The exam season is considered the most dreadful time in a student’s life. However, it is also their most productive time in the whole year and can yield good results if they prepared well. Often we stop preparing just before our exams.
At the last moment, we attempt to skim through the most important or important seeming concepts and rush into the exam hall, frantically looking the seat with our roll number, exchanging quick pleasantries or even desperate requests to neighbours such as ‘pass kara Dena!’, ‘bata diyo!’ etc, simultaneously ignoring the invigilator’s nasty smirk.
We sit on our assigned places, do the formalities, stare into the question paper, and go blank! Don’t deny it, we have all experienced it. Our brain cleverly reminds us of the supplementary exam as we start writing the first answer and get stuck after the first sentence. We realize that we have studied this, yet remember nothing about it.
This clear case of ‘exam hall illness’ has claimed many victims, inducing silly calculation errors, vaporizing the name of important terms and ultimately getting us fewer marks than we deserve.
Here are 11 ways for you to do your best during exams
1. Ready your ammunition
Exam undoubtedly is a battle, and you need your best ammunition for it. You would already have a favourite brand of pens. Make sure, you have enough to last the entire set of exams. Pencil, eraser rulers are invaluable assets when it comes to diagrams.
If you have the habit of beautifying your answer sheet then carry the necessary items. Underlining important points with a black pen wins goodwill from certain teachers who correct the answer sheet. If calculators are permitted, they carry a new one and not a one that’s got a dying battery (I did once and paid the price!).
A simple watch helps you monitor time throughout the exam. Do not ever rely on your neighbours for the stationary, because they can ditch you anytime; it’s a war, remember?!
2. Stay hydrated
Anxiety can increase your thirst and if there is no drinking water provided, you have to turn to your neighbours. There is no shame in carrying a bottle of water for you; the water’s the elixir of life. The people who jeered at your bottle would soon ask for it in the exam.
3. Do not panic
The greatest fear is the fear of the unknown. But hey!..you have prepared for this day and will not go down without a fight. Stay calm and believe in yourself. The human brain has amazing capabilities.
You would surely find a way out as long as you are composed and focused. A short prayer to help do your best can calm your nerves. Now don’t go on chanting the entire Hanuman Chalisa.
4. Plan your exam time
At least a day before the exam, sit down and analyze the question paper pattern. This will help you plan your strategy. Devise a strategy to deal with each section and assign time limits for each question.
Some feel confident in tackling the long questions first while others find solace in the traditional way. Allocate sufficient time to read the question paper before you start the exam and check the answer sheet before you submit.
5. X-Ray the question paper
Read the question paper quickly but carefully. Reading the question inadequately may mislead you to write an incorrect answer. To avoid this, read the difficult question multiple times. Make sure that you do not leave any question un-attempted.
6. Kills the sitting ducks first
You would definitely spot questions that you know well. Tick them to answer first so that your confidence stays high. However remember not to write more than what is required, as time is a constraint.
7. Do not cheat
Yes, it is tempting, especially when the invigilator is so lenient. Imagine you being dragged out of the exam hall, in front of everyone; not a pretty picture. If you are clueless about a question, take some time to analyze what you know. Formulate your thoughts into words and give your best shot.
8. Rough work on the same page
Some subjects may require a lot of rough work and students generally dedicate the last page for the same. But frequently turning pages consumes your valuable time. Therefore draw a margin on the right side of the answer sheet and do the rough work there.
9. Neat answer paper
Try your best to keep your answer paper neat because you ease the trauma of the faculty who check your answer sheet. Also, try your best to demarcate each answer from the others. Labelling the answers correctly is immensely important.
Leaving space for questions to be attempted at the end is all right. Just make sure that it is not too far off that the people who check the answer sheet do not even see it. Do leave an indication in such cases.
10. Use flow charts and diagrams
Use of diagrams and flowcharts make your answer look interesting. It also adds to the volume in case of long answers. It definitely brings a structured approach to your answers and fetches more marks than plain paragraphs.
But be careful not to so be engrossed in the diagram that you use up all your time and are forced to leave other questions un-attempted. Do not forget to label the diagram appropriately!
11. Final check
Take some time to quickly check if you have labelled each answer and written the essential details such as rolls number and question paper set number (if any). Skim through your answers for horrendous spellings or repetition of words.
Remember to strike off any unused space and mention the number of answer pages used. Ascertain that the additional sheets ate attached properly.
All done?… Time to party!..unless you have another exam lined up. In that case, hit replay!