Although many educators are moving away from exams their use is still popular. On that basis, here are some top tips for how to deal with exams if you find yourself needing to sit one.
Before the examination
- Don’t panic!: anxiety is normal but it’s important to remain as calm and rational as possible as panicking will interfere with your revision and increase the chances of you misreading or misinterpreting exam questions.
- Preparation is key: make sure you know when your exam is, which exam you are going for and where the exam will be held.
- Make a checklist of what you need to take into the exam with you (for example pens and a calculator).
- Revision, revision, revision!: structure your time to ensure you leave enough aside to revise all subjects, and build-in breaks and leisure activities – no-one can work all the time and good quality time off improves your concentration when you do revise.
During the examination
- Read the question: it’s tempting to answer the question you want to answer rather than the one that’s being asked of you.
- Plan your time: think about how much time you want to spend on a section. If you are struggling with it, move on to the next section and come back to it later. You don’t want to run out of time to answer questions you do know at the end of the paper because you spent too much time on a question you are not sure of.
After the examination
- Don’t panic!: it’s normal to come out of an exam and immediately think of a million different things you didn’t write down or that you think you got wrong – there’s nothing you can do about it at this point so worrying is a waste of energy.
- Ensure you know when to expect your results: educators need time to mark exams so don’t expect to receive them immediately. On the other hand, they should be able to provide you with a time frame for marking. If you don’t hear within their time frame, follow up with a polite e-mail or phone call.
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