Studying for exams can be a stressful period and if not done correctly can lead to less than satisfactory results. The good news is that with self-discipline, diligence and a good plan, one can be well-prepared for the big day. Having a plan does not guarantee success, but it will ensure you put your best foot forward.

It is most important to start planning early. Ideally, at least six months before exam time sit down and make a detailed plan. If needing to fit studying into an existing schedule, decide how many hours a day or week one can dedicate to study. It is better to over-budget at this point as one can always taper back later in the process, as it is more difficult to find additional hours as the time nears.

Lay out the curriculum you need to know and break it down into smaller components. As you lay out the study schedule, be specific with what is to be studied on specific days. One recipe for being unprepared is to simply set aside general study time. List out on the calendar the specific area of study. Devote more time to weaker areas, but be sure everything is included in the calendar. Laying out the specifics of study now will save time later on. Instead of having to decide what to review, one can launch right into the work.

Alert friends family or colleagues that you are preparing for an exam and may be a bit of a hermit for a while. Hopefully they will not only be understanding, but supportive as well. You'll want to be absolutely focused on your goal. Do not feel bad if you need to miss or cut short social or family obligations in the short term. Don't let these things distract your efforts.

Make sure you are studying with purpose and efficiency. The best study comes from using different study techniques and learning approaches. There are tons of tips online, but consider techniques like note consolidation, mind mapping or online learning resources. Reviewing one's study with another partner is good if going through difficult material. "Teaching" someone the material also improves one's own understanding of the subject, so co-opt friends and family. These are tactics that can make a big difference in one's performance.

One might also consider professional help with an exam prep service. These services use proven methods of preparation and study. They also provide support for the test taking strategies, which can sometimes be as important as knowing the subject matter. There are various courses ranging from multi-month to single day cram sessions. Depending on the importance of the exam, investing in such a course could be well worth the expense and effort.

Another important part of the process is practice examinations. This is a vital part of preparation in two aspects. First, it provides a benchmark for progress and identifies areas that may need more study and attention. Secondly, it will familiarize the taker with the form and style of questioning. Experts agree that being familiar with test language and question set-up is an important aspect of successful test taking.

With these tips in mind, one can be as well prepared as possible for the exams. The process can oftentimes be frustration and stressful, but with a well-thought out plan and good discipline it can be managed.

Author's Bio: 

As an established UK boarding school rochester college can provide guidance on A level retakes to help you get the results you need.