Exam writing advice
some advice on writing exams (no warranty expressed or implied!):
- Get a good
night's sleep before the exam. Those extra few hours of cramming aren't
worth it. In problem solving courses like chemistry, you need to have
a clear head - and have your wits about you. Which brings me to the next
- No partying
in the week before an exam. From bitter experience, it takes this long
(at least) for the brain cells to get back up to speed.
- When you
sit down with the exam, quickly read it through and classify the questions
as a) easy b) require some work or c) what the $#*! is he talking about?!
Do category (b) first, (a) next and then, if there is time, work on (c).
Always leave a few minutes to check things over; if only to make sure
that you haven't made any stupid mistakes on the type (a) questions.
you're in this for the long haul. Even if you bomb this exam, chances
are you won't bomb them all. If you don't do as well as you should have,
treat it as a learning experience, not as a failure. This is school
after all, and you're the student. By definition, you don't have all the
answers, not yet. Which brings me to the the next-to-last point...
- Test writing
is an acquired skill; you're not born with it. Success is measured by
your grades. You have to learn how to learn, and learn how to write tests
that prove what you know!
- Last, not
least: relax. Be calm. When you get to the exam room, take a deep breath,
go in there, and do your best.