I am a senior student about a month away from taking my final school exams. I feel completely inundated with work and no matter how much I try to revise I don't seem to be getting anywhere. I am getting more and more stressed. What can I do? Teacher Jake Burnett replies: You and many other students are going through exactly the same tough time right now. Exam preparation - and how to approach it most effectively - is a perennial difficulty that is unavoidable. It can seem especially troublesome if you have many subjects in which you will be tested and the pressure can really start to build if these particular examinations are a benchmark which will determine subsequent options for you, both educationally and in your life and career. Unfortunately, there is no one quick remedy. It's really important to remember that in your situation a level-headed, calm approach is the best course of action you can take. This will also help you to reflect on the ways and means in which you know you learn and can remember and assimilate information in the best way. This is vital for you to make progress through a full and detailed revision schedule - and this is perhaps a good starting point. With this short period to go before your exams I would hope that you, with the support of your school, have already been fully revising across your subjects. It is perhaps being in the middle of all of this, with no apparent immediate remedies, that is becoming an initial barrier and is adding to your overall level of stress. I am certain you will have already been counselled on effective study habits, including working through a balanced revision timetable, sleeping well, leading a measured and healthy lifestyle, and generally looking after yourself - blending relaxation and socialising with concentrated periods of hard, academic work. Getting these right can be very effective stress-management tools. It's also noticeable that students in your situation often miss the very point of revision. What's vital when you revise effectively is to look not for what you already know and can apply well, but to look for holes in your learning and try to minimise the gaps. Many students spend hours re-reading and re-writing notes that they already know, and so end up not spending their time efficiently at all. It is necessary to be completely honest with yourself. There's no point glossing over something because you struggle with it, as it may well come up in an exam. If you have identified it as important then it's vital you know it well. A good way to check this sort of content is to work through past exam and test papers and test yourself to see whether you could come up with the right sorts of responses. Curriculum guides should also be useful for reference. Once you have found those holes in your learning it's time to act. Firstly, a good source of information will be each specific subject teacher - but it would be unlikely that you would not now be working on key areas and topics to revise in your lessons anyway. However, you might be surprised how willing your teachers are to adapt what they are covering in some way so as to help you, specifically, within these lessons. Remember though that exams are there specifically to test all candidates in equal measure, and repetitive and unnecessary questioning of your teachers at this late stage in your revision schedule may not always get the response you require. Specific, pertinent questions which are focused on improving performance and can be of use to wider groups are likely to be regarded very positively by your teachers. You should also remember that your peers and friends at school can also be a source of active revision on your part. Study groups and time spent together working through problematic content can be a very positive step forward for all. The key point to note is that you should follow the sorts of ways of learning that you know work best for you and stick with these as you revise. There are myriad ways to do this, such as word associations, creating mnemonics, graphic organisers such as mind maps, quick-fire self-testing, memory games, quick writes and so on. But the key is to be able to do these successfully so that when you do finally go into the exam room, you can take as much necessary information in with you and apply it well. And, on a final note, you need to be aware that everyone will be looking out for you: parents, siblings, friends, relatives and, especially, teachers. They will all want to help you and will all offer different ideas and ways to help you through and to maximise your success.