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5 Great Tips for Exam Preparation

| 2 comments| by Sarah Frei Sarah Frei

We are now into another term at our Swiss boarding school and this means that students are preparing for all of the examinations ahead of them. At Brillantmont International School, our students can choose to take A levels, the SATs, IGCSE, IELTS and/or European language exams. On top of this, just like every school around the world, we have mid-term exams coming up soon. Each and every one of these takes a lot of preparation, guidance, and support to successfully complete.

Mr. Mc Clean set out to give us his top five study tips to ensure the best success in these exams. Consider these key points and try to implement them early on - do not wait until the weekend before an exam.

1. Set realistic goals

Often students think they can study for twelve hours on a Sunday before an exam and be efficient and successful that way. Or sometimes they get up really early the morning of an exam or stay up very late the night before to cram. However, if this is you you will realise that what often happens is that you over-estimate what you can do in that amount of time. You assume this will be enough or will give you that extra boost. In fact, if you want to be successful you must start early, plan ahead, and make sure you get a number of study sessions in before exams arrive. 


2. Allow yourself to sleep

Overloading your short-term memory and depriving yourself of sleep is a bad combination. As a student, it is essential to keep yourself healthy and focused and the only way to do that is to get enough rest. Be sure to have a consistent as possible sleep schedule so that you can be fresh and ready for every new study session.

3. Have confidence in what you do know

It is important to realise that before you even start revision and review for exams, you already know some of the material. Students are often surprised by how much they do know from class. Sit down and go over what you know so that you know what to focus on in your revisions. This is also a good confidence booster before you sit down for the hard work ahead. 

4. Actively revise and prepare

Be focused, engaged, and active when you are doing exam review. This will ensure the most efficient retention of information. Make physical revision notes and flash-cards and be sure to test yourself as you go along. Do not spend all of your revision time reading. Mix it up to keep yourself engaged.

5. Focus on content not subjects

For example, instead of revising geography, focus specifically on unit one or unit two and break the content into chunks. When you break it down like this it is also easier to realise what you know and what areas you need to work on. It also makes the studying process seem more manageable.


Exam preparation time can be stressful. If you are a parent, encourage your student to study hard but also keep a balanced schedule that includes good sleep and time to breathe and connect with friends. If you are a student, plan ahead for these exams and with the help of the staff and teachers at Brillantmont, you will be able to perform at your best.


For more tips on preparing for exams you may find this article interesting:


If you would like to learn more about the Brillantmont International School boarding programme, contact us. We are always happy to speak with you about your student and answer any questions that may arise.

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