Tips for handling exam day

Preparation is the key if you want exam days to run smoothly.

You need your morning to be hassle free, allowing you to arrive at the venue feeling relaxed, confident and ready to do your best.

Below are some preparation tips for handling exam day.


To get your day off to a positive start you don’t want to be in a rush and you definitely don’t want to be late.

Work out how much time you will need to get yourself ready and be at the venue nice and early.

Set at least two alarms accordingly, ideally on different devices.

You may choose to set additional alarms as a prompt to leave home for the bus etc.


Make sure the clothes you intend to wear are clean and ironed the day before the exam.

This will save you time but also give you one less thing to think about on exam day.


Find out what equipment is needed/permitted for the exam and get this ready the day before.

Make sure you have spares, and that your pencil case is of a type that will be allowed in the venue.

You do not want to be borrowing equipment at the last minute!

Food and drink

Have an idea of what you intend to eat for breakfast on exam day.

Check your kitchen in advance and make sure you aren’t going to run short of your favourite food, you don’t want to be hungry during an exam.

Find out what drinks are allowed in the venue and get these ready, for example removing labels from water bottles.


Decide in advance how you intend to make the journey to the exam venue.

If you are catching a bus make sure you double check the bus times (and have your bus pass or cash ready).

If you are getting a lift by car, allow time for that person to be running late.

Always allow extra journey time for any unexpected road closures or diversions.

Try not to depend on anyone who you know is unreliable, you ideally need to be in control yourself.


It’s crucial that you try to arrive early at the exam venue.

Arriving early is important because:

  • You have time to relax and calm your nerves
  • You have time to go to the toilet
  • You have time to find the venue itself and your allocated seat number
  • Students will begin taking their seats way before the stated start time
  • You have a safety cushion to absorb unexpected delays

Seat and venue

To ensure your exam day runs smoothly you should try and learn your seat number and venue in advance.

This will give you one less thing to worry about on the day.


Don’t spend too long revising on the night before an exam, it’s more important to make sure you get some quality sleep.

Revision Tips +