How to prepare for a BTEC exam

students sitting an exam

Take the pressure off exam day by making sure you’ve done all the right preparations

most btecs are assessed through a combination of coursework, set tasks and exams. the exams are likely to take place under the strictest conditions of the three, which can make them feel a bit daunting.

but as long as you’re properly prepared, you should be able to breeze right through – here’s what you need to know.

Before the exam…

Map out your time

Avoid that dreaded last-minute panicky feeling  by making sure you’ve set aside enough time to revise for your exams. Our article on how to make a great revision timetable should get you started – then when you’re ready, you can build it using the TSR Study Planner.

Write up your notes

Making notes is the first step of revision for lots of students. Find out how to make useful notes优盈票app好的 and take a look at the .

And we have all sorts of other free revision resources for you to use, too – you can create flashcards, make mind maps and write quizzes.

Get top tips on BTEC exam revision tips from other TSR members.

student highlighting notes

Look at past papers

Answering past questions is a great way to revise. It can show you exactly where you need to improve and help you get used to the structure of the exam, so you don’t get any nasty shocks when the big day comes around. Here’s a more in-depth look at how you can use past papers to ace your exams.

you could ask your teacher if they have any that you could take a look at. alternatively, most btecs have past papers up on the . choose your qualification, then find its past papers under ‘specification and sample assessments’ in the ‘course materials’ box.

During the exam…

Be ready for the kind of questions the exam might ask

优盈票app好的in general, btec exams are applied – meaning they will probably ask you questions about how you would deal with specific case studies or situations. they’re also likely to include a mixture of short factual questions and longer, more in-depth ones.

so, as an example, a business btec might ask you to give two advantages of contactless cards as a short question, then get you to evaluate which would be the most suitable insurance policy in a particular case study as a longer one.

Here are seven things to do the night before and morning of an exam.

students sitting an exam

Understand what the different command words mean

command words are the ones used in each question that tell you what kind of thing you need to demonstrate in your answer. ‘explain’, ‘discuss’ and ‘calculate’ are examples of a few different command words.

sometimes command words can sound very similar but actually be asking to you demonstrate slightly different things. their exact meaning can also differ across courses, so it’s worth making sure that you’ve got a really good understanding of your subject’s command words. your teacher should be able to help you with this, or and click through to open the specification, which should include a breakdown of the command words you’re most likely to come across. 

Plan your answers

it can really pay off to give yourself a little bit of time at the beginning of the exam to properly read the questions – about five or ten minutes should be enough.

make sure you definitely understand what the questions are asking you to do and write out a rough plan for how you’re going to answer. this doesn’t have to be massively detailed – even just jotting down a few key words or phrases you don’t want to forget to include can be really helpful.

Take a look at our article on staying calm during an exam.

student writing in exam paper

Get the timings right

优盈票app好的some of the questions on your btec exam will probably be asking for short answers, while others will need longer responses – so make sure you allocate your time accordingly.

if you decide roughly how long you want to spend on each question before you start answering it, you’re less likely to end up scrambling to write out a full case study analysis in the final minutes of the exam.

it’s also a good idea to leave about five minutes at the end to give your paper a final read-through and check for any mistakes that you can quickly fix.

Find more useful articles on our BTEC hub, including advice on how to prepare for a set task

Ask a question in the BTEC forum
Your question will be posted in the BTEC forum
Awesome! Your question has now been posted. View your post here
  1. Please choose where you want to post your question.
    Please choose your study level.
    Please enter what your question is about.
    Please enter your question.
    Your message must have two characters or more.
People are talking about this article Have your say