My exams are coming up, and I wanted to share one piece of advice that has helped me increase my confidence and security, which has been to always do an exam early.
My semester finished 2 days ago, and my exams are in approximately 1 week, which means that I have a whole week to revise and prepare for my exams. Yesterday, I did a full practice exam, and although I scored relatively poorly (just over 50%), it has given me a lot of confidence leading up to my week of revision.
Firstly, doing an exam relatively early has allowed me to gain a better understanding of the concepts I know well, need improvement on, or don’t know at all. Often we can overestimate/underestimate our ability in our minds, and doing an exam is concrete evidence about the areas in which we do and do not struggle.
Secondly, I now have a stronger understanding of the type of questions that come up in the exam. Since I’ve been exposed to some questions, I can better target my learning/revision to answering relevant questions, rather than just learning for the sake of it.
Finally, this exam has given me confidence in my ability to achieve my academic goals. Given this starting point, I’m certain that I’ll be able to achieve the marks that I want, given the amount of time I have to revise. Personally, much of my stress comes from a perceived inability to cope, and so this feeling of “it’ll definitely be alright” eases my stress significantly.
Even if you feel like you aren’t ready, or if you have no clue what you’re doing with the questions you’re getting, I highly recommend that you do a practice exam early to better set yourself up for revision!
I wish anyone doing their university exams good luck, and I hope that everyone has an amazing week!