How to: the first exam (aka ‘Maybe sleeping with it under my pillow does work’)

Nina Heidelmann

Faculty: Medical Science
Course: BSc (Hons) Nutrition
Category: Sciences nutritional and pharmaceutical

10 April 2017

After the topic of assignments, the first exam cannot miss! Luckily, my first exam was fairly easy-going and before Christmas. I am still grateful for that because I do not want to revise while eating Christmas dinner.

Exams are scary. That’s it. They feel even worse than assignments, because you have to get all the information into your head, and suddenly nothing makes sense any more. After revising for hours upon hours, most of us give up and just hope for the best. But that should not be the case. Again, breaks are important. Do not try to work eight hours without breaks. I think one of the best things to do when your head is full, is going for a walk or doing some exercise. Just go outside and stop thinking about anything related to uni. Grab food with a friend or do some shopping. And then go back to your work. A clear mind works wonders because suddenly things get clearer and start making sense again.

There is no need to know every single word of your notes off by heart. It is about understanding principles and connections. A lot of processes in the body work similarly, so try and understand all the stuff behind it. Depending on what type of exam it is, try to write practice questions together with friends and swap them. Practising to answer questions will show any problems you might still have and is great for revision. If your lecturer does a mock exam or mock tests with you, try and prepare for these as they might be an indication for what grade you can expect. Also, they give you the insight in the style of questions they will ask you. Do not hesitate to ask course mates or your lecturer for help if something does not make sense. Chances are, other people are also struggling with it so you can try to work it out together. No one is going to make fun of you for asking a question, and even though a session with your lecturer might seem scary, that is part of their job and usually they are great for giving you advice about your work.

The main point is: believe in yourself. Sometimes giving up seems so easy, but that will not give you anything in the end. Just work hard, but do not forget to live and socialise in between!
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