How to fail your exam this week


How to fail your exam this week

You make the same mistake every time: At the start of your course you promise yourself you will begin with preparing a few weeks before your exam – and yet you end up having to do everything in a few days.

Perhaps you are lucky to have passed every exam until now like that, which probably makes motivating yourself even harder. Because why would you start earlier if you’ve always managed with little time to learn? It was not necessary then, so it won’t be a problem for the coming exams, will it?

It wasn’t for me – until I found myself yesterday having two days left to do everything. Oh, how I love my procrastination problem.

But well, here we are, having forty-eight hours left to study. How am I going to spend that time?

  • Pull an all-nighter. Yes, I will most definitely do that. Students do not need their eight hours of sleep like any normal person does, right? Science can claim it is detrimental for your concentration and health, but I’m immune. Or at least I hope I am.
  • Lock myself up in my room. I have little time, so I am going to use every last bit of it. No time for a break. Since I am finally motivated, I am going to lock myself up in my room and I won’t come out until I am finished.
  • Cram the entire chapter in one sitting. My plan: to cram every chapter until I know it globally and then go to the next one. Again: I have no time to lose.

No, actually I don’t think this would be a good idea. I’ll probably fall asleep during the third chapter. And you should definitely not follow those steps with me – if you plan on passing your exam.

It is scientifically proven you need sleep, eight hours preferably. You need breaks and changes of setting, to stay focussed. Take a short walk when you refill your water bottle or take a power-nap of twenty minutes. Change your seat every once in awhile, find different places to study. And don’t cram entire chapters one after another. You don’t have the time to memorize every theory in detail, so make sure you spend some time on the most important features and then use most of the time looking for links between them.

Good luck preparing your exams! And note to self: Jarinne, you better start earlier next time…


By Jarinne de Jong


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