Before the exam
- Check the time and place one more time!
- Eat a breakfast high in slow-release carbohydrates (porridge, low-sugar cereals or a banana for example).
- Go to the loo! Exams are long.
- Make sure you have your exam essentials: Student card, pens/pencils, calculator if allowed).
- Check out appropriate exam rules
In the exam room
Things you know you SHOULD do but usually don’t:
- Read the whole paper before you start.
- Check how many marks are given for each section and allocate time accordingly.
- If you need to write an essay, make a quick plan first – it saves time in the long run.
General exam tips
- Start ALL the answers you plan to complete – 80% of marks are given in the first 50% of answers so the beginnings of your answers are more important than the ends!
- If you can’t decide between question choices, write a quick plan for both – you will soon realise which you know more about.
- If you are running out of time, resort to bullet points.
- Use your final five minutes to check your paper for obvious errors – they may lose your more marks than you gain by more writing.
Dealing with panic
- If you have a brain freeze, write ANYTHING….literally anything (but preferably something related if you can). This will get your mind working and kick-start recall of the relevant stuff.
- If you know you panic*, work out a strategy BEFORE you go. For instance, some people wear elastic bands around their wrists and twang them if they start to panic – apparently pain interferes with panic signals to the brain. This won’t work for everyone but something else may work for you.
*If you are really stressed, consider talking to someone at our Welfare & Support service.