Some capsule do’s and don’ts, with rationale where needed:
- Never stay up all night to study. Exams these days demand a clear head far oftener than a thousand jumbled statements of fact.
- Plan your studying for an exam so that it is not jammed in with other events. The strategy map plus a separate copy of the weekly schedule for Exam Week are advised.
- Rise early on the day of the exam, if it is a morning affair. Eating
breakfast may not be your usual custom, but be sure to eat something this day, because it will prevent hunger-pains and a subconscious desire to leave the exam early. Breakfast will also assure your having adequate energy.
- If there is no rush, review in a quiet, leisurely manner. Spend time
on the parts, naturally, with which you had the most trouble or which you are reasonably sure are going to be stressed. Repeat the exercise suggested for foreign languages, with the word sheets. Trying to learn something new just before the exam is a bad gamble.
- Proceed to the appointed place with time to spare. A last minute
rush at this critical time is momentarily upsetting. It may blind you to a significant word at the start.
- There is a certain amount of so-called psychology in starting an exam. Technically, what is involved is “auto-suggestion,” or mild self-hypnosis. If you have any control over your tendency to flutter at this time, now you should exert it. We respond to hypnotism because we agree to accept suggestions; a kind of contract based on trust is entered upon. If you give yourself suggestions of fright, this contract will be honored, and you will become frightened. It is a mistake, generally, to berate yourself unduly — to repeat to yourself any form of belittling phrase, such as, “I’m never good at math!” This almost always has a too-convincing effect. The reverse is equally true. Build yourself up a little. However, a certain amount of tension is to be expected and even welcomed, for it quickens the senses and the reflexes.
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