Best Exam Preparation Tips And Tricks

Best Exam Preparation Tips And Tricks

As a student, the main reason you are in school is to pass exams and graduate(and of course get a good job). While some might sail through the rough seas of examinations in relative comfort and convenience, for some, sinking ships and watery eyes are the by-product of their adventure with the exam hall. At times, this has nothing to do with the overall intelligence of the student. I have seen a lot of incredibly smart students fail exams because they seem to never realize the best examination preparation tricks and tips involved in preparing for an exam.

What are the Best Examination Tricks and Tips?

Active Recall

Active recall is a principle of efficient learning which claims the need to actively stimulate memory during learning process. It is the quickest, most efficient way to study written materials. Instead of  reading and trying to memorize instantly,  you get to ask yourself questions and try to answer. Active recall helps you retain more knowledge by stimulating your brain to find answers to whatever question you ask, which would in turn go a long way in helping you pass exams excellently.

Reading Right (not just hard!)

This is one of the most important trick in the book. It is funny that most average students I know generally read harder than the best ones. Highly successful students read the right books hard, average/poor students read the wrong books harder. Past questions are also essential in terms of reading right. Past questions on written materials can also help stimulate your memory for easier understanding and comprehension of what you’ve read.  Past questions help you find your weak spots which in turn makes you more informed about the said topic. Get your past questions for MBBS Preclinical exam and Nursing Council Examination Past Questions if you are preparing for the exam in other to help you adequately prepare for the exam. Reading right is perhaps the most crucial tip in preparing for examinations.

Take Regular Breaks

“I read for 5 hours straight”, feels good to say doesn’t it? If only our brains feel the same. Reading for 5 hours straight without taking a break is not one of the most effective study habits a student can cultivate. I personally recommend the 45/15 min rule. Study for 45 minutes with full attention and actively make notes after which you recreate/have fun for 15 minutes. Keep alternating till you accomplish your study goal. The goal is not how much you’ve read but being able to retain what you’ve read.

Find Out What Works For You

I have friends who can read a whole text book in a night and I have friends who can read a topic for two weeks. Understanding what works for you and how to use that to your advantage is essential in passing exams. Do you read better with background music?( I don’t but you might) do you prefer to first scan the pages and then read it again later? Do you prefer jotters? Do you do all of the above? Finding what works for you can be a bit tricky since there are general rules of reading you must adhere to (mobile data off, don’t hate your lecturers, buy materials, buy past questions e.t.c). Still, finding out what works for you is important. Do you read better in the morning? Do you snack while reading? Find out what works for you and you’ll be glad you did.

Start Reading Early

This should have probably been the first, but I thought active recall would keep you more glued to this article. The timeless advice of starting early is gold but we all seem to find a way of not following it. If you start reading a week to the exam, you are setting yourself up for failure. Passing exams is an art, and you as the artist should cultivate the talent of reading early.

Have A Study Group

A group of 3 (maximum of 5) excellent students for you to rub minds together with, would go a long way in helping you prepare adequately for any examination. Do not start an argument about who should have won the Champions League or what makes the world go round( except it’s relating to what you’re reading on, of course). Ask questions, answer questions, tell them what you think they don’t know, let them also do the same. Rubbing minds together with a like minded individual will definitely help you know more about the said discussion. It is also easier to forget what you’ve said than it is to forget what someone told you. So, go get a study group if you don’t have one already.

Talk With People Who Have Written The Exams

You should always, always talk with people who have written the exams( the ones who pass obviously). Ask them about the exam, tell them you fears, ask for tips from them. They’ll be eager to tell you and you will be learning a thing or two. So drop the timidity and go meet a senior, you may be surprised at what you might learn.

Go With Confidence

Go into the exam hall with confidence. I can’t say this enough, confidence is so very important. It is normal to get exmaination jitters and all. It is okay to at first be nervous but still your confidence should shine through. Go in with confidence(that comes from you having read more than enough) and you will come out smiling.


There are some exam preparation tips and tricks I have left out ( attending lectures, taking the necessary materials to the exam hall, praying e.t.c) because I believe they go without question.  While these are the main exam preparation tips and tricks, there are so many more. This eight tips will get you passing your exams in flying colors in no time.

Exam Preparation Tips and Tricks

Writer: Yakubu Fame
Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma, Nigeria

Fame Yakubu is a professional at sparking emotions with words. A word-artist who paints pictures with the tip of his pen.Though young, he thinks and writes like one with enough experience to keep you forever glued to his write-ups. A  Law student from Ondo State, Nigeria with a mind as boundless as his words.

This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. Sky

    Wow, a very nice write up… I love the phrase “the best students read the right books hard while the the poor/average students read the wrong books harder.” 👍

  2. Kambella

    The tips are great and would really help…….. Thank you so much

    But I have a problem,,,, I’m not a group thing person, it doesn’t work for me.

    1. Fame

      “The Finding Out What Works For You” rule trumps the “Have A Study Group” Rule…if the group thing doesn’t work for you…find what does, and maximize it to its highest potential. Hope this helped?

  3. Kingrolly

    Thanks for the tip
    Nice write up👍

  4. estherikede

    I don’t really understand active recall 🙃…please could someone shed more light

    1. Fame

      Active recall is the ability to habitually train your brain to retain and not lose what you’ve read, by asking yourself questions on the topic/material you’ve read. Active recall simply means recalling what you’ve read by asking yourself questions. Was this helpful?

  5. Bethne

    Hey Fame. Your bio below the article did it for me. “…mind as boundless as his words.” Oh yeah! Tell me about it. 😁

    And of course, such great tips there!

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