Exams are a necessary aspect of education in Britain today, but tackling them doesn’t have to be difficult.

From older learners studying at home to 20-something university students, getting the grades you need is about discipline and preparedness, taking the approach that will allow you to maintain the healthiest mindset and achieve your goals.

Here are four tips that should help you pass your exams, whether they’re cropping up mid-module or rounding off a year of study:

Get organised

Most adults faced enough exams throughout their senior school years to understand the importance of staying organised.

Start by having the right stationery, such as by getting yourself some highlighters to help in your note taking, and make sure that you have enough biro pens so that, when one runs out, you’re not casting around helplessly and wasting time looking for a replacement.

Furthermore, most good stationery outlets will stock specialised notepads that allow you to compartmentalise the different areas of the subject that you’re studying.

Additionally, make sure that you have a quiet, orderly space in which to revise. Whether it’s the spare room of your house or a desk in the library, keep your workspace free of trash and make sure that your papers are kept in the right place.

Know when to stop

Even if it feels like there aren’t enough hours remaining to accommodate the mountain of studying left to climb, giving yourself regular breaks is essential. For older learners, this could be anything from downtime with the partner or kids, to taking the dog for a walk or reading a newspaper. Any task that provides an effective distraction that isn’t mentally demanding will help.

Revise outside of revision hours

While giving yourself enough rest is essential, you’d be surprised at how much time you spend neither resting nor revising. Minutes spent walking to work or cooking, for instance, could be used for some light, passive revision.

Try using recording equipment – many smartphones come with dictation tools as standard, and various apps are available – to capture your own voice reading your notes aloud. Then, while carrying out some other task, you can absorb the key points of the subject that you’re trying to learn. This is especially helpful for those who need to remember lengthy quotes.

The right pen on the day

While those tackling multiple choice papers, such as the Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice, or CeMAP, don’t have to worry about writing lengthy essay questions, those who do face the prospect of painful hand cramps ruining their efforts.

However, the solution is simple; instead of a ballpoint, use a drawing pen. While biros are fine when you’re revising, the fact that they require pressure to make a mark on the paper can leave you with the unwanted distraction of a sore hand during long bouts of scribbling. Using a pen made for drawing will alleviate this issue, as a fine felt-style tip doesn’t need to be pressed onto the paper.

In exams, the most important point to remember is this: stay calm. Try not to stress or rush into any tasks without thinking them through. Allowing yourself to be prepared will pay off in the end.

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