The midterms are nearly upon us and the only thing that stands between you and the freedom of spring break is exams. You already know that you need to set up a study schedule, get plenty of sleep, ease your exam stress and have a good meal before you write. But there are a number of exam skills that can work on too.
Timing is everything: Start by taking a quick look at the exam to see what lies ahead. Divide your time between the questions to make sure you are able to complete them all.
Bring several writing implements; this will prevent the stress and wasted time of having to borrow a replacement pen from the invigilator. Check your exam kit before each exam and make sure you have a calculator, stationary and any permitted materials. There is nothing that induces fear and wastes time more than arriving at an exam ill-prepared.
Don’t rush; take your time and think carefully about the answer before writing it down.
Leave spaceat the end of each question so that you can add further thoughts and ideas should you finish early and have some extra time to expand on your answers.
When in doubt, elaborate:Write down the answer to each question, but if you have time at the end, go back and elaborate. You may just be able to add a couple of marks onto your total.
Keep calm and carry on: if you are perusing the paper and discover that there are some questions you don’t feel prepared for, don’t panic. Take a deep breath and just start with the questions you can answer. This will help to build your confidence and, by the time you get back to the difficult questions, the answer may emerge from the murkier recesses of your brain. Remember; stress only makes it less likely that you will remember the answer.
Write legibly:If the teacher can’t read your handwriting, they can’t give you marks. Slow down and write clearly. Writing slowly will also give you more time to think of the best possible answers.
Double check: As tired as you may be at the end of the exam, check your answers if you have time. You may catch something that you got wrong and have the time to correct it.
Shake it off; when you are finished with the exam, forget about it. Going through answers with your friends and then worrying about what you wrote will only add to the stress of the next exam. There is nothing you can do about it once it’s over. Instead you should focus on the next paper and try to relax a little.
Whatever your exam process, make sure that you take care of yourself. Eat well, exercise, get enough sleep and try to stay calm. Good luck!