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Feature: Top Five Tips for Exam Success

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Exams can make you feel nervous no matter how much preparation you've done. It is important not to stress yourself out too much, though, so here are five top tips from St Mary’s University, Twickenham: 1. Sleep and Eat Well on your Exam Day The nerves might be kicking in, but make sure that you give yourself enough time to sleep well the day before your exam – trying to take an assessment while tired will be counter productive. Likewise, you should eat well on the morning of your exam – stick to high-protein foods and slow-release carbohydrates, such as porridge or eggs, to boost your mental alertness and increase your energy levels. 2. Analyse the Question Carefully Your first task is to establish exactly what the question is asking for. What approach do you need to take? What is the problem and what are the keywords within the question? You may have prepared model answers in advance, but these won’t be useful if they don’t address the question properly. 3. Plan your Answer You may have a good idea already about how to answer the question, but it is always useful to plan your answer before you begin. This will ensure that no key facts are forgotten about after you start writing your answer, and will give your answer a structure that makes sense and reads well. 4. Support your Points with Evidence The key to a good exam question is supporting any claims you make, or any personal opinions you have, with evidence. These can take the form of historical events, well-known schools of thought about the topic in question, or arguments from prominent scholars in the field. 5. Proofread your work Leave time at the end of the exam to read through your answers. While doing this, ask yourself whether your answer is addressing the question, check that it reads coherently, and that your spelling and grammar are correct. Don't forget there are lots of extra resources available to students on SIMMSpace and St Mary's Learning Advisors  are also able to provide assessment support and advice.  
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