The day of the exam: 5 tips to boost your performance

The big day is finally here! Show the day who is #boss with your superior organisational skills and Zen attitude.

Remember, the hard part is over. The content is in your head – it’s ready and waiting to be unleashed onto your exam paper. You just need to set it free! Here’s some tips to ensure that you perform your best in the exam:

1. Pack your bag
No, not for a flight overseas (as tempting as that may be). Pack your bag with everything you need for the exam. You don’t want to rock up to the exam without your student ID, or a pen. Whether you will need a calculator, ruler or protractor, organize all your stuff the night before the exam. Exams are thirsty work, so be sure to toss in a water bottle as well.

2. Get there early
Make sure you arrive early so that you have time to get settled. Arriving late can cause anxiety, and get you started on the wrong foot. Use the time to double check the equipment you can bring into the exam. Are you allowed to bring a calculator into the exam? If it’s an open book, are you allowed to bring absolutely any book/material?

3. Answer what you want, when you want
You don’t have to answer the questions in the order they are presented. Be a rebel and do the last one’s first, or first one’s last (doesn’t that work out to be the same thing?). You may be less anxious if you answer all the easy questions first and then allocate the remaining time to the more difficult ones.

4. Read exam questions carefully
Duh! We hear you say. But under stressful exam conditions you may be tempted to skim over the question quickly so you can get on with drafting an answer. The danger with this, is that you may misunderstand, misread or simply miss a vital part of the question. So take your time and make sure you know exactly what you are being asked for.

5. Review your answers
Finished your exam with minutes to spare? Don’t leave early! Use that time to review your answers. You will kick yourself if you accidently missed a multiple choice question, or the short essay question on the back page that you didn’t see (because you rushed out of the exam room!).

— Extract from Study Smart