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How To Mimic Your Exam


Why Mimic Your Exam?

When revising for your end of semester exams, it is common practice to use a practice exam as a way of testing yourself to firstly, see if you have prepared well enough and secondly, to see how you will cope with exam conditions.

The problem with this is we often remember to check the first part but how do we try and mimic exam conditions so that when it comes to actually doing the exam, we will more easily to cope with it.

This is what this blog post is about and if you are looking for a way to accelerate your performance you need to be doing this.  Think of it like a professional race car driver practicing in a simulator.  You want to mimic the exam conditions as closely as possibly so when things that happen that you didn’t expect you are more able to cope and still perform well.

Exams involve four main things different from normal study:

  1. A set time frame
  2. A mandatory quiet environment but conversely often  with lots of people
  3. A supervisor who makes sure all exam conditions are adhered to
  4. Questions that can taken from any week in the semester

These are the conditions that you have to try to re-create.  Last week I shared how you can create your own practice exam, you will need to do this to try and re-create exam conditions with an exam paper that includes questions from any week in the semester.

Go To Your Library

There is one place that I have always found the best for points 1-3 and that is your local library.  There are usually lots of people but it is also kept quiet.  The only thing you need to then is to get a friend or family member willing to be your supervisor for a few hours.

Learn From The Experience

Remember, the point of this exercise is to get as close to as possible to what your real exam will be like.  Afterwards, get someone to check your answers and review where you went wrong and how you can improve so when you do your real exam you can make sure you get the best grade possible.

Further Reading

Benedict Carey’s book How We Learn is a great resource on why it is important to try and mimic your exam situation prior to doing your exam.  So if you want to know more and get more info on this important topic check out his book How We Learn: The Surprising Truth about When, Where and Why it Happens

How To Mimic Your Exam
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How To Mimic Your Exam

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