Exam Strategy


This is a truly terrible exam strategy. Unfortunately, it is also the most common one.

Most students will spend hours, days and weeks amassing knowledge. They completely forget that exams are not just about what you know, but how you apply what you know. They simply walk into the exam and hope that everything goes ok.

Afterwards, they seem to be surprised that this recipe for disaster resulted in a disaster. You will not follow this recipe.

If you knew exactly which questions were going to appear in your exam, you would go and prepare the perfect answers in advance. You would think that any student who didn't do this was crazy. Although it's unlikely that you will find out exactly which questions will appear in your exam, there is so much other useful information available that most students never use. Crazy.

You know the structure of the exam. You know how much time you will have. You know the format and style of questions because you have worked through past papers. You know how the exam is going to be assessed.

You can use all of this information to create a clear strategy for every exam you take. Without one, you will drift through your exams aimlessly and inefficiently.


A clear exam strategy helps you to make many decisions in advance. It minimises the number of decisions you need to make during the exam. This is a very good thing for two reasons:

  1. Making decisions consumes both time and mental energy. These are two critical resources you cannot afford to spare.
  2. The average quality of decisions you make during an exam is much, much worse than when you have made them beforehand in a calm, carefully-considered state.

Given that students tend to make bad decisions during exams, the best strategy should allow you to operate on autopilot for most of the exam.

It's counter-intuitive but the less you have to think during an exam, the better. This will automatically eliminate most of the stress, pressure, decision-making, and other problems that you could face.

Remember: all of the work has already been done before you start your exam. To ace it, you simply need to show up and execute your strategy. This is how anybody at the top of their game operates.