Institute for Academic Development
Institute for Academic Development


Advice and resources to support you with your exams, including the Exam Bootcamp self-enrol resource on Learn.

Are you achieving your best results? 

Preparing for exams with planned revision sessions helps to consolidate learning. However, simply re-reading texts and notes is quite a passive way to study. It is better to try and be actively more engaged. 

Research suggests self-testing is one of the most powerful things ways anyone can reinforce their own learning. The format of practice tests does not have to be the same as the exam itself to be effective.  It is practising active retrieval that enhances learning. 

Spaced or distributed learning is more effective than massing or cramming. Revising learning is something best done regularly at planned intervals (e.g. for a set of topics or connected lectures). 

Exam Bootcamp

Exam Bootcamp is the IAD’s self-enrol resource on Learn to support students doing exams. It covers strategies that work and includes useful tools.

Three steps to exam success

  1. Get set by preparing: Plan, take stock and identify gaps.
  2. Do the revision workout: Learn to focus, read effectively, restructure and self-test.
  3. Develop effective exam strategies: Tried and tested techniques and tips to use during exams.

How do I enrol?

Exam Bootcamp is a course available on the Learn VLE.  Self-enrol and add it to your own list of courses. Exam Bootcamp can be found in the Self-Enrol (Students) section of the Learn space.

Self-enrol on Exam Bootcamp

Past papers

Past papers can be a useful guide to question styles, the format of a paper and the mark allocation. They can be used to practise the format and timing of question types. However, the questions in new exam papers will be different and course content changes.

Course or programme handbooks and information available online will provide an up-to-date guide to the subjects and topics to be covered in an examination.  Plan to go into the exam with enough knowledge to answer questions on any of the major topics in a course.

Exam Papers Online is a service provided by Information Services and provides access for  University of Edinburgh students to most degree examination papers. They may be used by students as a study aid only and some papers for some examinations are excluded.

Exam Papers online

Further information

Official information on exam diets, exam timetables, the regulations and a list of frequently asked questions from Student Administration services.


It is important to look after your own health and wellbeing to do well in your studies. The Student Counselling Service provide advice on ways to do this.

Student Counselling Service self-help advice

Too much stress can get in the way of performing effectively in exams. The Student Counselling Service have produced a helpful e-booklet about stress, why we need it and how to manage our stress levels to strike the right balance.

Stress a short guide for students (pdf booklet)