Exams are an assessment, usually at the end of a semester, where you are set a series of questions or a task to answer under timed conditions. Although most degrees now have a wider range of assessments and coursework, exams are still a common form of assessment in UK Higher Education. Everyone can improve their exam performance by being prepared and by practising. 

Scroll down for our recommended strategies and resources. 

Get informed

Make sure you have all the key information you need, such as when, where, what style of questions, and how long your exams are. Also check on Moodle and in your module guides for learning outcomes and guidance on what will be included in the exams. See the exams webpage for more vital information on the exam process:

Be prepared

Having a routine and knowing what you need to do in advance will minimise the stress on exam day. See these guides to help you put good strategies in place:


Cramming loads of knowledge isn’t useful if you aren’t used to applying it under the conditions you’ll have in the exam. Practice your timing, planning, and writing by hand (if you usually type) as a regular part of your revision. It will also reduce the fear of the unknown. Doing practice questions is particularly important for exams that involve mathematical calculations. Practising your maths helps you get familiar with applying the right methods and means you’re less likely to make mistakes. Change the numerical values in your example questions and do them again as additional practice. Find past papers to practice with from the Brookes past paper archive (log in using your username and password) and also see our page on revision for more strategies: 

Exam anxiety

Almost everyone feels some anxiety during the exam period. You are not alone, and there are ways to help ease the stress so you can perform at your best. See this reassuring guide from the Brookes Counselling team:

Exam room strategies

Preparing a routine and some simple strategies for tackling the exam will help you feel calm and get you off to a good start. See this guide on what to do in the exam room:

Different types of exam

Different types of exam questions need a different approach. Adapt how you plan your time and the order you approach questions to suit the kind of exam you’re doing. Look at this guide on strategies for different styles of exam, including multiple choice, oral exams, and open book exams:

Further resources

If you would like to read more about effective revision and exam strategies, Brookes Library has compiled this comprehensive resource and book list: