Keeping your Cool Amidst Exam Pressure
Exam season is definitely the most chaotic of the all the terms for obvious reasons. While there may not be anymore lectures and seminars, asides from revision lectures (which I do recommend you attend as they really help you narrow down which topics in each module you need to concentrate revision time on), there is still a lot of things you need to think off in order to mentally prepare yourself for exams. Just the thought that the past 25 or so weeks boils down to a few hours in an exam hall can sound quite intimidating, but with enough motivation and good time management you definitely will be able to deliver the desirable results once you actually sit each of your module papers.
Understanding the exam content is one matter, and as long as you have put in the effort to attend your lectures and seminars and done the required readings to help supplement the lecture content this should all be fine. However, many times people tend to overlook the actual exam structure itself and may mis interpret key terms in the exam questions, especially for the modules that involve essay based exams. Make sure you are clear with the format of the exam, whether you need to pick TWO or ONE essay prompt to answer or exactly what you need to address in these questions. If your exam has reading time, one trick is to highlight these key terms and note down any important concepts that coincide with the presented prompt.
Bring a digital watch with you but make sure it adheres to the proper exam guidelines (no smart watches and make sure the alarm is OFF). Sometimes the best way to make sure you are managing your time with the exam questions is to actually be aware of how long it is taking you to answer the question. This is especially key for essay exams that involve multiple essays or lengthy written answers as it helps you prioritise your ideas so that you answer the question in full, but don’t spend too long waffling on. Also make sure to write down any key ideas the you may have retained in your short term memory during the last minute cram session you had outside the exam hall before relinquishing your notes, to make sure that you have them in your arsenal if you’re lucky enough to come across a question where it is applicable.
Most importantly, keeping calm and practising deep breathing right before you enter the exam hall is another thing that I have found that really helps. he nerves prior to the build up tend to get very intense and panicking or stressing out does not help you think better especially under time pressure. Just remeber, you are more prepared than you think, as long as you have put in effort to revise accordingly you will be fine. Once you are actually seated see the questions on the paper, all the information will come flowing back to you so just remember to breathe and give yourself credit for working hard and coming this far. Best of luck to all of us!