Preparing for Examinations | Western Cape Government

Preparing for Examinations

(Western Cape Government)
Examinations not only determine if you'll proceed to your next level of studies, they also have a big impact on your future. It is important that you are fully prepared a few months before the examination date.
School learners

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) has compiled tips and suggestions to help you prepare for your examinations.

Preparation is Key

  • Draw up a special study schedule.
  • Study in 50-minute blocks, with 10-minute breaks - this works well.
  • Select fixed study-times for every day, including a time slot over weekends.
  • Use the school holidays wisely.
  • Study for at least three hours a day during holidays.
  • Practice study skills and strategies regularly to ensure they become study habits.
  • Break up topics into manageable sections.

Design a Plan

  • Decide when you work best, for instance, early morning, afternoons, evenings.
  • Pick a place where you are most productive at - at home, at the library or at school?
  • Select a study area where you can work undisturbed. Set up a place to study, with a table, chair, uncluttered work space and good lighting.
  • Do you work well with others? Arrange with a friend to be your study mate.
  • How do you best remember information? Seeing, hearing or through action? People have different preferred learning styles, it is best to use them all.
  • Make your studying active by using study methods, writing, drawing, summarizing, chanting or teaching your study buddy.
  • Concentrate fully and try not to allow your mind to wander. This improves with practice.
  • Avoid last-minute cramming.

On Exam Day

  • Arrive early and ready to begin.
  • Read and understand the exam instructions.
  • Preview the question paper and allocate your writing time appropriately.
  • Tackle each question systematically.
  • Write down something for every question.
  • Set out your answers clearly.
  • If you feel you are unable to answer a question, don't panic and allow anxiety to affect how you answer the rest of the paper.

For further information and advice on preparing for exams, you can download the Tips for Success 2012 booklet.

The content on this page was last updated on 27 August 2014