Exams… I’m with ya

Hello fellow students.

I know, you’re tired, you’re only reading this as a procrastination- just like how I’m writing it as one. You’re bogged down with work and stress and time crunches (be it for studying, holiday shopping, packing, etc). I get it- and I’m there with you. Admittedly some might say I have it easy because I have one exam and one essay left; but if you had built up a reputation for a certain quality of work then you might be as worried as me. For me it doesn’t matter how many exams and essays I have- I always feel anxious.

Part of this post is gonna be a bit stereotypical: exam tips. **Warning, these are not sugar-coated

1) don’t be all-study-all-the-time– you NEED to take breaks or you will eventually crash, and if life is anything like a movie it will be at the most inopportune time.

2) bring water with you to the exam– they have to let you take it in, also I read a stat somewhere that people who take water into exams average 4% higher… now students who know this stat might be more prepared in general causing a correlation, or it might be some placebo effect, it might even be that you aren’t dehydrated when you panic. Just drink water- it can’t hurt.

3) bring a whole host of writing utensils… and they’re counterparts: pens, pencils, erasers, white-out, sharpeners… etc; you don’t know which ones you might need… and take spares, because pencils break and pens run out of ink

4) don’t forget identification (student card/drivers licence) because a lot of institutions require it

5) SLEEP!!! I can’t stress this enough, I know anxiety can keep you up at night, and there are many other reasons why you might not be able to sleep– but put effort into finding alternative ways of falling asleep, you never know if one might help. All- nighters are not the way to go… and my psych roommate says that during REM sleep your brain consolidates information that its learned throughout the day, so if you’re not sleeping then you’re not giving you’re brain a chance to process stuff… you’re basically setting yourself up to fail

6) do not try the drinking and studying and then drinking before the exam thing… I know they say you should take the exam in the same state as you studied in… but you shouldn’t be drunk when you’re studying, you won’t retain the information and you’ll just become one of the idiots that tried

7) Multiple choice: don’t get freaked when you have a bunch of answers of the same letter choice, professors sometimes do this to see if you’re really answering or just guessing… that being said- if you don’t know the answer there is no penalty for guessing, sometimes you might get lucky and guess the right answer.

8) READ THE QUESTION… AND THE ANSWERS; if it’s multiple choice then you need to read both- and answer what is the most correct, not which has the most keywords in it… if its short answer then make sure you understand the question, answer it, and then read your answer to make sure you answered the question- sometimes we get sidetracked

finals… sometimes what we study isn’t on the exam, but usually if you listen to the hints dropped in class, you know what to study

Now back to non-stereotypical exam blog posts… I’m rooting for you… as a Christian, I’m praying for you… I hope you do well, I hope you come back refreshed- I know sometimes family can be more stressful than the exams. I do not claim to have written this prayer, but I thought it suited my sentiments in writing this post:

Dear Lord, as we take this exam, we thank you that our value

is not based on our performance, but on your great love for us.

Come into our hearts so that we can walk through this time together.

Help us, not only with this test, but the many tests of life that are sure to come our way.

As we take this exam, bring back to our mind everything we have studied

and be gracious with what we have overlooked.

Help us to remain focused and calm, confident in the facts and in our ability,

and firm in the knowledge that no matter what happens today, you are there with us. Amen

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