Last year I made a list of 1o essential pieces of advice for exam takers. This year, I offer some new advices, which now means that this is an established tradition. For the close of 2009, we focus on general behaviour and examination etiquette.
- This one came up last year, but I am forced to reiterate and expand. Do not go into an empty exam room before the invigilator arrives, and set up your camp on a desk with your 6 pencils, and your water, and your hand sanitizer and your 45 gonks, and your extra lucky eraser. Your invigilator, should he or she be a committed professional, is going to turf you out and look for the cheat notes you taped under the desk.
- If you are one of those plan ahead people, and look up the examination room weeks ahead of time, you should double check the room the day of the examination. Yes, room changes are rare, but you know that if and when they happen, the new room will be way over the other side of campus, and now you are late. And lost.
- Give yourself plenty of extra time, especially if the exam is in a room you have never been to before. Also, if the room numbers don’t get high enough before you get to a big door at the end of the corridor, try going THROUGH the door and checking whether they continue on the other side.
- When you are 20 minutes late to the exam, Red Bull will not slow down time. Not even 2 cans of it. And now you have to pee, which wastes another 10 minutes.
- Your invigilator is there to prevent cheating, not to act as a pharmacy and/or stationery store. If you need tissues, pencil sharpeners, cough drops, bottles of water or gonks, you need to bring your own.
- No, the person supervising the exam is not going to tell you the answer to question 7. Even if the supervisor is your professor, who wrote the exam, and who presumably knows the answer.
- Asking again will not get you an answer, either.
- When the invigilator writes several time intervals on the blackboard and erases them, this is to give you an indication of the passage of time. It does not create a magical digital chalk clock. Asking “is the time on the board accurate” will just confuse everyone.
- For fuck’s sake, take a fucking shower. People are going to be locked in a closed room with you for 2 hours. BO is not going to get you bonus marks.
- If you are going to smoke a joint before the exam, start early enough that it doesn’t make you 20 minutes late. Oh, wait. Maybe it would be better to wait until after the exam to smoke the joint.