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Exam nerves

Discussion in 'The Lounge - Off Topic' started by Pete01, Oct 5, 2005.

  1. Pete01

    Pete01 Kilobyte Poster

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    What do you do to quell your exam nerves if you have them?

    I'm toying with the idea of doing a yoga class at my gym the morning of my exam, my girlfriend tells me that that might not be a particularly good idea as it might 'space me out' rather than calm and focus my mind/body/spirit.
     
    Certifications: MCP (NT4) CCNA
    WIP: 70-669, Learning MSI packaging
  2. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    There probably isn't one right answer to this one. I usually can't study the morning of an exam. There's a temptation to do just one more review of the material, but I'm usually so keyed up, I can't sit still long enough to read.

    I go for a walk or a drive. If you're exercise it might help to do a light workout, just to clear the cobwebs and to give yourself something to do. I try to schedule my exams for the mornings. I know I'm good for nothing until the exam is done.

    When I get to the exam center, I'm a bundle of nerves. As I go through the set up at the computer, I can hardly stand myself. When they give me my note taking material, everything I'd been keeping in short-term memory gets written down (you're allowed to do this).

    Once the exam starts, I actually calm down. I try to treat the experience just like any other test...real or mock. Just look at the question or problem and do your best to solve it.

    I get nervous again at the end of the test, either because I had to rush myself through due to lack of time or just in anticipation of what's next.

    There is usually a survey you have to take before the exam is scored. I guess they make you take it before you get your score so the results won't taint your responses. Unless my testing experience was unusually good or bad, I blow through it as fast as I can.

    Then I hit the finish button and hold my breath. If I passed, I'm as happy as can be. If I've failed (it happens), I try to contain my disappointment and look at the scores. You get an itemized print out to take with you win or lose.

    Guess that's more than what you asked for. Good luck. :)
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  3. Phoenix
    Honorary Member

    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    Hmm, i get a decent breakfast, read my examcram series book on the bus, and do my exam
    the fact remains if i'm not ready for the exam, no attempt at flambouyancy will change that, the 80 quid is a pretty steep incentive to make sure i knock it on the head first time, and I make sure i'm fully ready
    I try and book exams early in the week, thus giving me the weekend for final preperation

    has worked so far
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCITP, VCP
    WIP: > 0
  4. Pete01

    Pete01 Kilobyte Poster

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    Yeah I have to agree with the financial insentive thing, I've never had a problem with nerves before an exam until now hence the idea of trying something on the day to calm me down. I wouldn't exactly call it 'flamboyant' or view it as a compensation for lack of preparedness, just plain old nerves… it happens and people deal with it in different ways.

    I'm just asking what ways people use to deal with them, I'm sure someone other than Trip and myself suffers from exam day nerves, it's OK once you you start the exam and you've reached the moment you've been building up to, up till then it can be a bit of an ordeal just waiting for the time to pass.
     
    Certifications: MCP (NT4) CCNA
    WIP: 70-669, Learning MSI packaging
  5. Phoenix
    Honorary Member

    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    Aye Pete, I agree that the focus really shifts once you sit down in the exam room, generally the worrying goes out the window
    To be honest I get the most nervous clicking the final 'end exam' button, and have been known on occasion to close my eyes before opening them for the final 'pass/fail' display lol

    I also didnt mean to imply any attempt to lower your nerves was an attempt to compensate for lack of preparedness, forgive me for that, I was just pointing out that feeling prepared generally keeps me from being nervous, if that makes any sense :)
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCITP, VCP
    WIP: > 0
  6. Jakamoko
    Honorary Member

    Jakamoko On the move again ...

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    Although it's been a while since I took an exam (shame on me !), I had settled into a routine that really worked for me. I would study till I was ready, book it, Cram up till the night before, but not too late. On the day of the exam (I usually booked late luinchtime - not a good morning person), I accepted I was always gonna be a bag of nerves. I would get up, chill out, get ready and just before I would leave the house (here's the key point for me), would go to the stereo, and play Pounding by Doves. Man, that song builds and rocks, and to me symbolises the preparation and build up to the day and hour of the task in hand. After the song finished, I would be rushing on adrenalin - leave the house live and ready for action.

    Goddamn, that so worked for me. If you have that track, go listen (loud) and imagine what I've described above :)
     
    Certifications: MCP, A+, Network+
    WIP: Clarity
  7. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    I have a restless night, wake up early, throw up, don't eat and go to the exam centre all light-headed.
    Then when I pass, I have a food and booze orgy and fall asleep on the sofa.
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  8. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Yeah...sounds about right. :blink



    :tongue
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  9. AJ

    AJ Administrator Administrator

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    I would read through the exam cram stuff again the night before and try to get a good nights sleep. I normally book my exams around 10.30am, that then gives me time to see the kids off to school and then get the bus into town. I give the notes a quick skim over and then straight into the exam centre. Normally by this time I'm a nervous wreak. Like the others, as soon as the exam starts I calm down and get on with the exam. I make sure I read and understand the question before I think about answering.

    Like Phoenix, the worst part is clicking the finish button (although for most of my exams I have checked and re-checked my answers and run out of time). Now whilst I am waiting I just can not look at the screen, so I end up taking my glasses off and waiting. It is the worst hour, coz that's what it seems like.

    Pass or fail I still end up down the pub for some beer.
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCSA (messaging), ITIL Foundation v3
    WIP: Looking at doing ..................
  10. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    The best thing I know of for keeping calm before and during an exam is making sure you know the material. That doesn't mean cramming for the test in the last couple of days. It means having good study habits. It means making sure that you cover all the bases and don't let yourself slide in the areas that are difficult for you.

    I have never gone in for any of my certification exams until I was positive I knew all the material and consistently scored at 100% on practice tests from Transcender or Self Test. For me it's in the knowing that I have the material down cold and can do the work that allows me to be calm before and during a test. If I went in unsure if I could pass, I'd be a nervous wreck.
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCDBA, CCNA, A+
    WIP: LPIC 1

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