Preparing for exams and assessments

Exams can be a very stressful time. It can be difficult to juggle multiple deadlines and revision, with the added demands of organising reasonable adjustments and support for additional needs. It takes time, dedication and lots of organisation!

Here are six top tips to ensure the assessments are accessible and run smoothly, as well as helping you get prepared and motivated for success.

Student top tips: What to do before your assessments

  1. Talk to your lecturers about the assessments they are designing this year and how they compare to others you have sat before. There may be a new style of questions or tasks, or coursework assignments instead of exams. Make sure you understand what will be asked of you, so you can anticipate any access needs.
  2. Check all the materials you need are accessible as soon as possible. Make sure you have access to textbooks and reading for the content of the assessment and that any revision materials lecturers provide are formatted in a way that is usable for you.
  3. Ask to test any new online exam platforms or video recording software for presentations, to identify accessibility issues. Training can also be helpful to learn how the new systems work with any assistive technology you use, so you can be confident navigating them on the day.
  4. Think carefully about your reasonable adjustments and how your working style fits with the new assessment. If you have a 24-hour window to complete the exam, do you focus best in the morning or afternoon? Consider your strategy for completing the assessment. Speak to the university Disability Support team as soon as possible to ensure the support in place will be as effective as possible.
  5. If you usually have an exam assistant, there are additional factors to think about. This support may be less helpful if you are submitting a verbal response or coursework. Secondly, working with an exam assistant virtually can feel very different to having someone sat next to you in person. It is best to talk to them in advance, to understand how you can work together best on the day.
  6. If you are not going to be on campus, make sure you can establish a good workspace at home or where you will be sitting the exam. If it is going to be difficult to make sure the environment is quiet and distraction-free, or to maintain a strong internet connection, talk to your university as they may have some suggestions to help.


To save these tips for later, or use them as a checklist, download the plain-text document here  (DOCX, 122 KB)


If you would like further support getting ready for your exams and assessments this year, please contact: or call 0203 757 8040.

You may also be interested in...

Join our Facebook group

Return to our Student Support homepage

Back to top

Share this page

Join our mailing list

Get the latest on our campaigns, news and events from Thomas Pocklington Trust by joining our mailing list

Join now

    Have you found this page useful?

    Please help us to improve our website by selecting one of the following options:

    If you would like to contact our team directly please email