End of Exams

There is always a two to three week period from when you finish your exams to when you get your final results and they can be the most excruciating two to three weeks of your life especially if you have to cram or if you have had difficulty with the subject through the semester.  So how do you get through it?  Here are some simple suggestions:

  1. First, don’t plant the idea in your head that you might have done badly.  This can start by talking to other students before and after the exam.  Before the exam other students will be asking you “Did you study X, Y and Z?” and meanwhile you were focused on A, B and C.  It’s a great way to psyche you out (without really meaning to) before you enter the exam room.  Avoid all conversations with people before the exam and try your best to relax – listen to music, practice deep breathing and do whatever works for you.  This is your time to focus.
  2. Second, avoid the aftermath party.  Don’t talk to other students afterwards either.  It may appear I’m telling you to be anti-social but it really is the best strategy.  What advantage can you really get?  They don’t anymore than you do and even if you both answered a question the same you both could be wrong!  Be content with your effort and leave as quick as possible.
  3. Once it’s over and if you are doing a full-time load it is imperative that you take at least half a day to recharge your brain – read a good book, see a movie or chat to friends and family.  You need to have that break before starting preparation for the next exam.  Otherwise your brain energy levels keep depleting and you end up putting in a 25% effort for that last exam when you could give a good 75% or better.
  4. Ok now the final exam is over, you’ve left the building and gone home so what do you do?  Avoid replaying the exam in your mind and to do this you need to have concrete plans about how you’re going to spend the next two to three weeks.  If you don’t your mind will wander back and you’ll fritter away this time and more importantly you won’t recharge your brain properly for the next semester.  Remind yourself that if you do fail it isn’t the end of the world, what you do with that failure is.  You need to be putting your brain to positive use and dreading exam results because you think you failed isn’t one of them.
  5. I also think it’s really important during this period to not only recharge but to get inspired.  Read a book, see a movie and envision why you are studying in the first place.  Focus on your long term goals and look ahead to the next semester.  Are there things you need to do now to ensure that the next semester is a success?  Don’t waste this time worrying.  You cannot change your exam result but you can be content in knowing that you did the best job you could.

Preparation and planning are part of success in any endeavour and studying is no different.  After the goal is finished however you need to take the time to “switch off” so you can enjoy your success and so you can plan for your next venture.

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