Soon, most of you will be sitting exams. There are a few things you can do to help yourself and make this time easier. I always did what I could to make the exam as calm an experience as possible. The two main ways I did this were:
When sitting exams in unfamiliar locations, I always went to the venue a day or two beforehand to find the room my exam was in. This meant that, on the day of the exam, I was confident I would find my room in time because I already knew where to go.
Allowing plenty of travel time to get to the exam venue. This allows time to find parking, for slow travel if you are driving, for trains to be delayed if you are taking a train, or for any other unexpected event. This way, I felt assured that if I was held up in any way, I could still make it to the exam on time and without feeling rushed.
Additional things I did were:
- Getting a good night of sleep the night before the exam. (Even if I found it difficult to get to sleep I was still resting).
- Wearing layers to exams. When I sat exams, I found the temperature of the rooms could vary. Wearing layers meant I could be comfortable in any temperature which helped me be focused.
- Thinking positively. Self-talk is an important way we can affirm ourselves and increase our confidence. If anxiety starts to creep up short phrases such as 'I can do this' or 'I am well prepared for this' can help.
Other suggestions that may help:
- During the exam, or as you are waiting to enter, take deep and slow breaths. Think positive thoughts.
- If anxiety is distracting you during the exam, refocus yourself. Count the number of people outside the window, look at an object in the room and look for something interesting about it. If taking a few seconds to do this helps you to refocus it is time well spent.
- Check and double check when and where your exams are.
- Make sure you do not have any notes on you in the exam room.
- If you experience any extraordinary event outside your control and need to apply for special consideration, you must submit this application, together with documentation, no later than 5.00pm on the third working day after the exam.