practical tips: exam day
a v. important, no frills post on what you should do on exam day. just a few tips from a medicine student :)
eat: protein (high energy), fresh fruit (low GI + fructose), any other common breakfast staples (don’t be adventurous with your food today! keep it simple)
have eggs/tuna, apples (makes you more awake than caffeine), wholemeal toast
avoid: heavy carbs/turkey (makes you sleepy), caffeine (excess can make you jittery), excess gum (laxative effect), excessively greasy/dairy/spicy/sugary food (nauseous effect), alcohol
don’t have pasta from last night, energy drinks, curries, bacon
what to bring*
- water bottle! (pls sip if you feel tired/stuck on a question! it helps i swear)
- transparent pencil case
- student ID
- 2 pencils (eraser tips would be good!)
- 2 pens
- clear ruler
- calculator/protractor etc. for certain subjects
* check your exam notification on the type of pen/pencil, whether calculator is allowed etc. DON’T bring white out- usually not allowed in exams, but again check for your school.
on the way
goal: stay calm and quiet
action: sit in a quiet carriage of a train, play white noise in headphones, avoid noisy/stressed out fellow exam-takers
reason: boosts your focus, confidence and calmness. enables you to utilise any last minute revision time effectively
on the way: revision
goal: active revision (avoid just reading over stuff!)
action: redraw diagrams, verbalise definitions, solve harder past paper questions from scratch.
reason: it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking ‘i know this already’. revising like this solidifies what you know and ensures clarity and depth in your answers.
this depends on which subject the exam is for but here’s a general guide
1. reading over long response/essay type questions and think about your stance/arguments to support it.
2. skim through whole paper for questions on hard/difficult-to-memorise topics. keep a mental note to do those first (brain dump the info first while the knowledge is fresh!)
3. start solving multiple choice type questions mentally so that you’re ready to fill in the answers once you’re allowed to pick up your pens