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Tips to Pass Your Final Exams and Licensing Exams

Date:August 2021

Author: Natalie Bradley BDS Dip SCD MFDS RCSEd

Whether it is passing final exams or licensing exams, these test your knowledge... and your nerve!

Here are some top tips to help make exam season easier:

  1. Study - I know you know this, but how to study for whichever exam you are sitting is important. Make sure you have access to, and practice with, previous exam questions and research all the possible answers. One tip is to approach the questions from all angles. This will help to prepare you for what might come up in the exam - examiners will often reframe a question, so understanding all the responses will prepare you for any question. If the question is multiple choice make sure you are knowledgeable on each of the options - and for the wrong answers, why they are not the correct response.
  2. Study - Yes, study again, but give yourself plenty of time and start revision early. This will help you retain the information and lower your stress right before the exam, rather than cramming information last minute.
  3. Sleep well - easier said than done but you will think better if you have a good night's rest rather than pulling an all-nighter.
  4. Eat - Try to eat something to avoid hunger pangs during the exam. You want to be thinking solely about the exam and not your next meal.
  5. Drink caffeine only moderately - Caffeine can keep you alert. It can also make you jittery and it is a diuretic. You want to have a calm mind to focus on the exam. If you are thirsty, try to drink water instead.
  6. Read carefully - Read the instructions very carefully to know exactly what the exam is asking of you. Before you take the exam know if you are penalized for getting the answer wrong or if it is better to respond with your best guess and hope you are right if not sure, rather than leaving the question blank. Also, read the question very carefully. Nothing is worse than getting the answer wrong just because you did not read the question well.
  7. Take your time - Don't rush through the exam. You may miss questions where you know the answer but marked the wrong response by rushing through the questions. Read the questions carefully and answer the ones you know first then return to the questions you did not answer on the first round that take more time. Be mindful of the time you have, but do not rush as you will make mistakes.
  8. Watch your time - There is a time limit. Make sure you allow time to return to questions you left blank.
  9. Brush and floss twice a day - it may not help you pass your exam but it is good for your health and practice what your preach!

10. Relax - You have prepared for this and will do well... you have worked hard, have a well earned rest!