Prepare and Take Exams

Watch and Learn

Dr. Stephen Chew offers some advice for what to do when you get a bad score on an exam.

If you do not see the video, please click on the link to view it in a new window or tab (you will leave this page):

How to get the most out of studying

Top Tips to Get the Most Out of Studying

Start Early

Check out our resources on note taking and time management. If you listen in lectures, take good notes and manage your time, you will set yourself up for exam success!

Understand Expectations

Consider what is expected of you. Are exam questions going to be pulled from lecture material, assignments, readings or all of the above? Is the exam cumulative (does it cover everything since the first class)? If you’re unsure, ask your professor.

Research the Exam

Consider what type of exam you are preparing for. The answer will impact how you study. Talk with your professor to find out the type of questions that will be on the exam (multiple choice, short answer, essay, etc.). Prepare accordingly.

Find the Practice Exams

Old exams are great practice before the real thing. Never assume that old exams will follow the same material or ask the same type of questions.

Plan Ahead

Practice answering exam questions in advance. You can make your own questions from your notes and assignments. This will help you recall material, build connections and identify important course themes.

Prepare for and Take Exams

Retrieval Practice: Study Strategy

Retrieval Practice Handout

Learn More about Retrieval Practice: Explanation | Poster

Enhance your Learning

If you do not see the video, please click on the link to view it in a new window or tab (you will leave this page):

You may also want to check out this video from the UBC Learning Commons three-minute tutorials series. The tutorial will demonstrate a mnemonic strategy for approaching a university exam successfully.

D.R.O.P. Test Anxiety Rap

This is a great student-made video with advice for how to beat test anxiety presented in a rap song.

If you do not see the video, please click on the link to view it in a new window or tab (you will leave this page):

D.R.O.P. Test Anxiety Rap

Enhance your Wellness

To manage exam anxiety:

  • Remind yourself that it’s normal and ok to feel some stress or worry about an exam because your success matters to you!
  • Practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing, slow walking, or progressive muscle relaxation before an exam.
  • Get enough rest and exercise before exams and eat a nutritious breakfast.

Read about specific strategies to reduce test anxiety here: 

Learn more about anxiety, how to relax, and how to challenge your worries with the free Mindshift app:

For more wellness resources, see

Student Support Areas

Counselling Services

Be a Better Learner

Be a Better Learner

Thinking and learning differently to be a successful student

Value for Me?

Steps to help you prepare for you exams. Keep them in mind when end of term rolls around.

Visualize Topic

Studying and Exam Prep Secrets

Studying and Exam Prep Secrets
Provided by UBC

Technology Integration

Complete practice exams and self asssessments:
If provided in VIULearn

Create digital flashcards with StudyBlue

Use Quizlet to Study

Check out Study Stack

Build your Resources

Additional Information