There’s some preparation you’ll need to do before the exam and we’ve also got some tips for staying calm during the exam. So let’s get started…
Before the exam
We all know the saying “fail to prepare, prepare to fail.” Do your future self a favour and start preparing early. That way, you won’t be rushing around a few days before the exam, trying to remember everything you need to know. It’s a good idea to give yourself at least a month, depending on how large the subject is.
1. Be sure to use revision resources that are made for Functional Skills Reforms. If you’re not aware already, Functional Skills have recently changed which means some of the resources available online could be outdated! If in doubt, use resources published most recently or after September 2019. Here are some online resources we’ve found.
2. Find out what format your exam will be in. It may be paper-based or on-screen. Do as many past papers in this format as you can so you are prepared properly.
3. Write down a list of topics that you need to revise and create a revision timetable. Make a plan for when you will revise each topic and stick to it.
4. Use your time wisely! Time management is essential. Have a read of our guide How to Prepare for Exams for some more useful advice on how to revise efficiently.
5. Most importantly – try not to stress. The minute you start stressing your brain will struggle to process all the information it needs to. If you start with plenty of time, you’ll be more than prepared when it comes to sitting the exam.
On the day of the exam
People often freeze up during exams and it can be the worst feeling. But with all the revision and practise you’ve been doing using the first 5 tips, you should be well-prepared for any situation. Here are some tips you should remember while you’re in the exam.
6. As tempting as it is to cram in some last minute revision, DON’T stay up all night revising the night before your exam. It’s important to have a good rest so your brain is fresh and ready to go in the morning.
7. Read the question 3 times – once to gain an understanding of the scenario, again to get a rough idea of what you need to do, and a third time to figure out exactly what your maths equation should be.
8. If you come across a question you are really struggling with, skip it and come back to it later. There’s no use sitting there and getting worked up about a difficult question – it will only waste time. Move on and come back at the end with a clean and calm mindset.
9. Take note of the amount of marks available – it will give you an indication of how much work you have to show. For example, 1 mark will need an answer only and any more will need to show working. It’s surprising how many marks you can pick up by showing your working.
10. When you’ve finished, go back and check your answers thoroughly. If you have time remaining, use it to check and check again. Don’t fall into the trap of losing marks for silly mistakes.