Welcome to the first post of the New Year! I hope you are having a great start to 2014 and are sticking to those resolutions.
First of all, I want to apologise for being slightly MIA over the past two weeks. As I stated in a post just after Christmas, instead of having to face exams this January, I have had the pleasure of having to write two essays. I have made, I think, surprisng progress. I am now in that dreaded editing stage where I will have to begin the ‘lovely’ task of proofreading and checking all those citations. 🙁
However, before I get on with that, I realise, that many of you may have been revising over the Christmas break and are having to face exam week. I was actually thinking back to some of my exam rituals. I understand how stressful exams can be, so I thought it might help if I share them with you!
Zara’s Exam Rituals:
NIGHT BEFORE EXAM
Make sure that you have packed everything that you need for the exam. For me, taking a handful of black pens is essential as I have developed a habit that could probably get me in the Guinness World Book of Records for the most amount of pens to run out in a 3-hour exam.
Tip: Double-check with your school/university/exam board in relation to what equipment you need for the exam. Making sure that you have everything you need for the exam in advance will save you from unnecessary panicking before the exam.
2. EARLY NIGHT
Over the years, I have learnt that, particularly the night before an exam, getting sufficient rest will make all the difference come exam time, when you need your brain to be 110% awake. I know that some people swear by cramming but I could never take the risk of falling asleep in my exam
Remember: making sure you have enough sleep means that there is less of a chance of you sleeping in. Honestly, this is every student’s nightmare – who would want to miss an exam that they spent the whole of Christmas revising for? EXACTLY! So don’t do it and make sure you have a lovely snooze!
MORNING OF EXAM:
Make sure that you get up, leaving sufficient time for you to get dressed and get something to eat. As much as some like to protest, taking an exam in an outfit uncannily resembling your pajamas is definitely a fashion no-no.
Tip: Now, I cannot say that I always follow this one. Generally, I cannot stomach to eat anything before 9am, let alone before 9am on an exam day. However, I do try to eat something, like a banana, before an exam to fuel that brain for 3 hours of continuous writing!
2. COMMUTERS – LEAVING WITH PLENTY OF TIME TO SPARE
An important ritual that is crucial for anyone who commutes, is that you leave enough time to get to the exam.
Tip: I become slightly paranoid on exam day and often leave the house to drive into University before the rush hour. This means I will arrive in Leicester for about 7.30am, which ultimately prevents me from worrying about being late or actually being late. It also gives me the chance to properly wake up, grab something to eat and focus on keeping calm as much as possible.
JUST BEFORE THE EXAM:
1. BEING ON MY OWN
This might sound like a bizarre one, but I have often found that being surrounded by friends and classmates before taking an exam can sometimes prevent you from staying calm. The fact that they are in the same position as you can tend to overwhelm and cause others to become even more nervous.
Tip: This happens to me on some occasions, so I tend to listen to a happy song on my iPod – Beyoncé at the ready!
I cannot stress to you how important this is. This is the last part of my ritual where before and whilst you walk into the examination hall, you tell yourself that you can do this.
Remember: Whilst studying my A-levels, I found that the positive thinking method really helps calm your nerves and give you the push that you need to perform the best you can. It also prevented me from havig a complete meltdown whilst answering a question over Henry VII! 😀
Well, despite the fact I was relishing at the joy of not having to revise, I think I have experienced a change of heart – I think I prefer preparing for exams compared to (when combining both essays together) writing 6500 words. Then again, writing essays are no complete surprise when you study law, is it?
Before I sign off for this week, I want to say GOOD LUCK to anyone having an exam! I hope it all goes well.
Let me know if my rituals have helped you – I hope they do – but if you have any another rituals that could be of further help, please comment in the box below!