Exams as an aid to learning

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Sometimes I get asked about exam technique. What's the best way to deal with an exam? What should I do to prepare? My advice is quite simple; try to get yourself into a situation where you know the answers to the exam questions. 

Today we had our revision lecture for our First Year Programming module. I went through all the questions from last year and didn't quite give the answers as such. I was more interested in charting a path that will get you to the answer from first principles. I'm quite calculating about this. I'll try really hard to give some solid hooks that you can remember, and will start you off to the answer. 

Compostition? That's a car number plate. Throw away the numberplate and the numbers go away too. 

Agregation? That's a football team. If we disband the football team we don't kill all the players. 

I feel a bit guilty about saying "and the way to remember the triangle on a class diagram is to think of granddad dying", but I was trying to get people to think about inheritance....

The aim of all this is to make exams useful for teaching, as well as our assessment mechanism. In a week or two's time I'll find out if it worked.