My nerdlets! For many of you it's exam time! Let me help you!
(If it can happen in an exam, then you can pretty much guarantee it's happened to me - and it did. During a Welsh exam.)
After a while a spider lands on my desk - I'm not fond of spiders but it's running away from me and off the desk, so *shrugs* whatever.
5. Accept that exam halls have other people in them.
This is related to #4, in that you really can't do much about the random sh** that goes on during exams. This is a little more predictable though - so I can warn you a bit more!
- There will always be someone who has hay-fever, or a nervous cough, or a cold, taking the exam with you. If there isn't, then that person is probably you.
- There will always be someone who likes to drum on the desk with either pens or fingers; again, if there isn't, then this is probably you.
- There may also be noises from the corridors outside (or, in my case, the staff-room next door.)
- Or there will be the delightful people who like to kick off their shoes, and stink the place up with their sweaty feet. (Or are really bad at kicking off their shoes and end up kicking one right into the back of your leg - yes, this has happened to me!)
- Someone may even break down in tears, or have a nosebleed, or have to ask to leave to throw up. It happens.
Unfortunately, you have to ignore all of it. You can glare at them, briefly, if it makes you feel better, but then you have to get back to it.
It'll disturb you a lot less if you accept that it's going to happen, and just work around it.
6. Wear temperature-appropriate clothes.
There's nothing worse than being either uncomfortably hot or uncomfortably cold in the middle of an exam.
Dress in layers (unless you live in an uber-hot place and know that it's going to stay hot) that you know you can quickly put on or take off, depending on how hot/cold you are.
It may seem like a little thing - but dude, if you don't get it right, it's gonna bug you.
Oh, and if you're in the middle of winter and there's a hole in the windowsill that's letting the weather in, make sure someone in the exam hall covers it with a textbook or something (again, actually happened to me.)
7. Do the 'easy' ones first.
Do the questions you know you can do first guys - you'll kick yourself if you bomb on the hard questions and don't have time to do the ones you actually know.
Go for the low-hanging fruit - it's better to do three questions worth 1 mark, and get them all right, than to get nothing for one question worth 3 marks.
8. Check the back page.
Don't get caught out - make sure you're aware of how many pages and how many questions are on your paper.
Always flip the paper over to make sure there's not an extra question. Trust me. You'd be surprised how often there is.
If you're lucky, your exam board will write 'end of questions' or something similar at the end of the test, but if not, then you've gotta have your wits about you.
9. Sometimes BS-ing comes in handy.
I wish this wasn't the case. But it's true. Even if you're spinning utter cr*p, don't be afraid to b*llsh** your way through it.
A confident answer may make all the difference if it's something that's on the border-lines of your knowledge.
Such is the way of the world *shrugs*. But as you're my nerdlets, I know you will use your b*llsh**ting powers for good, not evil. Right?
10. For essay questions, always start your answer with a re-phrasing of the question.
This tells whoever is reading your paper that you understand the question (even if you didn't, see #9,) and might even make them act more positively towards you.
But how to do this without being too obvious? Lemme help with that too (oh, and never write 'lemme' on an exam paper, guys, it won't end well.)
Q: How did Charles I's attitudes towards kingship shape the way he interacted with parliament?
A: The relationship between Charles I and parliament was shaped by many factors, including his attitudes towards kingship...
Q: Was Prospero a good father to Miranda in Shakespeare's The Tempest? Discuss.
A: Whether Prospero can be said to have been a good father to Miranda in Shakespeare's The Tempest is a matter of your perspective on several elements of their relationship...
Q: Should the law be moral?
A: Whether the law should be moral is a question that is up for debate...
(And in no way is it apparent that I did Law, History, and English. Lol.)
See? I can shamelessly say that I rocked essay questions, guys. 😎
11. For the love of God, PUT YOUR NAME AND DETAILS ON YOUR PAPER.
The first thing you do is put your name and details on the paper. The last thing you do before you hand it in is check that your name and details are there and correct.
You can't get a good grade if they can't find your paper!
12. Take care of yourself.
Eat a good meal. Get a good sleep.
Sleep-deprived folks with low blood-sugar aren't going to get good grades.
So don't bother with the all-night cramming session. You'll just stress yourself out. Go to bed. When the morning comes you'll either be stressed and rested or stressed and unrested - which do you think will work out better?
You're doing this for YOU guys. YOU are the one that matters.
Your teachers can go to hell. Any family or friends worth you time will still love you no matter the outcome.
Chill out before you burn out (I know. I never took my own advice. But I should have.)
14. Put it all in perspective.
I wish, truly and honestly, that you will get all the good grades you want and need.
But if you don't? Much as it may feel like it, it's not the end of the world.
I know it's easy for me to say, years after my last exam, but honestly, if the worse thing that ever happens to you is a couple of bad grades, then you will've lived the kind of charmed life that I hope you lead.
That's not to say you can't be upset. Be upset. Let yourself feel what you're feeling.
Then pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and trust that life will go on - you'll get through this.
If you're in a really bad place though guys, please don't hesitate to get help. Go to friends, family, or a doctor.
If you need to, use helplines such as those listed here. In the UK, you can use the Samaritans service to get stuff off your chest.
YOU ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN GRADES. Please believe that.
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