Undergraduates in NZ are about to start our exams. Depending on your attitude and level of exhaustion, this time of year can be horribly stressful or actually pretty fun.
If you’re like my friends, you’re rereading that sentence. Exams aren’t supposed to be fun. But the thing about exam time is that there are no lectures, no irritating 2% assignments that take the whole weekend, and nothing new to worry about. After working hard to get projects and assignments done, it’s kind of relaxing not to have to get up early and remember to make it to tutorials. Besides, once we hit exams, it’s only three weeks until we get a proper holiday.
However, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easy, especially if you’ve neglected one or more subjects and need to learn it all before the exam. Studying for days at a time requires the proper equipment, especially if you plan to go into panic mode. Below is my first ‘List of 7’ – 7 Things You’re Going to Need for Exams.
1) The Basics
Especially if you’re flatting with other students, its likely no one’s going to be paying as much attention as usual to housekeeping. You may be at the library all day; you may just be busy studying; you may even be going out partying (in which case, good for you, because it makes the rest of us look better). In any case, it’s probably a good idea to make sure you have plenty of soap, toothpaste and toilet paper… because I can think of few worse ways to start an exam day than realising you don’t have any toilet paper in the house.
Snacks in exam time should be healthy, because you’ll be eating a lot of them, and easy to make, because who can be bothered to cook when they could be procrastinating? Try carrots, fruit, crackers or cereal.
3) Mental health snacks
What’s your favourite food that you can prepare in five minutes or less? You’re going to want some of that… especially if an exam goes badly.
It might be energy drinks, coffee or just lots of sugar, but you’re going to want your stimulant of choice at some point. Unless you’re a first year. Or a BA student.
Exam time means you have a lot more free time than usual, and you can’t spend all of that time studying. That means it’s really valuable to have stuff you can do to relax for twenty minutes. Make sure you have a couple of books or TV shows available.
I have never tested this with scientific rigour, but I remain convinced that the day I go into an exam with just one pen, that pen will break.
Believe it or not, every exam finishes, and then you may want to have a couple of drinks with friends. If you’re a first year, feel free to drink the night before your exam instead – I can personally testify that you won’t be the first to do so.