6 Tips for Coping with Exam Day!
  • 3-minute read
  • 7th November 2015

6 Tips for Coping with Exam Day!

Your palms are sweaty, you feel hot and bothered, everything around you feels like a bad dream… either you’re running a tropical fever, or it’s exam day and you’re sitting in a large room, surrounded by your peers and waiting for the signal to start scribbling.

You’re far from alone if you find exams stressful, as sometimes it can seem like the whole academic year has been building up to one test. But it doesn’t have to be that way, especially if you follow our top tips for coping with exam days.

1.     Get Up, Fuel Up and Get Prepared

We know that early mornings aren’t stereotypically part of the student lifestyle, but you should make an exception on exam days (you should get an early night the evening before too). Getting up with plenty of time to spare means you can eat properly, check your exam timetables and get there without it becoming a terrible rush!

2.     Read the Questions

Once you’re in the exam, make sure to read each question carefully before you put pen to paper. This will allow you to plan which questions to answer and how much time you need for each one. It will also make sure you answer questions properly, as it’s easy to accidentally misinterpret what is required if you hurry.

3.     Answer Questions Thoughtfully

The temptation may be to regurgitate every single fact you remember from your course during exams, but you’ll generally be better served by taking a more thoughtful and analytical approach, demonstrating the depth, rather than breadth, of your understanding. If in doubt, check your university’s marking scheme before the exam day.

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4.     Use Your Time Wisely

As well as planning how much time you need for each question, you should make sure to use the time available to you efficiently. For example, if you finish early, don’t just sit there waiting; instead, you should go back over your answers, as spotting and correcting errors will gain you valuable extra marks.

5.     Spelling, Grammar and Tone

Your marker won’t expect your exam answers to meet quite the same standards as other written work, but maintaining a decent level of spelling and grammar, as well as an academic tone, will make your work easier to read and potentially earn a few additional marks.

6.     DON’T PANIC!!!

Finally, try to stay calm: exams are not designed to trick you, so as long as you’ve done the work in the lead up to the big day you should do fine. Keep hydrated, try to be mindful of feeling stressed and take a moment to breathe deeply if you start to feel anxious.

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