It’s that time of the year when exams are looming near… and some of us are full of fear! Do your upcoming board exams have you all stressed out? Fear not, USEF has the following tips for exam success.

This may sound really obvious, and it is! The better you prepare for the exams, the better you will know your material. There are no short-cuts to proper exam preparation.
Start your preparation early.

We all know that last minute cramming rarely increases much other than our blood pressure. Make a calendar and a “to-do list” for exam preparation, setting realistic goals for your study. Studying a little bit over a longer period of time ensures that material is properly understood and absorbed. Allowing time for application of the material is really important. In contrast, last-minute cramming automatically increases the panic factor, and material usually doesn’t absorb as well.


Understand the importance of good exam scores.
Though we may be tempted to treat exams as not very important in our young lives, the fact of the matter is that they are incredibly important. Take a step back and look at the big picture. Your exam scores can determine your future academic and life paths. Many institutions of higher education will require certain scores on exams. Excellent scores can secure you admission into institutions of higher education and can help you earn scholarships, which will put you in prestigious positions as well as save a lot of money for your family. Having this healthy pressure and long-term view can inspire you to study your hardest and perform to your maximum ability.


Practice under timed conditions & in a proper environment.
Many students can score perfect scores if they are given all day or a week to complete an exam. But the fact is that exams are given under timed conditions, and you must be able to display your skill set within a stipulated time. When you practice at home, make sure you are solving questions within a realistic amount of time. Similarly, practice in a simulated, quiet test environment with an empty desk and only the materials you will be allowed.

Study in a group.
It is a common adage that you only really know the material if you can teach it to someone else. Try forming a study group with some of your friends, and practice teaching each other materials from your classes. Also, quiz each other on the material. You will be surprised at how well you know some of the material, and how well your friends know other material. Often, studying in group can speed up the learning process. Studying in groups can be fun and very beneficial.

Remove distractions.
Studying while watching TV or while logged on to Facebook can be next to impossible for many students. Study time is focus time. Remove distractions during study time, and treat those distractions as rewards for when you are done reviewing a certain amount of material.

Be organized for and be on time to the exam.
The evening before the exam, set aside all the stationery items that you need and that are permitted for the exam, such as pencils, pens, erasers, rulers, and calculators. Don’t forget to carry other essentials like tissues. There is nothing worse than taking an exam with a runny nose and no tissues! On the day of the exam, get to the exam center early so that you can sit and relax for a while before the actual exam starts.

Eat food and bring some, too.
Your brain needs food to function properly and at its best, and your body needs the stamina to survive the duration of your exam. Make sure to have a proper meal before you leave home to travel to your exam center. Make sure you are properly hydrated. Furthermore, so that you can refuel, carry some snacks and water with you for exams that have short break periods.

Dress in layers.
We’ve all taken exams in rooms where it’s just too hot or too cold. The sweat dripping off our foreheads or our hands shaking with the cold can be major distracter-factors. To avoid such situations, dress in layers which you can shed or add on accordingly to keep your body temperature comfortable.

Be confident.
By the day of the exam, you’ve studied enough. Relax and be confident about your knowledge and expertise of your material. Clear your mind of unwanted self-doubt and panic because at this point, you must focus on the task at hand and perform at the very best level you can.

Scoring well in your board exams is really important. When you apply to colleges and universities in the United States, results from your board exams are often the very first thing that admissions officers look at, and your results are often the most important part of your college application. Surely, a good SAT or ACT score can be a supporting factor in your application for admission, but these exam scores will not replace your board exam results.
So, take a deep breath, focus, come up with a study plan, prepare to your maximum ability, and don’t panic. Best of luck wit your upcoming exams. You can do it!

USEF-Nepal’s EducationUSA Advising Center offers accurate, reliable, unbiased, and free information and advice and is the only official source in Nepal on studying in the USA. Visit us in Gyaneswor, Kathmandu. ‘Like’ USEF on Facebook at and subscribe to our e-group by sending a blank email to