Test taking Strategies - Brain Dump

Test Taking Strategies: The Brain Dump

This blog will teach you the most effective of all test taking strategies to help you keep calm on exam day.

You’ll discover:

  • Why it’s important to have a Test Taking Strategy
  • What is a Brain Dump?
  • 4 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
  • How to break down complex exam wording

Do you have any test taking strategies?

It doesn’t matter if there is one month or one night until your exam, it is not too late to give your test taking strategies a boost.

The one technique that I will share with you today is the equivalent of having your book with you in your exam… but this isn’t going to get you thrown out of the exam room!

This strategy…

Its called the Brain Dump…

It might sound a little bizarre or a little simple – but it is super effective

This video is for you if you are:

➡️Feeling anxious about the exam
➡️Feeling out of control
➡️Currently jumping into an exam with answering question 1
➡️Reading the question too quickly
➡️Answering questions incorrectly on your practices
➡️Making silly mistakes
➡️Not reading the question properly
➡️Hoping certain questions dont come up

If you have one or two of these (or the whole damn lot) then sit up and take notice, because this one strategy will help gain back control of your exam day.

Control is everything

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 disheartening comparisons, you are not in control.
➡️Your heart rate elevates,
➡️Your stomach knots up,
➡️Your palms get sweaty,
➡️Your pupils dilate,
➡️Your thought pattern gets scrambled,
…and you end up speeding through the questions hunting for key things and jumping to conclusions.

Go Slo-Mo

Adrenaline makes us speed up

But in this circumstance… that doesn’t help.

We end up rushing through and scan reading the questions.
We end up jumping to conclusions based on previous mock questions we have seen
We end up rushing the answers and taking guesses
We end up losing all of the logic and knowledge we gained in revision
We end up failing because we didn’t slow down

So you need to take a chill pill!

Sounds easier said than done hey?

You could know everything, but you’ll fail without any test taking strategies

The best strategies will slow you down…

After years of teaching and coaching learners to improve their exam scores, the single best exam day strategy is to Brain Dump…

It slows down the first few minutes of the exam and allows you to organise your thoughts, before you have even read the first question. After the brain dump is complete you can use like a book or your course manual to help you on the tricky questions… if that topic comes up

The first thing you do

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

Some tutors suggest reading all of the questions first, which is fine if its a long answer exam with two questions, but reading all 40 questions before answering any will take forever and waste time… making you go faster. (freezing cold)

some learners will start with the first exam question and only move on once they have completed it (cold)

Some learners will answer the easy ones first and then go back to the tougher ones later (getting warmer)

the successful learner’s brain dump (on fire)

If you want to to be successful and really do your best then you need to brain dump…

What is brain dumping?

The Brain Dump is the first thing you should do when your invigilator says “You may now begin”

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…

The only rule

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

Recipe to the best brain dump:

➡️Well spaced out
➡️Simple drawings and tables
➡️Simple acronyms quick doodles
➡️Can be drawn in one colour
➡️Is unique to you
➡️Uses the memory hacks 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 differently, but that is the point.

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 beginning of the exam to visualize the brain dump you have made.

This is still a great way to organize 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.

Or comment below to tell us your favourite test taking strategies …

Exam day strategy bonus

I have already said that a successful exam strategy comes down to slowing down and being prepared. That’s why we give away our top 2 (the other being the KINGS formula) exclusive Exam Day Strategies and explain how you can use them. We have added these as an exclusive bonus to all of our mock question downloads.

So if you haven’t downloaded our mock questions yet, then hit the link… you will not only get the mock questions to help you prepare, but you’ll also get our exam day strategy guide, explaining all about Brain Dump and The Kings Formula

Using both of these will dissolve stress and anxiety on exam day an keep you in control

In summary

  • Use a Brain Dump as the test taking strategy at the beginning of your exam
  • Practice the Brain Dump and KINGS formula 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 “Test Taking Strategy” Bergman

Parallel Coaching

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