Help and Advice

Information, advice and representation on university procedures including appeals, cheating and resits.

Preparation and Nerves

There are lots of tips on preparing for exams and coping with exam stress out there. We have collated some below. For more, see the Taught Student Guide's Self-help Guide to Studying, or the Skills@Leeds page on Exams.

  • Make a clear revision plan well in advance and stick to it. If you are well prepared you will feel much calmer when exam time comes around.
  • Take lots of breaks when you are revising, have plenty of sleep, do some exercise, limit caffeine intake at night time and eat plenty of light, nourishing food. This will help your energy levels and concentration.
  • When you get into the exam try not to panic. Take a few minutes to compose yourself, read the questions a few times and then allocate time to each. Making short notes on questions at the beginning may help jog your memory and reassure you. If you do not think that you can do a question put it out of your mind and tackle it last.
  • After leaving an exam do not think any more about it. Analysing answers with your friends and worrying about how you did will increase stress and may affect your performance in other exams.
  • Keep things in perspective. Doing badly in an exam can be upsetting but it is important not to put too much pressure on yourself. Stressing and worrying uses up energy meaning that you will not be able to work as effectively.

If you experience problems before the exam

If exam stress is getting too much for you and you feel like you can't cope, talk to somebody about it. The University of Leeds Student Counselling Centre offers a drop-in service, self-help clinic and appointments for individual counselling. You could also speak to your GP.

If things in your personal life are affecting your exam performance make your department aware of this as they may be able to take them into account when marking your exams. There is more information on our Mitigating Circumstances page.

During the exam

The Exams and Assessments section of the Taught Student Guide has information on all aspects of exams, including what to do if you are ill and what you are and are not allowed to do in exams. If you would like further information, please contact the Student Advice Centre.

We make every effort to ensure information on these pages is accurate and up to date, however policies, procedures and regulations are subject to change. We therefore cannot accept responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience suffered as a result of using our pages. Read the full disclaimer.

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