What NOT to do before exam day | Work and Education

I just got done with my exams (Maths, History and Hungarian) and I think I learned a couple of things. If you are about to take an exam and/or expecting to take one in the near future please follow my advice and save yourself some trouble.

Here is what I learned.

Don’t cram the day before

I know, I know, this should go without saying. But if you don’t study ahead then you will end up in this situation and trust me: it’s better if you don’t. If you have been diving into your textbooks all day and came here in desperation so that I may be able to give you some advice this is it. Do. Not. Cram.

I’m not advising you to not study at all if you haven’t before. That’s not the case at all.

Instead of trying to learn everything in 8 hours try to focus on topics that will definitely come up. For me it was mostly History, so I read up on the World Wars and the most recent communist eras. And it worked, they were in the exam and I wouldn’t have even considered the rest of the topics worth reading about, as they aren’t all that relevant.

Don't cram the day before an exam

Don’t forget to take a break

If you had been studying all the time up until this point just take a small break. This one day won’t be a deciding factor and I can assure you that being relaxed will do you way more good than reading up on a topic for the 3rd time.

Take a bath, watch Youtube or whatever and forget about the exam completely if you can. Focus on other things and live your life. If you’re stressed it’s more likely that you’ll mess up the exam.

A couple of things to do:

  • Meditate
  • Draw, paint or just make art
  • Take time to talk with friends
  • Write down your aspirations (and what comes AFTER the exam)
  • Sleep (sooo important)
Take time to relax before an exam

Don’t talk to anyone else that’s taking the exam

I got screwed over big time. For Maths I asked one of my classmates to send me some of their notes, which they gladly did and even offered to explain what everything means. I was so glad for this and accepted. Boy was I wrong to do so.

It messed up everything I already knew about the topic. I had memorized a couple of things that could’ve helped me calculate a couple of things, but this person told me that there is a good chance they wouldn’t be considered a valid answer. So I basically threw them out the window.

Don't talk to anyone else taking the same exam as you

Don’t stay up longer than usual

For the love of god, please don’t do it. I don’t care how many more topics you need to assess, losing several hours of sleep over it is not a good idea. It’s much better if you wake up at a reasonable hour and take some time to go over them in the morning. You will remember much more and that way you won’t be exhausted.

Shortening your usual sleep cycle will give you less energy than what you are used to and it can also make you more groggy and make you forget things most easily (the opposite of what you want). If you don’t stick to your usual sleep schedule, but still spend 8 hours in bed it can have the same effect.

The best course of action is to go to bed at the usual time and wake up at the usual time.

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