So you've been blindly staring at the wall behind your desk for the last 17 minutes, hoping you'd absorb information from your text book via osmosis, and wondering what you've got in the fridge to snack on.
Unfortunately, this will not help you prepare for your exams. Never fear! The information below will.
The absolute best thing you can do to survive the exam period is be prepared. You know it makes sense. But it's sometimes easier said than done. So act early, print out your exam timetable, set yourself a study schedule (and stick to it), and you'll feel like you're on top of things.
If there's anything you'll need to use in your exam that might need organising, like getting your calculator labelled, finding a clear pencil case, or arranging study leave with work, then get on top of that early too.
Take a look through our Study Information page for study groups and past papers.
Go to your lectures and tutorials
We know you go to all of these anyway, but really, really make sure you're there for the last few before study recess. Your lecturer or tutor might discuss the exam, give some tips on the topics likely to be covered, and can answer any questions you might have.
Be good to yourself
Being good to yourself means taking care of yourself. Get some exercise, eat healthy food, and get plenty of rest. The night before an exam should be reasonably low key: eat a decent meal, check over your notes, and get an early night. The morning of your exam, awake fresh as a daisy and cruise on in.
The night-before checklist
There are things you'll need to take to your exam. Know them. Have them prepared. Set them by the door so that you will not forget them.
- Your exam time and location. Check them. Then check them again.
- Your photo ID (you can use your student ID card, a current driver licence, or a current passport)
- Pens, pencils, a ruler and an eraser in a clear pencil case or snap-lock bag.
- An approved and labelled calculator (if you're allowed to use one).
- A bottle of water (label removed) and a few lollies (no chocolate or nuts though please).
- Any reference material you're expected to bring (check your subject outline to see what's allowed first).
- Your lucky socks (if you're into that sort of thing).
Think about what you're going to wear to the exam. Remember that the Hub can be very cold in winter and extremely hot in summer.
The big day has arrived!
You've studied, you've slept, you've had a good breakfast, and you've even found a car park on time. You're here, feeling good, and ready to go. Then you run into that person; the one with a fist-full of notes squealing about some obscure footnote in the textbook that you're pretty sure your lecturer hasn't ever covered. Pretty sure...
Avoid that person. They aren't trying to be helpful.
Better yet, avoid being that person. If you haven't learnt it by the morning of your exam, you aren't going to. Try to stay relaxed, and focussed on what you do know.
In the exam
Once you see that exam paper in front of you, you might be tempted to jump in and put pen to paper right away. It's best to take a few minutes and read through the paper first, get a feel for what you need to do, make some notes, and then jump in.
Some people like to answer the easy questions first, some prefer to start at page one and go from there, and others like to work on the most valuable questions first. Do what suits you best, but make sure you leave enough time for every question.
Try to stay focussed on your paper and what you're doing, and ignore people around you. If the person next to you gets up and walks out early, it doesn't necessarily mean that they've breezed through the exam.
Take a moment, relax for a bit, and breathe out. It's done! Don't be tempted to dissect the whole paper to pick out where you might have gone wrong. Don't stop to listen to anyone else do that either. Go home and dance around your lounge room to the Black Keys. Stop for a bit of mindless telly, or have a laugh with some friends. Do what you need to do to feel refreshed, and then start preparing for the next one.