And there we are… the big day is here… you learned hard and are well prepared for what is coming. But still there is a lot that can be optimized so you can bring home what you have studied so hard for. These simple tipps show you how to succeed on your exam day and get the result you deserve.
Before the exam
Give yourself enough time
Most of the testcenters nowadays let you choose the time and date of your exam through an online booking system. The best time from my experience is between 10 and 12. This gives you enough time to prepare yourself and get there on time. Make sure your had enough sleep ao when you get up you are fresh and ready for the task.
Have a light and healthy breakfast
Get a nutricious and healthy breakfast, fruits for your “brain energy”. Make sure you eat enough to avoid to get hungry during the exam. On the other hand avoid drinking or eating to much. You want to avoid to interrupt your concentration by going to the restroom during your test
Be there early
Try to arrive at least 30 minutes before the exam start, make sure you have buffertime to get there. If you can even visit the testcenter before the actual exam day to be confident and know exactly where it is. That calmes you down. Your greatest enemy on your big day is stress and having to deal with unexpected circumsdances. Allow yourself a taxi on that day to avoid any car or parking related problems.
You have learned enough ! Anything you did not understand until this day is not going to stick on that day. Focus on staying calm rather than repeating everything up to the last minute. In terms of preparation i always prepare a cheat sheet and i always bring it (though i never use it of course) bust just the process of preparing it and the fact i have everything i need with me increases self confidence.
Don’t talk to anyone
That might sound impolite but this is one of the best advice i can give you. You certainly know these “I really hope they don’t ask about topic xyz” people right ? Focus on yourself. Try to calm yourself by listening to relaxing music. This also protects you from talkers and stalkers.
Find yourself a perfect seat
Usually you are led to a seat but the computerized test taking can be done at any seat. So don’t go with the choice they make for you. I have found out that when i ask politely i can get any seat i want. So try to pick something at a window with enogh light and hopefully some fresh air. Also try to stay away from the “way out”. You are well prepared and do not need to get out but others might go in and out many times which will interrupt your concentration.
Most of the exams are single exams where the countdown start as soon as you press the start button. Take all the time you need to breathe at get into a clam and relaxed state. Close your eyes and wait. You will know when you are ready.
Get in the right mood
This is probably one of the most important things to do. Get into the “winners” state of mind. Visualize of of your past successes … a moment where your really nailed it and try to relive that feeling of success. This get’s you into the “I can do it” mood and let’s you jump right into the challenge with a high degree of confidence.
During the exam
Write down the most important things
Though you are not allowed to take anything with you into the exam room most test centers give you at least some paper and a pen. If you had to memorize important formulas or rules then use the first minutes to quickly right them down. That gives you security and later when you need them you can just work from paper.
Read ALL the answers
This is the reason why i think many people fail exams. They jump to conclusions too early. Always read all the answers. Not always everything is wrong sometimes the last answer is better than the second one… don’t miss the easy ones !
Make use of the mark and skip functionality most tetcenters offer nowdays and go with the 3-run method:
Go through all the questions. Answer only those where you are 100% sure of the answer and mark and skip all the others. You will get a relaxed and confident feeling and if you prepared well enough you can already get into the “i did it” mood.
Now go over the marked questions. Rule out the wrong answers and then go with your gut feeling. Also try to remember whether one of all the other questions contain hints to the one you are currently working on.
The third one is the final review. If you have time left go over all questions again – there are no extra points for leaving erly so make use of all your time. And it is probably obvious but i mention it anyway: Answer all the questions even if you have no clue. Your best gues might be right.
After the exam
Absorb the feeling of success
This is essential. Once you see the magic “Congratulations – you passed” on the screen enjoy the moment. Let the feeling of pride and success flood your mind. Try to remember exactly the circumsdances, the temperature, smell , sound, wheather so you are able to recall this situation and get yourself into the “winners” state of mind.
Throw a party
Celebrate… this is important… go out or throw a party for the people that heped you or were patient with you and kept you motivated.
Certainly and hopefully the passing of this exam marks the achievement of a goal you set for yourself combined with a reward as a motivator. So make sure you get your reward ! Buy that new cellphoen or go on that shorttrip. YOU EARNED IT
What did you do to prepare ? And how did you reward yourself ?