Exam Study Plan

Step 1

Download and print out the weekly template and fill in the boxes hour by hour.

Step 2

Fill in all the things you have to do for the week (for example, work, outside commitments etc). This way you won’t feel stressed that you should be studying when you are doing these activities because you have planned for them well in advance. 

Step 3

Instead of writing down just a module’s name try to be more specific and give yourself a more defined task (for example, “Do exam questions on Theorists” is better than just “Psychology”).

Things to be aware of...

Don't feel stressed if you don’t get everything done

As with most things in life, it’s inevitable that you will not always be able to stick to your plan. It’s a good idea to leave a few slots free later in the week so that you can use that time to catch up on tasks you missed earlier in the week. 

Stay focused by practicing past exam questions

It’s very common for you to lose focus and get the feeling that nothing is going in. One of the best ways to stay focused is to do active learning by trying some mock exam questions after you have completed any topic.

Use memory tricks to learn material

Exam Strategy

Exam Terminology Explained

Account for

Explain why something happens, clarify, give reasons for 


Break down a subject. Look at it from all angles. What’s involved in it? What’s good about it? What’s not so good about it? What would you like to continue as good practice? What would you change and why? Identify the main points and significant features.  Examine critically and/or in great detail. 


Make a case based on appropriate evidence for / against a point of view.


Identify the value of, weigh up (See also Evaluate) 


Determine the solution using Maths.


Arrange into classes or categories.

Comment on 

Identify the main issues, providing reactions and evidence (examples, sources, authors) to support your points.  Avoid personal opinions lacking supporting evidence. 


Show similarities between two (or more) things. Indicate relevance, importance and consequence of these similarities. 


Show differences between two (or more) things. Indicate relevance, importance and consequence of these differences.  If appropriate, justify why one item/argument may be more convincing or preferred. 

Compare and contrast 

Show the similarities and differences between two (or more) things. 

Critically evaluate 

Weigh arguments for and against something, indicating and then assessing the strength of the evidence on both sides.  Be clear about your criteria for how you judge which side is preferable/more convincing. 


Express your judgment on a topic. Give the good points, the negative points, what would continue to do for good practice and what you would improve and in what way, for example, theories, opinions, models, items. 


Say briefly what the word/phrase means.  Provide the exact meaning or a word, concept or phrase. Where appropriate you may need to identify other alternative definitions and/or disagreements about the definition. 


Explain using examples.


Fully say what the topic is like. Give as much detail as possible. (Imagine you are telling someone who knows nothing about the subject as much information as you can so they can understand it.)  


Make a preliminary plan or sketch.


Expand on a statement/idea to include more detail.


Invent or plan based on existing knowledge or information.


For a question which specifies a diagram you should present a drawing, chart, plan, or graphic representation in your answer. Generally you are expected to label the diagram and in some cases add a brief explanation or description. 


Discuss the differences between items. Differentiate can also relate to the mathematical term meaning to find the derivative.


This is common in essay style questions. You should be detailed in your answer with a full explanation of the topic. Explain the topic, give the pros and cons of the topic and analyse the topic. 


To show a difference between two or more areas / headings.


Look at the topic from all angles. What are the advantages and limitations? Say how valuable this topic is in the subject. What would you recommend as good points to continue and what would you recommend should change and why? 

This term is used in Maths to mean: “find a numerical answer”.


Look in detail – this may also involve ‘critical evaluation’ as well. 


Make clear exactly what is involved in the topic. Give reasons for any ideas in the topic and analyse it.   


Look at a topic in greater detail.


Associate the topic with a specific but separate topic.


A question which asks you to illustrate usually requires you to explain or clarify your answer to the problem by presenting a figure, picture, diagram, or concrete example. 


Give the meaning and relevance of date or other material. 


Examine in detail.


Give good reasons to back up the opinion or answer you have given.

List (or enumerate)

Give a numbered list of items in concise form – not too much detail. Be clear and logical in your list. 


An outline answer is an organised description. You do not have to be very detailed, just give the main points of the topic. 


Give details and evidence which shows an argument to be true without using your own opinion.


Provide reasons in favour of a given topic.


Highlight the connections between two or more items.


A review specifies a critical examination. You should analyse and comment briefly in organised sequence upon the major points of the problem. 


Just give the main points.  


When you are asked to summarise or present a summarisation, you should give in condensed form the main points or facts. 


Put the information into a table.


When a question asks you to trace a course of events, you are to give a description of progress, historical sequence, or development from beginning to end.