Those of us on the outside look at our uni days through rose-tinted lenses. “The best three years of your life, I miss it so much”, we parrot to anyone marginally younger than us. University is nearly over now for some of you and the post-graduation blues are coming ’round the bend. However, some of you will still have exams to conquer.
The only thing I don’t miss about the university experience is the profound atmosphere of anxiety, anticipation and aggression that surrounds the exam season. It’s worse than school because of how much is at stake. One failed exam can mean unemployment. Well, on second thought, unemployment is kind of inevitable nowadays.
Regardless, your exams are pretty important. Here are 6 things that everyone ALWAYS forgets to do before university exams.
1. Find out where to drop your bag off
I put this point first because of my most unfortunate exam experience. I arrived, already late, to the exam hall only to find that I couldn’t bring my backpack near the venue and the bag drop was across campus. I was 25 minutes late to my exam, dehydrated and completely bombed.
2. Check where the exam is
Similarly, university campuses are huge and have exam venues of all shapes and sizes. Never assume you know where an exam is going to held. Check the location when you get your timetable and then check every week in case something changes!
You don’t need to enter some trance state – just spend the hours leading up to the exam calming yourself, reciting your revision and preparing yourself. Exams are intensive and without the right focus you can slip up.
4. Eat something
Your mind needs fuel to work. Some people get too nervous to eat but you’ve got to suck it up and choke down some nom-noms. Many university exams can last as long as three hours. Without some food to burn, you won’t make it past the first.
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5. Research retakes
Prepare for the worst and you’ll always be pleasantly surprised. You can’t win them all and sometimes you just know an exam isn’t going to go well for you. Find out the retake policy and prepare better next time.
6. Chat to people before entering the venue
The simplest way to calm yourself is to normalise the situation. Don’t try and rinse your peers for extra information, they’re probably as nervous as you. Talk to them about summer plans and try and simulate a normal day.