Taking exams is always stressful, especially when it comes to engineering degrees. Sleepless nights, books with more sticky notes and markers in them than the number of pages and tons of caffeine. Sounds familiar? Well, we are here to help. Read through the following tips that will hopefully help you pass an exam in an easier and calmer manner!
[Image Source: Kim Unertl]
Don’t shake your head and say ‘Thank you, Captain Obvious’ just yet! Studying is obviously the one and only thing that will get you a good mark on your exam but what most students fail to do is to study on a regular (!) basis. This is not a week before the exam, or a week at the beginning of the module and at the end – this is constant! Study for a little bit but every single day (okay, with the exception of the weekends). It is also a good idea to go over the lecture the same day and make sure you took in all that information.
Make a plan
Create a revision plan and schedule and try to stick to it as much as possible. Since you are probably going to have more than one exam, it can become quite tricky to study for several modules at the same time, so making a schedule is key! Also, put in the deadlines for yourself to keep you working.
Identify the best working environment for you – maybe you work best alone and from a coffee shop, or in the library, with music on and off, etc. And tip number one – revising with friends might seem like a good idea but we all know you’ll end up talking and getting a pizza instead.
Hand write all the revision notes
Writing things down makes it easier for your brain to remember. So, stock up on paper and pencils and start writing!
Learn to use your calculator!
Sounds stupid, we know, but nonetheless, practice using all the different functions of a calculator you might need well ahead of the exam so you don’t have to panic when you forget how to use matrices.
Do past papers!
Find all the different past papers and practice exams you can and do them – while revising and after you’ve revised the whole module. Identify your least favourite topics and things you keep forgetting and revise them again!
Have a group revision session
We know, we just said that you should avoid having group study sessions but it might still be a good idea at the very end when you are only doing past papers. Share your tips on remembering the hardest things but don’t even think about food and movies!
Bring a watch to the exam
There will probably be a clock in the exam room but you might be seated so far away from it that you won’t even see it. So make sure to bring your own watch and keep a look at the time. Can’t solve the problem? Move on and come back to it later, if you still have time.
Bring lots of stationary!
A few days before the exam go to a stationary shop and buy all the necessities: at least a few pens and pencils, spare batteries for the calculators (a spare calculator would also be good), rulers and other things you might need.
Make sure you know where the exam is!
Most of the time the exams take place in rooms and buildings you have never even been to before. So, make sure you know where that room is and how to get to it in advance!