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Coping with Exams and Assessment

Tips to help you cope with exams and assessments:

Start early
Know what to expect
Get organised
Revise
Form a study group
Keep fit
Relax


Start early

The best approach to passing exams  and assessments is to start early and, for exams, revise regularly.

If you've left it too late this semester, make a resolution to seek assistance from counsellor early next semester.

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Know what to expect

Examination and assessment anxiety and tension breeds on uncertainty.

  • Find out about the format of your exam paper. eg: Multiple choice/short answers/ essays/mix; or what is required of you in an assessment.
  • For your assessments, find out when the due date is.
  • For exams, ask about the number of questions to be answered and whether there will be a choice of questions.
  • Ask about differential weighting of the questions in exams and assessments - "What percentage of the marks will the various sections or questions carry?".
  • Ask whether there is a penalty for guessing if you have multiple choice questions.
  • Check timetable details (date, time and venue) for your exam with a friend in the same class.

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Get organised

Too much to do and not enough time to do it in?

  • Take charge NOW!
  • Be selective in how you spend your time.
  • Identify WHAT tasks need to be achieved within the time available

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Revise

  • Make a plan.
  • Make sure you understand what you are learning.
  • Discuss any concepts you do not understand with your lecturer.
  • Use a revision strategy which matches the format of the exams or assessments you will be confronting (e.g. essay questions versus multiple choice; open book versus closed book).
  • Check if past exam papers are available from the Library.

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Form a study group

  • Negotiate meeting times and venues.
  • Review the content of your lecture notes.
  • Identify topics in advance and allocate.
  • Exchange ideas based on familiarity with the topic.
  • Share the task of photocopying past exam papers.
  • Divide up the questions, prepare and share.

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Keep fit

  • Try to stick to your normal sleep pattern.
  • Eat well. Think nutritional brain food. Don't start a diet now!
  • Keep up your exercise. It isn't a waste of valuable time; exercise breaks can provide an outlet for pent-up energy.
  • Avoid unecessary emotional turmoil such as terminating a long standing relationship just before the exam period.

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Relax

If you've got into the habit of getting really anxious in past exams or when you’re doing assessments even though you were well prepared, then consult a counsellor.

If you want to consult a counsellor, make sure you do this well in advance of the examination period or assessment due date to practise relaxation training to reduce anxiety.

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