Everyone has their own way of dealing with exams, but here are some simple success strategies that can help you get the most out of any exam!
Exams can be stressful enough, make sure you have the simple things organised the day before to save yourself from any last minute panics on the day.
- Find out exactly where the exam is taking place and make sure you know how to get there
- Double check the time AND date of the exam
- Make sure you have everything you need (e.g. pens, water, student card, etc.)
- Bring a watch! You may be used to checking the time on your phone, but you won’t be able to bring it into the exam.
Plan your time
Before you go into the exam, think about how many questions you have to answer and how much time you have to sit the exam. Divide your time up and know how long you can dedicate to each answer. A mistake that student often make on their first exam is spending too long answering one question and not having enough time to finish the rest.
For example, if your exam was 2 hours long, and you have to answer 3 questions, you might divide your time as follows:
Reading through all the questions: 5 minutes
Question 1: 35 minutes
Question 2: 35 minutes
Question 3: 35 minutes
After 35 minutes, move onto the next question. If you have time left over at the end of the exam, you can go back and add in extra information to any of the questions, so leave yourself some blank space after each question.
Read and reread all of the questions
The most important thing you can do at the start of exam is to thoroughly read through all of the questions. Select which questions you are going to answer and then reread them to be sure you understand what is being asked. You can write the most brilliant paper in the world, but if it doesn’t appropriately answer the question that has been asked, then what was the point?
Start with the “easiest” question first
In any exam there’ll be topics which you are more comfortable writing about than others. Answer the questions you feel most comfortable with first, this will help you feel a bit more confident and put you at ease. Then, move on to the questions you feel are more difficult.
Exams can be stressful but they are not the end of the world. If you feel yourself starting to panic, concentrate on taking deep steady breaths. Write down what you know. And when the exam is over, try not to over-analyse what you wrote. Your health and wellbeing is far more important than any exam!