Prayer text does not always have to be prescribed by someone else. G‑d understands your language too. An appropriate prayer before a major exam would be something along the lines of, “G‑d, please help me pass this exam.” Perhaps you could elaborate on that and explain to G‑d why it means so much to you, or why it’s important for you to do well. It’s always good to get into the habit of praying to G‑d in a manner of talking to Him. You’ll begin to feel that you have a working relationship with Him, and you’re not just always reading a pre-prepared script at set times.
If you’d feel more comfortable having a standard prayer to go along with that, my suggestion would be Chapter 121 in Psalms. The theme of the psalm is the general assistance G‑d provides us, and our success being dependent on Him. It’s short and convenient. I’ve said it on a number of different occasions when I felt in need of some Divine assistance.
Wishing you lots of luck on your test,
Malkie Janowski for Chabad.org
Prayer for Preparation to Study
Lord, I know you are with me and love me.
Give me peace of mind as I prepare for this time of study.
Help me to focus on my books and notes,
keep me from all distractions so that I will make the best use
of this time that is available to me.
Give me insight that I might understand what I am studying ,
and help me to remember it when the time comes.
Above all, I thank you for the ability to be able to study
and for the many gifts and talents you have given me.
Help me always to use them in such a way
that they honour you and do justice to myself. Amen
Prayer Before an Examination
Dear Lord, as I take this exam, I thank you that my value
Is not based on my performance, but on your great love for me.
Come into my heart so that we can walk through this time together.
Help me, not only with this test, but the many tests of life that are sure to come my way.
As I take this exam, bring back to my mind everything I studied
and be gracious with what I have overlooked.
Help me to remain focussed and calm, confident in the facts and in my ability,
and firm in the knowledge that no matter what happens today you are there with me. Amen
Here are some prayers for your finals starting on next week. St. Thomas Aquinas is the patron of students, so it is a common practice to ask for his intercession and use prayers that he wrote.
PRAYER OF ST. THOMAS
Ineffable Creator, Who out of the treasures of Thy wisdom has appointed three hierarchies of Angels and set them in admirable order high above the heavens and hast disposed the divers portions of the universe in such marvellous array, Thou Who art called the True Source of Light and supereminent Principle of Wisdom, be pleased to cast a beam of Thy radiance upon the darkness of my mind and dispel from me the double darkness of sin and ignorance in which I have been born.
Thou Who makest eloquent the tongues of little children, fashion my words and pour upon my lips the grace of Thy benediction. Grant me penetration to understand, capacity to retain, method and facility in study, subtlety in interpretation and abundant grace of expression.
Order the beginning, direct the progress and perfect the achievement of my work, Thou Who art true God and true Man and livest and reignest for ever and ever. Amen.
Another from St. Thomas Aquinas – patron of students. We used this one in Grad. school frequently.
Grant, O merciful God, that I may
and perfectly accomplish
what is pleasing to You,
for the praise and glory of Your Name. Amen.
A good prayer to use before studying.
A Prayer before studying for exams.“God of Wisdom, I thank you for the knowledge gained and the learning experiences of the semester. I come to you this day and ask you to illuminate my mind and heart. Let your Spirit be with me as I prepare for exams, guiding my studies, and giving me insight so that I can perform to the best of my ability. Please grant me the strength to handle the pressure during these final days of the semester, the confidence to feel secure in my knowledge, and the ability to keep an appropriate perspective through it all. Help me to keep in mind what is truly important, even as I focus my time and energy on these tests in the immediate future. Finally, may I sense your peace in knowing that I applied myself to the challenges of this day.”
Under thy patronage, dear Mother, and calling on the mystery of thine Immaculate Conception, I desire to pursue my studies and my literary labors: I hereby solemnly declare that I am giving myself to these studies chiefly to the following end: that I may the better contribute to the glory of God and to the promotion of thy veneration among men. I pray thee, therefore, most loving Mother, who art the Seat of Wisdom, to bless my labors in thy loving-kindness. Moreover I promise with true affection and a willing spirit, as it is right that I should do, to ascribe all the good that shall come to me therefrom, wholly to thine intercession for me in God’s holy presence. Amen.
Incomprehensible Creator, the true Fountain of light and only Author of all knowledge: deign, we beseech Thee, to enlighten our understanding, and to remove from us all darkness of sin and ignorance. Thou, who makest eloquent the tongues of those who lack utterance, direct our tongues, and pour on our lips the grace of thy blessing. Give us a diligent and obedient spirit, quickness of apprehension, capacity of retaining, and the powerful assistance of Thy holy grace; that what we hear or learn we may apply to Thy honor and the eternal salvation of our own souls. Amen.
Lastly, a prayer recommended last time I posted prayers for finals:
Prayer Before Exams to St. Joseph of Cupertino
O Great St. Joseph of Cupertino who while on earth did obtain from God the grace to be asked at your examination only the questions you knew, obtain for me a like favour in the examinations for which I am now preparing. In return I promise to make you known and cause you to be invoked.
Through Christ our Lord.
St. Joseph of Cupertino, Pray for us.
Another Prayer Before Exams to St. Joseph of Cupertino
O St. Joseph of Cupertino who by your prayer obtained from God to be asked at your examination, the only preposition you knew. Grant that I may like you succeed in the (here mention the name of Examination) examination.
In return I promise to make you known and cause you to be invoked.
O St. Joseph of Cupertino pray for me
O Holy Ghost enlighten me
Our Lady of Good Studies pray for me
Sacred Head of Jesus, Seat of divine wisdom, enlighten me.
St. Thomas Aquinas pray for all students.
Marcel is a husband and father of five, serves on the pastoral council at St. Mary’s and is the founder and Executive Director of Catholic Missionary Disciples.