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Exam Resit Preparation - Give Yourself a Head Start

Originally Published 06 August 2004

If your name didn’t make it onto the pass boards this summer, chances are you have a little extra coursework or an exam or two to sit before returning for study for next year. As a student here, you are almost certainly a bit of a bright spark who has let themselves down with revision planning and practise, rather than someone who is unable to get through the exams through lack of ability. You are not alone when faced with resitting assessments; the University wants everyone to pass, and has put together some sources of advice (and solace) to get you through to the next academic year.

The consensus from various sources is plan, plan, plan. You can get a head start on your revision strategy by downloading your personalised resit exam timetable from My.Insite. In addition, going over some past papers is a sure way to beat any exam room surprises.

As well as getting to know the format of your exam, it helps to recognise what kind of reviser (or revisionist) you are; identifying your learning style can cut down on wasted hours staring blankly at the same books over and over. Find out if you are an Activist, Reflector, Theorist, or Pragmatist by reading Get Out of Your Box.

Revision isn't all about study and stress; staying relaxed helps you stay in good condition – nervous wrecks don’t pass exams! If you come across some Nietzche/Game Theory/Joyce that may as well be written in Dutch (unless, of course, you’re studying Dutch), make a point of checking your breathing to avoid succumbing to stress, and take regular breaks to remind yourself of the outside world. It is also useful to remember the limits of solo revision, so as not to overload yourself with information too close to zero hour; Professor Mark Harrison, of the Economics department, writes on how poorly thought out revision can simply reinforce mistakes. Don’t forget to liaise with your tutors, who can help set you on the right track.

When it comes to the big day(s), a little decorum can go a long way. Following Miss Information’s guide to exam hall equitette can avoid any last minute tension brought on by contact with those revison boasters/deniers.

Lastly, Good Luck!

If you may have any circumstances that may affect your resit assessments, get in touch with your relevant departmental contact as soon as possible. Further help can be found at