There’s a lot of talk about how to study and prepare for an exam but not that much on what to do when it comes to exam day. Here’s a few things I would try to remember on the day of your exam.
(1) TRY NOT TO TALK TO OTHERS BEFOREHAND
The worst people are those that say how nervous they are and how they haven’t studied and how the exam is going to be really hard and how they just cant take it! Avoid these people like the plague. You haven’t even seen the exam yet so there is no reason to be that anxious before it. Pre-exam jitters are normal and even beneficial. I don’t have to tell you SHE students how the adrenaline works in your body etc (mainly because I have repressed all HBA thoughts). However, if those stressed people are negatively affecting you, try to change the conversation, sit with other people or just put some headphones in.
Be gone, negative person!
I know this an automatic function that we do every second of every day. But sometimes, this basic essential of life can escape us in an exam.
Last night, I did an online quiz with 15 questions to be completed in 15 minutes. The timer was against me. I became frazzled trying to read my notes and simultaneously Google (desperate times call for desperate measures). When the timer ran out I realised my heart rate was up and I was breathing pretty heavily. If I’d just taken a few seconds to relax and regain my thoughts I probably would have done better.
Whether you’ve studied hard or not, getting anxious can really hinder your ability to concentrate and focus on the question. Get those negative thoughts out of your head and get writing!
(3) KEEP AN EYE ON THE TIME
Try to bring a watch into the exam (even its your Mickey Mouse one from Grade 1) because depending on where you’re sitting, it can be difficult to tell the time. SHE exams can often be long and with multiple parts and diagrams, so make sure you know how long the exam will be and how much time you roughly need to spend on each question.
(4) HAVE A GAMEPLAN
As I said, know how long the exam is going to take, how many questions there are and what kind of questions there will be. Some people like to go for the harder questions first and vice versa. Personally, I like to start with the easy questions because they can remind you of content that is being asked in the harder questions. Whatever works best for you! If you’re not sure of your method, test it out on the practice exams.
(5) DON’T DWELL ON THE PAST
Don’t focus on one question for too long a time. Given the limited amount of time your have, it is best to move on to what you do know and come back to it later when you have that light bulb moment. What happens if that answer never comes back to you and you don’t figure it out? It’s not the end of the world. You will get some things wrong, unless you’re supernerd from The Chase, so don’t get too upset about a few questions. It’ll be irrelevant next semester, so don’t stress (says the stress head).
(6) WEAR LAYERS
Has anyone else felt like the Library is a sauna these days? I literally cant concentrate because of how hot it is in there! Anyway, the same could happen in the exam room, so make sure you wear layers. Also, ladies (or men if you’re sporting a man bun) bring a hair tie so those locks don’t get in the way of success!
(7) ONLY HAVE ESSENTIAL STATIONARY WITH YOU
I hate to admit it, but I am one of those people that bring the whole of Officeworks into the exam. My reasoning is so irrational but I seem to do it every year anyway. What if my seven blue pens break and I need another? Or what if I need a purple highlighter to contrast with my orange one? It’s ridiculous and in short, you should really just bring one spare pen or pencil. If you must bring more, put them on the floor so they don’t take up the minimal desk space. (love stationary meme).
THIS IS GOODBYE
This will be my last post as head blog writer for ‘that’s what SHE said’. I’ve decided to take my own advice and do some volunteer work at my local hospital. We are hoping to get two new blog writers from different SHE courses, as well as more guest bloggers from the various SHE courses and campuses. If you are interested in taking up a paid blogging role or even just becoming a paid guest blogger, please check the job vacancy here https://latrobe.careerhub.com.au/students/jobs/detail/416516/student-transition-retention-a
I hope that my advice has been useful and that my sense of humour has not been too painful to read. I wish everyone the best with their exams and a great semester break! Sayonara!