The assessment period is officially here and for many students, exams, in particular, are very stressful. So, to try to calm your mind about the stress of exams, here are 7 common myths I’ve heard that just aren’t true!
1) Lecturers are harsh markers and want to trick you.
Lecturers are examiners who want you to pass. If everyone passes, then it looks favourably on them (and they don’t have to think of a re-sit paper)! So don’t ever think that they purposely make exam papers hard – they want good grades as much as you do.
2) You always do worse in exams than essays.
This may be true for some people, but everyone’s different! I personally think I do better in essays, but lots of my friends do better in exams. Everyone’s different, so if you see you have an exam for a module, don’t think you’ll automatically get a lower grade than if you did an essay.
3) Exams just cause stress.
Yes, some exams do cause significant stress for some people, but this isn’t always true. If you’re well prepared and have tried the best that you can, then you shouldn’t have ridiculously high levels of stress. But remember, some stress is good! It keeps you on your toes and motivates you to try your very best. Remember, it’s only one exam – not worth getting seriously stressed about.
4) You need to spend 24 hours a day revising.
If you revise effectively and across an extended period of time, then you won’t need to cram everything into a 24-hour time frame. Little bits of revision often is much more effective than an all-nighter the day before the exam.
5) You need to know everything on your course to pass.
Of course, it’s advantageous to know as much as possible about your course, but commonly in exams, there is a choice of questions so you can choose the question you feel you know most about. So, you don’t need to know absolutely everything about everything, just focus your revision on a few key areas.
6) Exams are merely a memory test.
Whilst exams do have a large memory component (if you don’t remember anything about your topic, then you will struggle to write for two hours about it!) it’s not the be all and end all. You also need to show your English, analysis, and comparative skills in your exam. Merely reciting lots of facts won’t get you the top grades.
7) Planning your answer is a waste of time.
This is the myth that examiners hate the most! In an exam, planning your answer is one of the most useful things you could do. You only need to spend 3-5 minutes at the start writing a brief plan but these few minutes could really help your structure and flow of thoughts. If you run out of time the marker can also look at your plan and award you some marks for the points there – so it’s very useful!
So, for those who worry and stress when exam month arrives, remember that you just need to relax, try your best and remember that it’s not the end of the world! GOOD LUCK.