Exams, past papers and revision tips

Updated: February 4, 2015


A common question being  asked in our libraries at the moment is how to access past exam papers.   Our online collection of Exam Papers can be accessed on and off-campus (UNI login required).

Many of the Business School’s main papers are accessible for the previous five years (2009/10,  2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13 and 2013/14), and are arranged in the Faculty of Business and Society section by module code.

If the exam paper you require is not listed, please send an email to lrsupport@southwales.ac.uk to let us know which module code you are looking for.

The following extract about how to best use past exam papers is taken from our Student Development and Study Skills Service guide to revising for exams:

  • Get as many past papers as you can, as early as you can – it is more useful if you do this during the early stages of your revision.  Don’t worry if you can’t understand most of the subject areas at this stage.
  • Work out what the standards are.  For example, use the old exam papers to give you an idea about how much you’ve got to cover in an answer in half-an-hour, or how much to cover in a complete exam of three hours, and so on.  If you’re on a new course, ask for specimen papers as a guide to the format and structure of the exams you should expect.
  • Try to work out the marking scheme.  As you become able to answer old exam questions, make lists of points which you think may have scored marks.  Also, try to work out the most likely causes of losing marks on the questions – in order to avoid such things yourself later.
  • Get to know what the questions may be – even before you know any of the answers.  The more you’ve tuned in to the nature of likely questions, the more receptive you are to the answers as you come across them in lectures, reading and studying.
  • Do some ‘question-spotting’.  Note the trends.  Note things that come up frequently.  Also look for things that haven’t come up recently and which might be “due” for another airing.  Remember, though, that question-spotting is a gamble – don’t invest too much in it!
  • Break the old exams questions down.  Break them into lots of short, sharp questions because the aim is to be able to answer every part of the question.
  • Find out what questions you’re best at.  This might help you decide what to concentrate on and how to organize your revision to maximize your strengths.

Education Drop-in Centre (2013) Revising for and taking exams. Available at: http://studyskills.southwales.ac.uk/studyindex/revandexams/ (Accessed: 7 January 2015)

Reproduced with kind permission from the Student Development and Study Skills Service, Student Support and Library Services, University of South Wales.

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