April fool’s day – invigilator’s word about how to maximize your chance towards good finals

Copyright: Chibird.com (I hope the last item is never on your list!)

The spring is on its way – birds tweet, flowers bloom, flies start to appear, and finals are around the corner. When we breathe in the breeze of spring, we need to think about finals again. Alas, the semester is short and intense, but at least we have a whole summer to enjoy.

As an invigilator for several finals each year, it is interesting to observe students in the gym during the final season – cozy hoodies, colorful pens, soft scarves, you name it. This is the Golden Rule No. 1 for a good performance in the final: make yourself comfortable. Don’t worry if you wear a pink flamingo costume when writing the final – we don’t care, as long as you behave.

Usually before the exam, you see people murmuring in front of the wall, enchanting some powerful spell (what they need to memorize). Don’t get me wrong, a good week of intensive reviewing should be always on your agenda, but cramming should not be excluded from your to-do list, especially you have pure memorizing stuff. When I was in Biochemistry, there were tons of enzymes with random names (scientists can make really bad jokes when naming their discoveries). I did my study, organized my notes, but on the day of the exam, a quick skimming of all the notes I have saved me multiple times when I was staring at a multiple choice question, squeezing my brain to find the right name.

When I overlook the students assigned to me, I see some people writing without a halt, and some thinking for ages. From my experience, if you finish your exam and stare at the same question for half an hour without writing a word, maybe you are just unlucky, because your brain doesn’t give you a feedback from the sea of your unconsciousness. Use your time wisely, even if you feel devastated and puzzled by several questions, go finish the other questions first, make sure you get marks for them. I have seen people rushing to finish writing on their exam paper, but they did nothing for a long time trying to figure out a specific question.

Bring snacks and water if necessary. As long as you don’t bring Pringles and crack them in your mouth all the time, you are allowed to eat fruits, bars, candies, and drink beverages. The threshold is not to affect the other people. What I said here seems redundant, but you will be surprised to see sometimes people are less thoughtful than you think.

There is always a ‘last but not least’ – get sufficient sleep before your final. The schedule can be really unfriendly to you, such as three finals in two days (if you get three scheduled on the same day, it is a conflict). Numerous studies have shown that the effect of deprivation of sleep includes the deteriorated memory and slower reflex. You can drink coffee or Red Bull, but don’t overdose – you would risk your own health, even life. If you have a tight schedule, what you can do is to start reviewing earlier than usual. Even if you forget 50% of what you wrote on your summary, skimming through it before the final day will definitely let you pick the knowledge up.

It is a little bit early to say this, but I wish you good luck on your finals, and don’t forget to submit all the assignments before the deadline!

Be Sociable, Share!

Comments are closed.

Blog authors are solely responsible for the content of the blogs listed in the directory. Neither the content of these blogs, nor the links to other web sites, are screened, approved, reviewed or endorsed by McGill University. The text and other material on these blogs are the opinion of the specific author and are not statements of advice, opinion, or information of McGill.