Exam Help and Advice
Exams are nerve-wracking, stomach-churning, earth-shattering events. Everyone who has ever taken an exam remembers the racing pulse, damp palms and sour taste in their mouth right before they turned the paper over and began to work on it. Doesn't that make you glad that completing secondary school depends upon you successfully completing a number of exams? Don't worry, while pre-exam jitters are pretty common, and pretty hard to ward off, there are ways for you to become more confident when it comes to taking exams. Prepare well, arrive confidently and settle into your own exam rituals. Before you know it the exam will be over and you'll be accepting congratulations on your fine results!
Preparing for ExamsThe most important part of preparing for an exam is knowing what to study. Look back over subjects you've spent a long time with during classes, check back over what you were assigned to read and topics of essays and homework, and even ask your teacher in case they are willing to give a few hints. Once you know what to study, all you have left is to know how to study. Remember to study:
- In comfortable clothes.
- In a well lit, quiet and cool room.
- On a full stomach.
- Without the television, radio or Internet disrupting you.
- A little bit every night, not by cramming everything in the night before the exam.
- Class notes.
- Notes from readings and homework assignments.
- Past exam papers.
- By predicting and answering questions that may come up.
- By devising and answering different types of questions, including:
- Multiple choice.
- True or false.
- Fill in the Blank.
- Short paragraphs.
- With a study partner or group - if you can all stay on the right subject.
- With a tutor if you need a little extra help.
- By making flashcards.
- By making a final, one page "review sheet" that you can carry with you for final moments of studying on the bus or before entering your exam.
Arriving at an ExamHow you arrive at an exam will set the mood for how you take your exam. Be sure to arrive:
- With a full stomach.
- Well rested.
- With all materials you will need for the exam, including:
- Reading glasses.
- Maths kit.
- Exam card/number/registration materials, if required.
- Photo identification, if required.
- With a bag to store your study materials so no one will charge you with cheating.
- With a plan for grabbing a few final minutes of peace and quiet for a quick review.
Settle Into Your Own Exam RitualsEven if they are loathe to admit it, most students have little exam rituals that help them relax and get on with their work. It really doesn't matter what the ritual is, but if it helps you settle in then by all means use it! Before you begin your exam, be sure to:
- Set up your supplies close by.
- Put your name and other identification information on your exam/answer sheet.
- Read the directions to all sections.
- Make a brief plan about how you will divide your time between sections.
- Outline an answer to every paragraph or essay question.
- Take a few deep breaths every time you feel nervous or panicked.
- Keep rest breaks just short enough to recharge and move on.