How to Tackle Exams like a Seasoned Pro
source // giphy
Hearing the word “exams” being thrown around is enough to create fear and loathing in the minds of all law students. Add to that other words like “closed-book” and “80% weighting” then you have yourself the perfect recipe for a horror movie. There’s no denying that exam season is stressful – but it’s also manageable. Here are our top tips to help you survive the exam season like a pro.
Distractions Turn off your phone or notifications (I usually turn off the WiFi on my phone) to minimise distractions. This helps you to focus and take your time to know what is important for your exam and what is not. It’s also important to distinguish what are actually distractions, for example, talking to other friends to clear up any parts you are unsure about may help but gossiping with friends won’t.
Health & Well-Being Sleep is important, not only the night before the exam but also when you’re preparing for the exam. Despite the temptation, don’t stay up too late. Go to bed early and get up early, so you feel refreshed in the morning rather than feel like you’ve wasted it by sleeping in.
Breaks TAKE BREAKS. Even if it’s just finally doing your part by feeding the pets, watering your neglected plants, going for a walk (and not to the fridge), having dinner with family or just taking time out for yourself. Sometimes this helps to just clear your mind so you can focus on the task at hand.
Practice Writing Usually this is helpful when your lovely lecturers give you or narrow down the questions/topics prior to the exam. This is immensely helpful - as you can first, plan roughly what to write and the structure of your answer, and, secondly, know how much you can roughly write in the time you have.
Hand Exercises Hand exercises will help with hand cramps during the exam, when you’re struggling to even write fully-formed words that don’t look like scribbles. I usually shake my hand, stretch my fingers and/ or rub the joints. Markers hate looking at messy writing so it’s always a good idea to take a few seconds to do some quick hand exercises.
Open Book Exams Ah, open book exams – the elusive trap that may have you thinking, ‘Yay! Take all your notes!’ Open book exams are also one of the hardest - lecturers expect you to thoroughly answer the question yet you also don’t have the time to sit there reading your notes. You should be on top of what notes or books you are actually allowed to take in and have clear and precise notes organised in a way where you can refer to them easily.
Closed Book Exams These are also difficult as they rely on memory. People memorise things in different ways. For example, I learn best visually so I make a mind map of different topics and when to talk about them and colour coding my notes.
Timing Be aware of the time you have, how many marks each question is worth and allocate that time wisely. Allow yourself to freak out for 10 seconds then make good use of your reading time. This is where you can read and re-read the questions to pick up details you might've missed the first time and plan your answer.
source // Peadoodles
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