Coming towards the end of exams you’re almost unbearably close to an epic night out. The best sleep you’ve ever had is on its way along with long sunny days. Yes it can be more than a little tough to keep focused.
Remember you’re ever too old or too seasoned at exams to be gently reminded of the following:
Before the exam:
Sleep, eat, walk, breath
Towards the end of exams, you’re pretty wrecked and your brain is probably pretty full. You might still have some cramming to do, but you also know a lot already. If you need to sleep, sleep. Eat something that isn’t a frozen pizza. Get out of your room and get some air. Your body and mind will serve you better if you’re nice to them now.
You’ve more than likely survived a few already and so will survive the next ones too. No matter how they went, they’re done. You’re an exam veteran now. Try to enjoy learning the remaining stuff. Some of it might be kind of interesting. If you’re in final year, this is usually the point where you remember why you liked your subject – just when it’s all over!
During the exam:
Keep time on your side
You’ve heard it before but it’s worth repeating. Divide up your time for each section or question and try to stick to it. You’ve learned so much in some areas and will often know a little less about others. As a result it can be difficult to give equal weight to the questions, but you can only get a certain amount of marks no matter how stellar one response is.
Plan it out
If you’re answering essay questions, make a rough plan that you can look back on. This is especially useful if you’re tired. Towards the end if you’re under pressure for time, you can through down a couple of sentences on each point to show your thoughts.
Answer what’s asked
Read the questions carefully and take a couple of minutes to figure out what the examiner’s really looking for. Answering the question they’ve asked you is generally a better strategy than trying to squeeze in a prepared answer. This will show you understand and could give you an edge.
If the question you were expecting doesn’t come up
Stay calm. Take a deep breath. It happens sometimes. Read the selection of questions carefully and see which one your best prepared to answer. What you’ve learned will stand to you.
If you find yourself getting frazzled
Put down your pen, close your eyes and re-charge. Breath in. Breath out. Breath in. Breath out. Open your eyes, take a drink of water and pick up where you left off.
Finish it and forget about it
Once it’s done, it’s done. No point in dissecting it with people outside the exam hall. Everyone will have had a different approach and everyone will get freaked out by hearing other people’s answers. Move on to the next thing. When it’s all done, have a great summer.