Hey guys! I am continuing on with my posts about study, revision, and exams. Today, I will be sharing my tips on how to perform at your best in written exams, and how to be comfortable in the exam hall/room.
The Exam Paper
Read the whole paper before starting.
This was a trick told to me by a maths teacher – he said to flick through the paper before starting, and briefly read the questions. Your subconscious mind is then supposed to start thinking of answers while you are working your way through. I was skeptical of this one at first, but now I do it with every exam.
Do questions in the order you’re comfortable with.
I was always told by teachers to tackle the largest questions in the exam first then come back to the smaller ones. But that never worked for me, as I always wanted to do the questions in order. Basically what I’m saying is do what works for you, not what might work for someone else.
Highlight or underline the question.
This may seem obvious, but extracting the important information from the question will help you to focus on how to answer it.
Circle difficult questions.
We all know that if you can’t answer a question, you move on and come back to it at the end. However, one trick I use is to circle the question number or mark that page in some way – it makes the question so much easier to find if you’re pushed for time at the end of the exam.
Check your page numbers.
This one is for the end of the exam. A sure way to know that you’ve answered every question is to check the page numbers are all present and in the right order. I have known people to miss entire pages of exams because they were stuck together, so a quick check at the end is definitely worth it.
The Exam Room
Wear comfortable clothes.
Try to wear something loose fitting and soft that won’t distract you when sitting the exam. For those of you poor souls wearing a uniform (I’ve suffered through it too), try to wear the biggest version of it you have – there’s nothing worse than only being able to focus on how tight your pants are on your stomach.
Another fairly obvious point, but always take water with you. Even if you don’t drink it, its a comfort to know you have the option.
Eat before the exam.
I know that sometimes it can be hard to get any food down when you’re nervous, but try your best to eat something, no matter how small. At the very least it will stop your stomach growling in the dead silent room (the embarrassment ugh).
Forget about everyone else.
This one is difficult, but try your best to ignore the people around you. It doesn’t matter that they’ve started writing before you, or that they’re further on in the paper. For all you know they could be scribbling total rubbish – so just focus on yourself and do things at your pace.
Like in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the best advice I can give you is don’t panic. If you start to feel stressed, take a few minutes to just close your eyes and focus on your breathing until your head clears enough to carry on. It’s better to lose five minutes focusing than to write panicked nonsense for the whole exam.
Those are all the tips I have for now! I hope some of you find this helpful, and if you have any other tips then comment away.
Good luck to any of you sitting exams now or in the future; you’ll smash it.