How to prepare for an English exam

30 June, 2017 Education Erin O'Neill

How to prepare for an English exam

Exams are always a nerve wracking experience, and it’s completely normal to feel under pressure before sitting one. English exams come in many forms – listening, reading, writing, speaking – or a combination of one or more of these parts. Depending on which type of English test you’re going to be taking, you will revise in slightly different ways. There are a few things you can do to prepare no matter which type of English exam you are going to be taking.

Feel more confident going into the test hall and you will be more assured that you’ve done everything you can to achieve the grade you’re aiming for. Read on to find out more about how to be fully prepared before your next English exam.



To ensure that you are revising the correct content, you should double check the syllabus with your teacher, or look back and see whether you have been told specifically what will be on the exam. If you can, you should seek out past papers and practise with them in timed sessions. Not only will this help you get used to the types of questions that you’ll have to answer – it will also train you to manage your time effectively.



Whether you’re going to be writing an essay, answering questions out loud, or listening to a conversation in English, it will be valuable to write notes from your classes or textbook. You should reread your old notes from class, and then rewrite them again – the phrases and vocabulary are more likely to stick in your mind if you can visualise them written down on paper.



You might feel a little bit overwhelmed if you have a lot of content to get through before your exam. It will help if you break it down into more manageable chunks, and you can do this by creating a revision timetable. This way you can schedule in the topics you want to cover and when to go over them. Planning out your revision this way will ensure you cover everything you need to before the big day, and help you to be more organised with your time.



Different people learn in different ways. You might be a visual learner, an auditory learner, a kinaesthetic learner or something completely different. To determine the best way that information sticks in your mind, you should try a variety of revision techniques – this could be by making flashcards, listening to podcasts, or playing a word game. Some of these will help you more than others, and then you’ll know the best type of learning style for you going forward.



Be on the best form you can be before your exam. To make sure you’re in perfect condition, you should get a good night’s sleep, eat breakfast before you go and use the bathroom before entering the exam hall. This way you avoid being tired, hungry, or frustrated, and can focus solely on the English test. Good luck!


If you’re not enjoying the revision process, you could take a look at our previous blog post, which will teach you HOW TO MAKE ENGLISH LEARNING FUN. Studying doesn’t have to be a chore!

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