Once you are inside the room, check up and take the seat assigned to you. If you find your table or chair uncomfortable, seek the supervisor’s help and get it changed.
- Complete the identification details regarding your name, registration number, correct name/code of your course, name/code of your examination center and date.
- As soon as your test becomes live, read and re-read the directions carefully. Read all directions carefully. The single biggest cause of the error on exams is simply a failure to read the instructions. I remember in one of the entrance tests I wrote, negative marking was introduced for the first time.A lot of students started attempting the paper without reading the instructions carefully and the result was that they came to know that there was negative marking only after coming out of examination hall. I hope now we can understand the importance of reading instructions carefully.
So remember reading instructions is not a waste of time. Always turn over the question sheet to check if the list of questions goes over on the back. The first reading of the question paper may produce mixed feelings. For some questions, you may be very confident. Now, having read the instructions and the questions, establish your plan of attack.
- As soon as you answer a question put a tick mark against the question. If you are not sure about an answer and plan to return to it later, put a query mark and attempt it later. Having allocated the time and the order of answering the questions, stick to the plan.
- Even if you find the paper tough, don’t panic. Keep on trying and eventually, you will find answers to some of the questions. Remember if the paper is tough it is tough for everybody and the effect would be same on all the students taking the examination.
- Stay for the whole exam. Even if you think you’ve done all you can, stay to the end. Relax, let your mind wander. You’ll be surprised what comes back to you in a relaxed state that helps you improve answers or answer a question you were stuck on earlier. Give yourself that chance.While revising only make changes you are certain of.
- Ignore what others are doing, what questions they are working on, and when they are leaving. Focus on your own work and your own pacing.
- Read each question very, very carefully. Not reading a question properly results in many silly errors.
- Budget your time wisely. Spend time on each question or section according to how much it counts toward the mark.Stick to a strict allocation initially, then return to unfinished items if you have time left over.
- Do not talk or look at other students.
Confronting Problems During Examination
This section briefly deals with problems faced by students during the examination; like panic attacks and memory blocks.
Panic Attacks: Most students must have faced a panic attack at least once. The symptoms are accelerated heartbeat, an increase in breathing rate, sweating and shaking of the limbs. This is related to their mental state of mind. Thoughts like ‘ I am going to fail’, ‘There is no point writing this examination’, ‘I have to leave the hall’ contribute to the intensity of a panic attack. The most difficult task now seems to overpower this attack. If you have experienced it previously, then it is better to prepare yourself thoroughly so as to avoid a repetition. Most candidates panic because they lack confidence in their preparation. If they are not thoroughly prepared, the sight of questions they are not sure of can shatter their confidence. The next solution is to have deliberate control over your mind.
When you do get the first possible hint of a panic attack, say to yourself R-E-L-A-X. See the words in your mind. Repeat it 6 times to break the feeling of panic. The word will occupy your mind and there is little room for panic prone thoughts. Another strategy is thought stopping. The moment panicky thoughts appear visualize the word S.T.O.P. Let the words flash a couple of times. Now focus your attention at the question paper and re-establish your confidence. This may have to be repeated many times to prevent panicky thoughts from getting a foothold in your mind. The stronger your control over what is happening in your mind, the lesser chances that panic will set in.
Memory Blocks: Almost all examination students experience memory blocks. How often have you felt pressure mounting with the clock ticking away, while you were trying to extract a familiar concept or idea ‘from the tip of the tongue’? The best approach to memory blocks is prevention. Nothing can work like regular practice and revision. Should you experience a memory block don’t panic. Memory blocks seem to thrive in an uptight environment. Take a calm, slow and deep breath and let the air flow out gently while you say ‘RELAX’ to yourself . When you have completed the slow breath, consider again the matter which you were trying to recall. If you still cannot recollect, leave that question and pass on to the next.
“The above articles have been written by Mr Avinash Agarwal, who is an exam strategist for school academics and competitive exam preparation. He has also authored many motivational books for students such as “How to Succeed in Competitive Examinations” and “Toppers Secrets of Success” that focus on study techniques and the right attitudinal approach students must adopt in order to clear exams with flying colors. Avinash holds a B-Tech in Computers from G.B Pant University and an MBA from MDI, Gurgaon.”