A Lily Allen track today. Whatever happened to her?
By ‘the Fear’, I am of course referring to the final few days leading up to your first examination. At the moment, ‘The Fear’ is currently sat at the end of my bed and nagging me to read ANOTHER journal on organ transplantation. Just in case.
It’s very important to keep a level head (or if you’re 17/18 an ‘A Level’ head, arf) in the run up to exams – while a little bit of fear is good as a driving factor and motivator, it’s important not to let it cloud your mind and overtake the good work you’ve (hopefully) undertaken in the previous year. We don’t want anyone going into the foetal position, that’s for sure.
With this said, the University of Leicester provides great help and support for students in the run-up to exams…. Not only is there the StudentService, they also run specialist workshops for students, including stress-busting exercise sessions, tips on revision, healthy eating advice, time management (something yours truly greatly benefited from in my first year!) and also ways to cope with exam pressure. They’ve also been handing out little examination goodie bags in the Student Union – I’m yet to pick one up, but when I know what’s in one of them I’ll pop the details in a comment on this post.
So, my loves, herein lies my Top Five Exam Strategies in the eleventh hour before an exam:
1) Double check your exam timetable. Make sure you know the time, date and room of the exam and where the room is. You don’t want to be wandering around campus 10 minutes before, as you’ll just get all flustered and sweaty. Not cool.
2) Make sure you eat, sleep and keep well-hydrated. These are very simple things, but as I said in my last post, I am a stress-eater, so I have been making sure to eat healthily on top of that (i.e. not just crisps). Brain foods apparently help too, with my favourites being broccoli, oily fish, blueberries and pumpkin seeds. A great article about it on the BBC website is
3) Make sure you have pens! Lots of them! There’s nothing worse than the night before the exam realising you only have a blotchy biro and a purple pencil.
4) Look at past papers. As a trend, I generally tend to avoid past papers until I’ve actually DONE some revision, otherwise it’s simply a fruitless exercise – I just tend to panic and realise I do not know anything. However, once you’ve got some learning done and some facts/cases/statutes in your little grey cells, it can be a very calming exercise in the lead up to the exam – you quite often realise that you know more than you think! If you’re a student that uses a computer a lot, make sure you at least attempt to write out some answers or some bullet points – one thing my lecture alluded to is the fact that if students always write their notes on their laptops (as some students do), they get out of the practice of writing with a pen and paper and when the 3 hour exam hits, they are slightly stunned. Try to avoid this by going a bit old school and making real notes. It’s not as if you’re painting drawings on a cave, now is it?
5) R.E.L.A.X. Get a good night’s sleep before the exam and eat a good (but not too filling, otherwise you’ll get sleepy!) breakfast. If you’ve done the work, it will show in the exam. Believe in yourself, it’s what being young is all about.
I shall see you on the otherside of my Medical Law Exam, wish me luck!