Tips and Tricks

You Should Ask Yourself These 5 Questions Before Preparing For The Exam

The planning and organization of the exam preparation is a complex topic and depends very much on your personality and your individual situation.  Nevertheless, some topics and concerns emerge, which we have briefly summarized for you in 5 questions.

What Do I Want To Achieve? (Goals)

No plan without a goal. Before you start your exam preparation and study for even a minute for your next exam, you should set a goal. Because only if you know where you want to be in the end can you work towards it in a focused manner.

So, determine what you want to achieve. And as accurate and detailed as possible.

Not: “I want to pass my exams well.”

But: “I want to pass my exam with an A”

With this goal definition, you have exactly what you want to achieve and can align your efforts accordingly. It is best to formulate your goals in writing as well – this increases this effect. Oh, and just in case you have trouble with completing your written papers a qualifies paper writer can always help you. 

What Is Particularly Important? (Priorities)

Some content of your module is more important than others. Therefore, make yourself aware of which topics are particularly important in your exam preparation and which areas you can rather neglect.

You subconsciously set these priorities anyway and determine which definitions, processes or chains of arguments have to fit perfectly for the exam. You also determine regular content that you learn “on the fly”, don’t you?

Now you go one step further and consciously go through this procedure: Sort, prioritize and focus on learning. Ask yourself: Which topics are important to the lecturer/examiner? Were there hints in the lectures? What was repeated particularly often? With this you can usually narrow down the ” relevant ” material quite well, which leads us directly to the next question.

What Do Old Exams Look Like? (Pattern)

In many modules you will be provided with old exams or examination documents. Take a close look at this material, because you can draw valuable information from it for your exam preparation.

You may see a recurring pattern that you can base your study plan on. If you’re lucky, some tasks will come up more often or year after year. This could save you a lot of work!

Also analyze the task style: How are the tasks structured? What are the questions aimed at? Do you ask for hard facts or for explanations? If you adapt to the style of the exam right from the start, your preparation will become a whole lot more productive. You will also get along better with the “new” questions in the exam.

What Is The best Way To Allocate My Time? (Time Management)

Now that you know what you want to achieve and what is most important, plan your time to study. Create a rough study plan and estimate how long you need for which topic. Think about which content is particularly time-consuming and which topics you have to repeat more often.

But don’t get bogged down at this point and don’t plan too carefully! A weekly schedule is best for this, in which you enter what you want to do on which day. Also, plan enough buffer times and do not leave your exam preparation until the last day. 

Who Can Help Me? (Support)

The last of my 5 key questions does not relate directly to you, but rather to your environment. If you are stuck preparing for your exam, there will be phases in which you will find it difficult or even impossible to progress. Then you need support and help from others.

That’s why it’s worth considering in advance who can help you if you have difficulties. If you get stuck in your studies or get stuck with a problem, you can ask for help much more easily and quickly. Therefore, think briefly about which fellow students you could exchange ideas with (study group?), which university employees are available for questions or in which online forums there is help. Don’t be alone – work in a network!


If you start your exam preparation head over heels and start studying without a plan, you will waste valuable time and energy. It is much wiser if you have a concept in mind beforehand and act strategically. That’s why if you answer these key questions for yourself, you can make your exam preparation productive and goal-oriented right from the start.