Top 10 Tips for Preparing for Exam Week

Top 10 Tips for Preparing for Exam Week

With the joy of the approaching end of the school year comes the often dreaded exam week. Test taking is rarely an enjoyable experience, but it can be all the more daunting when your exam covers everything you’ve learned over the past semester. 

With the help of Merion Mercy Learning Specialist Mrs. Alison Kelly, we’ve created this list of the top 10 tips for preparing for exam week. 


  1. Organize study materials: Gather all necessary textbooks, slideshows, notes, and resources needed for each subject. Whether this means having everything in a Google Docs or printing everything out and putting it all into one folder, that’s up to you!

  2. Create a study schedule: Make a calendar with all your assessments, extracurricular activities, and other events. Then, add in all the days and times you’re going to study for each specific subject. Mrs. Kelly says, “Remember that you’re not making a calendar just for fun, stick with the study schedule you made!”

  3. Work in small groups or with a study partner: Practice explaining the topics to each other. Bounce ideas off of other people and help others understand the material you understand and vice versa. “Make sure you have a specific plan in place to avoid getting off-topic while in the study groups to gain the maximum benefit of working with other people,” advises Mrs. Kelly. 

  4. Break down the syllabus: Divide the material into smaller, manageable sections to study each day, ensuring coverage of all important topics.

  5. Review class notes by skimming: Go through lecture notes, highlighting key concepts, formulas, and definitions. Summarize the main points for quick reference.

  6. Practice with past papers: Use Quizlet, notecards/flashcards, and old tests and quizzes to review and get a basic understanding. 

  7. Seek clarification: If there are any doubts or unclear topics, reach out to teachers, classmates, or online resources for clarification.

  8. Use active learning techniques: Engage in active learning methods like summarizing information in your own words, creating flashcards, or teaching concepts to someone else. This helps reinforce understanding and retention.

  9. Take breaks and rest: Include short breaks during study sessions to relax and recharge. Avoid cramming for long hours without breaks, as it can lead to fatigue and decreased productivity.

  10. Minimize electronics: According to Mrs. Kelly, “This doesn’t mean don’t use Quizlet or fun review games, it mostly means your phone or anything that gives you notifications to prompt you to turn on the phone and get lost in an Instagram wormhole.” Minimizing electronics also means trying not to watch TV before bed or be on your phone right before going to sleep. "This can mess up your body’s ability to have a good night’s sleep, and, the brain must get the appropriate amount of rest to effectively activate memory and recall.” 

Of course, it should go without saying that it’s essential to practice self-care during this stressful time. In addition to prioritizing sleep, exercise, and a balanced diet, find time to engage in activities you enjoy, such as hobbies, listening to music, or spending time with friends. Taking care of your mental and emotional well-being is crucial for effective studying.

We wish you the best during exam week!