January 14, 2016, by Dushy

Surviving the exam room

Welcome to January exam season 2016! Having just about survived a 3 hour exam this morning, I thought I’d write about how to cope in that dreaded exam room. Although I did make it out the other side, it wasn’t a pretty battle.


  • Wake up for the exam

Yes this isn’t technically about exam conditions, but this morning I did what every student has nightmares about and almost missed my exam! I wanted to leave the house at 8am however woke up at 7.40am! My excuse: Do not own a radio alarm clock as the music can send you back to sleep. I still made it with plenty of time to spare, although I missed out on the big breakfast I had planned to keep me going for 3 hours.


  • Water is your new energy drink

I use to be scared of taking a water bottle into the exam room, thinking I’d be clumsy enough to spill it all over my paper. However today, being cooped up in a stuffy room and then taking a sip of cool water, it gave me the boost I needed! Have some water to give yourself a breather and to recompose yourself when you think your answer is not going anywhere.

Keep hydrated like the baby elephant

Keep hydrated like the baby elephant


  • Need a break, have a toilet break

A toilet break?! No one has time for that! Completely wrong, I was stuck on a question and normally when I’m at home and I get stuck I go for a little walk to clear my head and start afresh. Well under exam conditions the only walk you can go for is to the toilet. So put your hand up and ask to leave, on the way give yourself a little motivational pep talk and return to the room ready to conquer the exam!


  • Ignore the fast writers and page flappers

As soon as they say: “You may start now!” you automatically get those people who start writing straight away! Hold on, its only been 10 seconds how have you even read the question? Ignore them, take you’re time and then you will not panic and make mistakes (yeah I wish I did this today). It is now the last half hour of the exam and you get people checking their work, the page flapping begins. So what, let them check their work, even if you’ve still got one question to do, everyone works at different paces so take your time.


  • Exam fashion: Layers!

Being in my final year, I have had experiences of many different types of exam rooms. No room temperature is ever the same so ignore the latest fashion and just wear as many layers as possible. If you’re in a sports hall it will most probably be cold, however in a normal teaching room do not underestimate the power of body heat. I have invested in a blanket scarf, so if it gets that cold I have a blanket to use in the exam (and hopefully not fall asleep!).


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