Exams can be stressful, but there are a few simple things that you can do to help alleviate the pressure. Here are our top ten tips on how to prepare for assessment day.
Whilst exam nerves are normal it is important to try not to panic as this will only make things worse. If you are feeling worried or depressed about the assessment talk to somebody. Do not bottle things up. Speak to your friends, family or tutor about how you are feeling or call us to arrange for a chat with one of our Listening Friends.
Believe in yourself. After all, you have already sat and passed many exams in the run-up to becoming a pre-registration trainee. This one is no different.
Make a study plan
Do make a study plan and then stick to it. Try to avoid last minute cramming/all-night studying just before the assessment. It does not help. Have a chat with your tutor about the possibility of extra time off for studying.
Different people study in different ways. Examples include a preference for studying in a group, condensing notes into bullet points or reworking material into a chart or diagram. Whatever your preferred method, remember that revision is about checking your understanding of the subject you have been studying and identifying any gaps in your knowledge.
Familiarise yourself with the new style assessment questions by practising with the sample questions that have been produced by the GPhC. Time yourself so that you understand how long you will have to answer each question in the exam. For further information on sample questions, see our Pre-registration assessment fact sheet.
Look after yourself
Do not set yourself unrealistic goals. You will still need time to eat, sleep and socialise. Neglecting your own health and wellbeing will not help you to pass the assessment. Have a look at our fact sheet on Wellbeing for further tips.
Top up your energy levels
Have a selection of healthy snacks on hand to keep your energy levels topped up. Think fruit, dried nuts and water rather than crisps, cake and too much caffeine.
Make sure you have everything prepared in advance. Plan your route and journey time. Pack your bag the night before ensuring you have included essentials such as your calculator and proof of identity.
Fit to Sit
On the day, do not sit the assessment unless you feel well enough. You can withdraw at any point up until the chief invigilator’s introductory speech at the start of the assessment sitting. The invigilator will make clear in their introductory speech the final point at which you can withdraw. You will not lose your registration fee if you withdraw, it will simply carry over to your next attempt.
Ideally you should try to arrive at the assessment venue well in advance of the assessment starting time. If you are late for the assessment you will not be given additional time and you run the risk of having insufficient time to complete the assessment. If you do arrive late, you might wish to consider withdrawing as an alternative to sitting the assessment with less time than all of the other candidates.
For further information check out our pre-registration assessment fact sheet