It's exam day! What to do!

It’s finally here. All the hard you’ve done over the past two years has amounted to this moment right here.


It’s exciting, it’s nerve-racking, it’s scary but it’s also a massive relief. You finally get to put all the hard work to use, giving it the best shot you’ve got, and walk out of the exam hall feeling proud of the effort you’ve put in. At the end of the day, knowing that you prepared as best you could and that you gave it your best shot is the most anyone can ask of themselves.


In addition to my previous posts with exam- and topic-specific advice, I’m going to keep this one nice and short with some tips on what to do once you get into the exam.


Tip: before the exam

  • First, get a good night’s sleep the night before – as I’ve said previously, you’re going to need your brain working at full speed and sleep is super important for this!

  • Next, have a healthy, nutritious meal before the exam – don’t go in on an empty stomach! Food provides all sorts of things your body needs to get the energy you need

  • Organise your equipment and pack your bag, double-checking you’ve got everything you need (I recommend making a list the night before, e.g. NESA-approved calculator, clear water bottle, sharpened pencils, rubbers, ruler, etc.)

  • On the morning of the exam, don’t do anything you don’t normally do (the morning of an HSC exam is not the time to experiment with new routines as you don’t know how it might affect you), but take some time to go for a walk or do something to calm down nerves and just breathe! Nerves and lack of sleep are the two biggest mark-killers!

  • Remember, no practice questions the morning of! You can go over quick concepts if you like, but avoid subjecting yourself to more revision – trust that you are ready!!

Tip: use reading time wisely


  • What I recommend:

o Spend a couple of minutes looking through the paper, in particular focus on the harder questions towards the end and gauge how much time you might need to spend on them

o Once you have an idea of the questions in the exam, start working on multiple choice

o Do as many MCQ questions in your head as you can – remember the answers and make sure you don’t pick up your pen!

o 10 minutes of reading time is a long time! Get as many MCQ done as you can to save time for long response.

  • Timed practice papers = the best way to figure out what works for you

Tip: during the exam


  • Don’t spend too long on harder multiple-choice questions. Remember that these are worth one mark and you want to allocate your time appropriately.

  • Spend the majority of your time on long-response (1hr 45mins as indicated by the instructions), and show all working out in full, ensuring it’s clear and legible.

  • Circle/flag any questions you are struggling with that are taking too long and return to them later

  • Answer as many parts of a question as you can to maximise potential marks. Don’t leave entire questions blank if you can avoid it! Remember, you may get marks for any working out you show


Tip: after the exam


Celebrate! You’ve deserved it.


And finally, I just want to say best of luck for your exams!! I hope these posts have been useful and clarified anything you were unsure of, or just provided some helpful tips and reassurance. Always remember to believe in yourself and your abilities, and go in there and smash the exam!!


Lastly, let’s have a look at some memes to help calm those nerves!




Good way to remember notation.

Also important point to remember.

Don’t worry, we’ve all been there.


Hahaha, don’t do Pythagoras like that.

Indices laws, nice

Hahaha, not going to be us! (hopefully)

Afrina Islam

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