Exam Strategy: How to do a Brain Dump

Exam Strategy: How to do a Brain Dump

This blog will teach you an exam strategy to help you keep calm on exam day and reduce the risk of making silly panicked mistakes with your answers.

You’ll discover:

  • Why it’s important to have an Exam Strategy
  • What is a Brain Dump?
  • 3 Minute Video Tutorial – How to Brain Dump
  • How to plan your first brain dump
  • How to do a brain dump if the exam is online

Why it’s important to have an Exam Strategy

On exam day, it is crucial that you take your time and stay in control. If you are a whirlwind of emotion, negative thoughts, and self-doubt, you are not in control.

Your heart rate elevates,
stomach knots up,
palms get sweaty,
pupils dilate,
thought pattern gets scrambled,

…and you end up speeding through the questions hunting for words you recognise and jumping to conclusions.

Having an Exam Strategy will help you Slow Down, take your time and answer the question correctly.

What is a Brain Dump?

After years of teaching trainee Fitness Professionals to improve their exam scores, the single best exam day strategy is to Brain Dump…

You essentially DUMP your thoughts and key information onto a piece of paper, before you have even read the first question.

It slows down the first few minutes of the exam and allows you to organize your thoughts. This will stop you from jumping to assumptions or panicking in the first question.

After the brain dump is complete you can use it like a book or your course manual to help you with the tricky questions… if that topic comes up

Essentially a brain dump is a pre-rehearsed method off-loading revision notes, specifically for when you first get in the exam room.

There is no right or wrong way to do it, but we have been busy refining our methods to something that works… and this is it – it works!

Watch this video for an example of what to include in your brain dump…

3 Minute Video Tutorial – How to Brain Dump

How to plan your first brain dump

All effective exam strategies hinge on what you do in the first 5 minutes of an exam…

There is only one rule, you must practice your brain dump before the exam day.

This way all of you notes become condensed onto one sheet of paper, with approx 3-8 pieces of information.

Practicing allows you to know you have included the best information for you, the key mnemonics, images, and the main concepts.

Recipe to the best brain dump:

  • Pre-rehearsed
  • Well-spaced out
  • Simple drawings and tables
  • Simple acronyms quick doodles
  • Can be drawn in one color
  • Is unique to you
  • Uses the mnemonics that help you most
  • It Doesn’t look fancy

In the video above you can see an example of my L3 Anatomy + Physiology brain dump, it uses a mixture of drawings, tables, words, and acronyms.

Yours will look different, but you should be able to do it inside 2-5 mins

How to do a brain dump if the exam is online

Some online exams do not allow you to take notes or write anything down during the exam. Therefore you wont be able to o the Brain Dump in the conentional way.

Instead still plan your brain dump, and take 2 mins at the beginnign of the exam to visualise the brain dump you have made.

This is still a great way to organise your thoughts, focus on what you already know and slow down before the first exam question

Plan yours now

In fact, take a picture and post in the comments below.

In summary

  • Use a Brain Dump as the exam strategy at the beginning of your exam
  • Practice the Brain Dump in advance and keep it simple
  • Here’s what Lydia had to say about the A&P Revision Mastery Bootcamp   

I can’t recommend Parallel Coaching enough their learning material is fantastic and definitely was a huge factor in me passing my A&P exam.


Need More Help with your Anatomy Exam Revision?

Discover How 6500+ Fitpros In Training Are Walking Into Their Exam With Confidence And Guaranteeing A Pass

Are you tired of staring at your manual and not knowing where to start?

Our revision mastery bootcamp breaks everything down into a clear and easy to follow structure.

You can download the videos to MP3 and MP4 to slice your revision time in half and finally understand the key principles of exercise.

This is not another course with more exams – it HELPS pass the course you’re already enrolled on!

“EVERYTHING You Need To Learn, Revise And Pass Your Fitness Exam”

If you want to get your revision structured, learn everything you need to know and feel confident on exam day, then click the link below:


Anatomy and Physiology Level 3 - vary the mode

Hayley “Exam Strategy” Bergman

Parallel Coaching

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