Exam Tips

by Becky

Well, I don’t know about you but I feel I’m full in the flow of exam season at the moment, and with it, comes it’s own unique set of challenges.

Here are my top tips to get through exams!

The Night Before:

Get an early night. Prepare your music and know what you are going to wear the next day. Girls (and boys) with long hair, either tie it back or pin if back off your face. Don’t hide behind your hair!
Wear something smart, that you feel comfortable in. This is a formal occasion and so trainers and jeans are not acceptable. You don’t have to wear your best Cinderella ballgown either. Something in between is fine.

The Morning:

Eat something that will sustain you through the rehearsal and exam time.

Tips for singers: DO NOT eat diary, chocolate, fizzy drinks or orange juice that day. Eat as much as you want afterwards but not 2 – 3 hours before the exam. They will stick to your vocal chords and make you want to clear your throat continuously.


On The Day:

Do a long slow warm up. Play your scales, exercises and pieces. Play them slower and at the correct tempo. Look over your musical knowledge and make sure you know all your keys and key signatures etc.

Remember to take your exam slip with you (sometimes your tutor has this). You will need to hand it to the examiner (with a nice cheery “Hello!”) when you go into the exam.

Remember they are human, just like you! They want to give you the very best mark possible. They are not there to trick you. Relax. Enjoy the experience of showing an appreciative audience how much you have learnt. No one enjoys watching a nervous performer, so take a few breaths to steady yourself, smile and let the music flow.

If you make a mistake – don’t worry and don’t let it put you off the rest of your exam. I guarantee you the mistake you made (that feels like the worst mistake in the world) was MUCH smaller than you felt it was. The trick is to hold your nerve and not let it put you off. You can’t control what has just happened, but you can choose to decide how it affects your future. Don’t let it put you off!

Exam situations can be nervous and we have many of them during our lifetime. The trick is not to let the fear overwhelm you. At the end of the day, they are just exams! Nothing bad is going to happen if it doesn’t go well! So work hard, practice lots and go in to the exam with a smile on your face and enjoy the experience, confident you have done all the preparation you could do.