at the end. If you can’t find the answer, use your topic knowledge to make an informed guess.
  9. In a Writing Assessment, make sure you don’t keep furiously writing until the examiner has to pry the pen out your hand. Keep an eye on the time and set aside the last 10 minutes for proofreading your work, looking for common errors.
  10. Most importantly, be sure to wear your lucky socks and plan something nice for after the exam

Learn more about studying with RMIT Training and RMIT University

Want to learn more about the pathways programs available? RMIT Training offers Academic English or Foundation Studies pathway programs.

18 July 2021


  • Learn English
  • Study English
  • Study
  • Exams
  • Academic
  • Writing
  • Language

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RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.