Hi again friends… SWOT Vac is almost over, in fact some of us begin exams tomorrow.
We have resourced you with study tips, where to get help if you need it and how to manage your time over this past few weeks, but this blog is purely dedicated to EXAM DAY.
I know that anxiousness can set in like our friend Sheldon here, so here are a few tips to help you ease your way through those hours leading up to an exam when your mind can work against you, and your nerves can overtake your inner awesomeness. Breath Sheldon… breath!
So… here we go… it begins before exam day…
Check your exam time table for start times, duration and location. If you haven’t been to that building before, get yourself to Uni before exam week starts and locate the building. You don’t want to create unnecessary stress on yourself on exam day looking for building and getting lost.
On the night before have a good dinner, relax a little and go to bed at a reasonable time. I would suggest avoiding alcohol and any foods that upset your tummy or might not agree with you tomorrow or you might end up like grumpy cat. You have done the work, and even if you haven’t you will think more clearly on the day, if you have had a good rest the night before. I find it helpful to do something active like going for a long fast walk, taking a shower then heading to bed to relax. If you live in a noisy house, purchase some foam ear plugs to pop into your ears to get a good sleep. Also too, check your alarm, maybe set a back up or tell people that you live with when you are supposed to be up so you to don’t oversleep. If you live alone, ask someone to ring you and make sure you are up.
Beep Beep Beep… that’s your alarm! Rise and shine, stretch and start with a little mindfulness. There are some great apps you can download from Smiling Minds or Headspace that have great 5-10 minute breathing meditations that help you manage your nerves. I actually use these regularly, and you can do it anywhere… sitting in your car, at home, at a park. They really help you relax and get a grip on reality. If your thing is exercise first up, stick to that like any other day. Today is not the day however to begin a new exercise routine, you might not be able to walk to your exam ha ha!
Eat a great breaky! Yep, eggs and other proteins will fill you up for longer than cereals, and will give you much needed fuel for a great exam performance. Having some good food in your tummy will help it cope better with that nervous feeling (butterflies). If your exam is in the afternoon, the same goes for lunch, choose foods that will fuel you for longer. Stay away from the greasy carbs.
Plan to arrive early. If you are catching public transport it might help you avoid being delayed, or if your drive, scoring that beloved car park. If you are early, walk around the La Trobe Uni grounds, breath, maybe listen to the meditation app again or play enjoy the wildlife around the waterway… so beautiful.
Arrive at the venue at least 20 mins before so you can check the board to find your Student number, which will then tell you what seat number you are to sit in once you enter the room.
Now, here is a little tip that was passed onto me which I have found invaluable on exam day. ‘DON’T TALK TO OTHER STUDENTS BEFORE THE EXAM’. Whether you make yourself unapproachable wearing headphones and listening to your favourite music, or keep your eyes low and avoid making eye contact. Some students have the tendency to talk about study content, and this can lead to your feeling anxious if you aren’t sure of it. Sometimes this content may not even be relevant, but this kind of talk before an exam can be unnerving. There will be plenty of time later to catch up and be social. If any of your friends do approach you to chat, you can simply say “Hey I would love to catch up after, but I just want to stay relaxed and not talk before our exam”. They will understand.
When you enter the exam room turn your phones off, take off any watches, get your writing equipment and have your Student ID ready… There is a list of do’s and don’t on the La Trobe Website. Make sure you read and follow this advice. They are really strict in exam rooms so it’s worth a read. Everything needs to go under your seat in a bag (they have paper bags if you don’t have a bag).
During the reading time, check that your exam booklet has all the pages, read the paper through, and if you think something is not right, put your hand up and seek assistance. Plan how much time you will spend on each section to keep yourself on track within the time limit.
Show off! Show your subject coordinators and workshop facilitators all that you know. That’s what exams are all about after all… it is a chance to show them what you have learnt and how to apply it. You’ve got this!
When you finish, and if you have time left, re read your answer sheet, making sure it is filled in correctly. Then you can leave, do a little victory dance and celebrate! Meet up with those friends for a coffee and relax.
Source: Giphy.com (yes I am a big Suits fan)
What are your exam day tips? Comment below so we can help each other out. Good luck friends and if you need a hug, maybe your friend does too.