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Exams and Revision

Exams often come at the end of a module, but the process of working towards them starts much earlier.

Girl studying in the libraryAs you are making notes think about whether you will need to use these for revision. You might find it helpful to regularly look back at your notes and consolidate your learning as you go along.

The exam period can be a stressful time but it can help to be well prepared. A good place to start is by finding out everything that you can about the exam. The answers to these questions can help you plan your revision.

You need to know:

  • how long it is
  • where and when the exam is being held
  • what type of questions will you be asked
  • how many questions are there going to be and how many you are required to answer
  • if it is an open book exam (where you can take specific material in the exam)
  • if it is an online exam or a written exam

Your module leader will have provided much of this information in class or in your module handbook.

There are many different revision strategies. You might find that some strategies work better for different topics or types of exams. If one thing isn't working very well, try a different approach.

You are unlikely to revise effectively without regular breaks and time away from work. Try getting some fresh air, proper food or exercise to give your brain a break.

It is normal to be nervous about exams. After each exam it can be good to take a short break rather than focussing on what just happened. Either move on to your next exam or, if it is your last one, take some time to celebrate and relax.

Online resources

Student support

The Writing Development Centre

The Writing Development Centre tutors can help you:

  • evaluate your approach to exam preparation and identity effective revision strategies for you
  • develop notetaking techniques throughout the term to help you revise for exams
  • identify exam techniques you might find effective
  • plan your revision timetable

Go to the Writing Development Centre page.

The Specialist Learning Team

Students workingThe team can help students who have a specific learning difficulty with:

  • making and using notes for revision
  • technologies to support revision
  • exam techniques
  • exam adjustments where necessary

Go to the Specialist Learning page.

Students' Union

NUSU run a Stressed Out Students (SOS) campaign every year with advice on surviving exams and activities to give yourself a break from revision. Check out what is coming up on the ASK calendar.  

The Chaplaincy

The University Chaplains can support you during exam time by providing:

  • a friendly, listening ear
  • mindfulness and meditation

Go to the Chaplaincy page.

Mental Health and Counselling

The team support students with any underlying issues which may be affecting their wellbeing and academic life, such as stress, anxiety or other mental health difficulties.

The Mental Health Advisers can arrange exam adjustments for students with medical evidence of a long-term mental health condition.

Go to the Mental Health and Counselling page.