When things don’t go according to plan

When things don’t go according to plan in the exam :

TIME: It is important to keep a sharp eye on the passage of time, so you can identify the problem and rectify it early on. If you begin to run out of time , stop to re-plan the rest of the exam: Are you going to manage to do a basic answer for all questions? Can you finish the question you are currently working on quickly? You might be much more concise, or finish in skeleton note form , or show the relevant steps in a calculation even if you do not have time to carry them out.

Do not throw away marks by failing to give yourself at least half the normal time for the last question. Remember how much more likely you are to pick up the basic marks for an answer in this period.


PANIC: If you can’t get started, or lose your nerve in the middle, try one or more of the following:

1 Shut your eyes and take some deep breaths, sigh, allow yourself to picture someone who thinks you are OK; possibly try to ‘hear’ their voice saying something encouraging.

2 Leave the question you are working on if you are stuck with it, and work on your plan for the next one.

3 Go to the loo. You can feel much easier just from getting out of the exam room for a few minutes.

4 Take a complete rest for 3 minutes, daydream, relax. Then sit up very straight so there is room to breathe into your stomach, and begin work again.

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