You want A’s? Then you may have to work that little bit hard for them! We all know exams are unforgiving and it’s crucial not to make silly mistakes. The frustrating part is, you know you know the information, but for some magical reason… when the test comes, you can’t put it all on paper! Whhhhhyyyyyy?!
That’s why when exam time comes knocking you have to tap into the best version of yourself, the version that gets at least 8 hours sleep, the version that drinks 2 litres of water a day and the version that can sit in that exam room and own those exam questions.
Are you ready for the challenge? Here is some helpful tips to getting you close to that A by avoiding those careless mistakes you tend to do under the pressures of an exam environment. We’ve all been there so read on for some reassurance.
Get enough rest the night before and make sure you eat breakfast
If you want to be sharp and on top of your game come exam day, then you need to look after yourself in both mind, spirit and belly. Yes, it’s a thing. Make sure you are well rested the night before, whatever you do don’t pull an all-nighter! You should get the recommended 8 hours plus a little bit more for good measure. If you are a heavy sleeper, then set two alarms 5 min apart and ensure you make yourself a yummy breakfast and grab a coffee if you need a caffeine hit. Give yourself enough time to get your exam and have 15 – 20 min spare to collect your thoughts. Fill your water bottle, don’t want to be late and give yourself the time you need, so you aren’t flustered for your exam.
Take a deep breath and read each question carefully
We can’t believe the amount of times we have misread a question in an exam situation, like duh, its right there, but our brains tend to see what they want to see and in times of high pressure this seems to happen more often than not. So read the question a few times, even write it down if that helps, absorb exactly what the question is asking and how you think you are going to tackle it, then read that question one more time and get started.
Don’t forget you need an essay plan
To answer your exam question effectively you need to have a structure in your mind before you start as this will help you from blabbering or losing your train of thought, which is not getting you any closer to the A we discussed earlier. Remember your essay plan doesn’t need to be to in-depth or detailed but just make sure you are covering the basic overview and you’re able to jog your memory later from your notes. Try this layout for your essay plan:
- Reading questions/planning
- Multiple choice
- Checking, spelling/grammar
It’s a fine line though, over planning because sometimes can turn into procrastinating which can cost you time and indeed marks. So only allow yourself a couple of minutes for this task.
Don’t listen to the hype Starting the easiest questions first isn’t the answer
You might think it makes sense to smash out the easy questions first and be on your way, but in fact a better thought process is to leave the easy ones as a reward to finish with Plus, if you are running out of time this might be a great way to secure the big marks and get yourself over the line with the easier questions you 100% know the answers too.
Double check your answers and you’re spelling and punctuation
If you finish early or with time to spare DO NOT leave that room, use the time up your sleeve to re-read the test questions and your answers and ensure there isn’t anything further you want to add. It’s also a great time to ensure your spelling and punctuation is on point and that you have gotten the message across in a clear and concise manner. If you are on the other end of the spectrum and running out of time then a great hack is to leave the multiple choice questions and try and smash out an essay, that is where the majority of your marks will be sitting so aim high and get it done.
Remember, don’t rush keep an eye on the time and prioritise your questions. Take a deep breath, believe in yourself and go smash it!
Photo by Brad Neathery