Biblical tips for passing your exams
John 11:40 “Jesus said to her, Did I not tell you and promise you that if you would believe and rely on Me, you would see the glory of God?
So you want to get a first class/2:1. You wrote it down at the start of the first term and the new year. You’ll work very hard, put in all the hours required and try to score as high as you can on your coursework. You’ll see all your lecturers and have productive study groups for each module. But now it’s exam season and your ‘I want’ grades and ‘I have’ grades do not correlate or even seem close. It looks ‘impossible’.
All this and more was my story last year, when I was in my final year and had no more cards on the table. Or so it seemed. In fact, all my life I had been a high B student, what made me think I could get an A? why was I aiming so high NOW, at the end of my university education? A first class seemed so far away. But as I wrote my grade goals again at the start of 2016, I prayed with all of my heart and with everything I had. Over time those prayers turned into heavy sobs as I watched my grades fluctuate from 52-70, as opposed to my 70-80 range I had written. I had a 63 in first year, 62 in second year and here I was trying to get a 70 AND make a first. HOW? Even if I got a 70 in my final year, my overall result would have been a high 2:1 still. So ask me, how then did I actually end up with a FIRST CLASS??? This is my story of how God loses the battles, to win the war. I hope it encourages you, I hope it blesses you, but most of all I hope you don’t just get encouraged and blessed, but that you take this as a prayer point of your own and stir up that flame in you that the Holy Spirit is ready to fan to fire.
Come April 1st when my exams were 3 weeks away, I started to pray and fast. I fed on the Word like never before, which indeed became my Daily Bread. And when I decided to write my exam timetable, the Holy Spirit was the pen on which I put paper to. As I think back to the miraculous encounters I had during my exam season of preparation, I see the hand of God over my life, and I know it would be selfish for me not to share. I may have worked hard, but it was not in my efforts I achieved my results. Here are some top tips the Holy Spirit gave me as I prepared, and especially as I wrote my exams.
- Begin with God. It’s easy to start to study on your own, do your timetable in your own wisdom and basically plan your whole routine by yourself. Bringing God the Holy Spirit in changes EVERYTHING. He guided me into every move I made. From when to wake up and go to bed, to when to start and stop studying to what to eat and when – literally E V E R Y T H I N G. John 16:13 NLT “When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will will not speak on His own but will tell you what He has heard. He will tell you about the future”. This was the word I first heard when I sat down to plan my study timetable and this enabled me to let the Holy Spirit truly lead me into everything. Telling me about the future, He told me what areas to study for and what was relevant for the exam.
- Get your word and hold on to it. The word of God is alive and active.John 6:63 NLT “The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” My own personal word for the whole year was 1 Corinthians 2:9 “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him”. I held on to it even when my grades weren’t looking up or that exam didn’t go so well. I proclaimed it to God, telling Him each day how much I loved Him and how I must see that word come to pass because of my love for Him.
- Don’t just hold on to you word- believe it. Following on from John 6:63, the next verse says “Yet there are some of you who do not believe”. One of the most difficult parts of this time was believing – believing in something you don’t see. The exact definition of faith. If you thought that because the Holy Spirit was with me everything was going to be smooth, think again. None of the exams I sat were easy but with my mouth I proclaimed the word of the Lord and declared by faith what grade I was going to end up with – regardless of what I had seen. Not coincidentally, I also received this word – Luke 1:45 “Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfil His promises to her!”. I remember hearing it and going to check the Bible to see if it actually said ‘she’ – it does. The passage was talking about Mary!
- Speak the word with boldness. Acts 4:29 “Now Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness”. I personalised this to “Now Lord, consider these horrible exams I have just written and enable me to speak your word with great boldness”. It was tough sometimes and other times I didn’t even have words. All I had were my tears which I knew the Lord heard even more. There’s something about repetition, especially with the word of God. I spoke those words until it entered my Spirit and I believed them.
- Believe in the impossible. Key word – Believe. As a child of faith, I had encountered seemingly ‘impossible’ things in my life, but they were little and not things I gave much thought to. However, when it came to these exams and getting a first, I knew if it really happened I would truly and clearly see God doing the impossible. Matthew 19:26, Luke 1:37 and Mark 10:27 were my daily words of declaration. With God ALL things are possible. I repeated it countless times until it came into full effect.
- Be Specific. Know exactly what you want. What grade for what module – even if you might not necessarily get it in the end, the power of repetition and the law of attraction, which I believe in. What you put out is what you will get in. Don’t just pray for a great grade, tell God exactly what you want your transcript to read. I did it and even though I didn’t get exactly what I wrote down, I came pretty close. So close that the exact date I wrote I was going to receive my result was the date it came out and most of the grades were only a couple of marks away. If you want a first, specify it and what number exactly. If you don’t mind any number within the first class range, fine, if you want an 80, that’s fine too. Write it down, read it to yourself everyday, pray and believe it will be so – regardless of what it may seem like in the moment.
These might be things you already know, but I dare you to really take them in, pray about them and work them in your life.
Last but not least, if you don’t do anything else on that list, do this consistently – PRAISE. “When the praises go up, the blessings come down”. If you saw my thanksgiving before God every morning, you would think I won the lottery every night- yes, I was that overly excited, words cannot describe, my-joy-is-so-full kind of praise. I had never experienced it when people said praises up, blessings down, but believe me when I say even in the midst of my tears, I saw blessings. I thanked Him every day for what He had already done and what He would do in this situation. I called Him by His names, I made Him new names of my own with songs of my own. If nothing else moved Him, I knew my praises would.
And it did because I know He inhabits the praises of His people.
Again, I hope this word of encouragement blesses you and indeed makes a difference to the end result of your exams. Regardless of if you’ve started or not, remember ALL things are possible to He who believes. I also did a Facebook post about it, which goes into even more detail of what else God did. Take a look here.
Share questions, comments and/or prayer requests in the comment section. I’d love to hear your testimonies too! You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org