Candidate preparing a Cambridge exam at the British Council

British Council

Whether you’re studying for your own exams, or a teacher keen to help your students get better grades, the British Council can give you the support you need to get the qualifications you deserve.

Exam tips, tools and support

Exams put extra pressure on even the calmest of students. But with a little preparation and a well-planned revision timetable, you can achieve the grades you deserve.

The British Council has a range of useful tools and resources for you, whether you’re a student or teacher. We recommend you review the following simple tips:


Now is the time to think seriously about your revision timetable. You should:

• check the most up-to-date syllabus for every subject

• find out about the exam (for example, are questions multiple choice or essay-based?)

• prepare a revision timetable.


Try to schedule revision for your most productive times during the day. For example, if you feel fresh and alert in the morning, make sure you do most of your studying early. You should also try to:

• prioritise exams that make up a large percentage of a subject’s grade

• take regular breaks to refresh your mind

• use a variety of study tools to revise – including books, audio guides and online video summaries

• highlight important points in your study notes

• ask family and friends to quiz you on each subject

• sit past papers so you get a feel for the questions and timings

• make time for relaxation with family and friends.


You will receive your Statement of Entry that tells you exactly when your exams are being held so you can make appropriate travel arrangements. You must remember to bring this form with you on exam day.

For more information on what to bring and to view your exam timetables, see your exam day.

In the meantime, continue with your own revision timetable – but remember to schedule breaks so you don’t get too tired.


So, you have revised and prepared for the big day. Don’t worry if you feel a little nervous – that’s only natural. Follow a few more simple tips to stay relaxed and get the best possible exam results.

• Try to stay calm and take deep, even breaths

• read the exam paper completely before you start

• plan your time

• move on to the next question if you get stuck

• read the questions carefully and make sure you answer each one properly

• sip fresh water throughout the exam

• check each answer, particularly if you finish early.

Past papers and other resources

Cambridge International Examinations and Pearson Edexcel provide useful online resources for candidates, including past papers.

Cambridge International Examinations

You can search for support materials, including past exam papers, for IGCSEs and A / AS Levels by going to the CIE online resource centre.

Pearson Edexcel

You can search for past exam papers for International GCSEs and A/AS Levels using the Pearson Edexcel past papers search tool.