Tips for Exam Prep Include Packing in Sleep, Snacks and Walks

YCIS BJ Lower Secondary Student

Exam season is officially upon us at YCIS Beijing and students and teachers alike are preparing for Lower Secondary, IGCSE and IBDP assessments during the first two weeks of December. Although 2020 has been a challenging year for all, the exams are important progress markers for the first semester.

Students have been tirelessly preparing, according to Ms Gillian Wong, Lower Secondary Co-ordinator and English Teacher. The main difference between this year and previous years is that the upcoming exams will “blend written exams on paper with the Education Perfect website for grammar assessment.”

This assessment hybrid was inspired by the successful manner in which students utilised new online technologies during the lockdown.

Exams are usually a cause for anxiety and sleepless nights but there are strategies to alleviate preparation stress. Ms Wong, a former student herself, shares six methods to help students prepare.


YCIS BJ Gilliang Wong
  • Organise your study space


This is essential to focus. A tidy space can have a positive impact on your productivity and mood. Keep distractions to a minimum and keep it simple.

  • Jog your mind


While going through notes and old material, it is important to highlight and annotate important points. It is also useful to make use of flowcharts, mind-maps and diagrams, as these will stimulate memory.

  • Practice and review past papers


YCIS BJ Student

With the help from teachers, students can use previous exam papers to test their knowledge in different subjects and review similar questions that may pop up in the exams.


  • Set up a study group


This will give students an opportunity to talk through answers with their peers and absorb differing opinions. Study groups are of course entirely informal and based on student relationships.


YCIS BJ Student Revising
  • Ensure you get enough rest


Avoid attempting all-nighters. Take breaks between study sessions as this will aid with focus and energy. Take a 20-minute break every 40 minutes and use the time for a healthy snack, a walk, or a quick catnap. Taking breaks is rejuvenating.


  • Become familiar with exam dates


Know what exams you are scheduled for, and where and when they will be taking place. Prepare this in advance to avoid the stress of figuring it out on examination day.

Last but not least, Ms Wong advises, “Try not to worry, try not to stress.”


Good luck YCIS Beijing cohort. We have no doubt you will excel.

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