Plan your revision time well

Dear Counsellor,

I am a senior three candidate and I’ve always performed fairly well.  However, as this is our national examinations term, I find myself worried that I may not be fully prepared. I wake up at night just to revise but I feel like that is not enough. How can I boost my performance?

Worried student

Throughout a student’s school life, examination time tends to usher in some kind of mild fever due to the competition, which is a normal experience, because a little bit of tension and stress makes your performance even better, and puts you a step ahead on the road to success. Fortunately, you have attended class, taken notes, and done several class assignments, hence, your brain is capable of capitalising on this, and this is one big step towards examination success.  Preparing for a test is like taking on an important project, so you need a plan, one you will stick to. Therefore, how you schedule your time is the most significant step towards passing exams.  No one plans to fail, but failure to plan is the issue.

Be prepared physically, mentally and emotionally and get equipped with all the academic equipment you need to use like a calculator, books and notes. Be relaxed because excessive anxiety can cause you to lose focus and make mistakes. Allow yourself time to rest and eat nutritious foods to boost your brain-body connection, and drink lots of water to keep hydrated. Start studying at least a week before the exams to allow your brain get acquainted to the simple and complex. When reading books, revise notes on anything that isn’t your strongest and join discussion groups with high-achieving learners for collaboration and collective learning. Also, establish strong lines of communication with teachers for expert advice and more clarity. 

When you enter an examination room, start by working out what carries the most marks and launch straight into your favourite topics. The art of answering is all about knowing what the reader expects. Examiners have a habit of dressing simple questions up in bewildering language: don’t dismiss an option before thinking about it logically for at least a few seconds to understand the flow, plus the questioning technique. Develop the ability to solve the questions quickly with utmost accuracy. Concise and complete answers will read much better than broadly conceived and unfinished ones. So narrow your answering technique rationally and avoid misfiring questions.

Messy handwriting could lead to loss of marks plus, don’t leave exams early because that time is irreversible. Sit and re-read what you’ve written; double-check all of your answers, spelling errors and don’t try to stretch yourself beyond your limits. As you prepare for your exams, remember, whatever the mind can conceive and believe to be possible, you can achieve with the right attitude. Don’t underestimate your powers and capabilities. If you apply the above strategies carefully, there will be remarkable progress in your exams and you’ll gain more confidence. Just believe in yourself and you can pass your exams with flying colours.

I wish you the best.


Their thoughts...

Yolanda Tadiwa, Student

Don’t worry too much, you can still make it. My advice is that you make a plan for proper revision with your peers. Studying alone is dispiriting, so team up with fellow students as this will boost your morale and understanding and help yield positive results.


Patrick Muhizi, Student

It’s normal to feel ‘exam fever’ especially when it comes to national exams. However, that shouldn’t steal your focus. I encourage you to make a good revising timetable and follow it strictly. This will keep you focused and help you spare time for every subject.


Dan Murara, Student

Talk to one of your teachers regarding how you feel about the upcoming exams. Teachers have seen many students go through the same difficulty and so they are in a better position to help you improve. Teachers will guide you through the situation and give you tips on how to succeed.

Fred Karomba, Student


Seek assistance from peers, especially those who did really well the year before. Talk to A level students and ask them how they managed to cope during their time. This first-hand information will help you learn new methods on how to succeed in your exams.