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Past Papers

past papers

A key element in effective revision for exams is to consult past exam papers.

You can find past papers for your subject area online, via the Student Services Centre, at the following link:

By looking at past exam papers you can get an idea of the sorts of topics and questions which come up on the paper, as well as how many questions you are likely to have to answer. You will reduce the chances of being surprised by the real paper on the day.

What are the most effective ways to revise using past exam papers?

There are a number of strategies you may want to use when revising using past exam papers:

1. Brainstorming
Give yourself 10 minutes to brainstorm and plan an answer to a past exam question. Consider:

  • your response to the question
  • the examples and evidence you would need to support your argument
  • how it relates to the coursework
  • and how you would structure your essay

Compare your result to your notes from the coursework. You might want to team up with other students from your course to compare responses and essay plans.

2. Anticipate Exam Questions
Try to think up your own exam questions. This should help you think more broadly about the course and think of common themes and ideas. It will help you get a feel for the type of questions that might be on the paper. You should not, however, believe that you can predict what will be on the exam and only revise accordingly. Your guess might be a bad one!

3. Mock Exams
Using a past paper, undertake a mock exam, under exam conditions. This will help you practice writing under time constraints. You might want to just practice one exam question at a time or you might want to try the complete exam paper.