Friday, July 31, 2009

10 musts when taking an entrance exam

Today and tomorrow is UPCAT day, entrance examination for those who want to study at UP campuses. I remember way back 1978 when i also took the exam. I think all i have those moments were prayers. Prayers are powerful. Here are 10 musts when taking an entrance exam not only for UPCAT takers but for everybody taking entrance exam or any other examinations: By Bianca Consunji
Philippine Daily Inquirer

1. Always bring extra pencils and erasers. Examination proctors recommend two or three—and don’t forget your sharpener, unless you want to keep bothering your seatmate to borrow his/hers. Be sure to use Mongol or similar brands, not mechanical pencils. Also, use a separate eraser. Built-in erasers tend to be abrasive and may tear the page if you rub too hard.

2. Don’t bring noisy or overly aromatic food. By this, we mean chicharon, crispy potato chips, adobo. The noise and the scent of the food can be really distracting to everyone in the room! Limit yourself to sandwiches and other small snacks so they’ll be easier for you to eat as well. Coffee in a thermos might be a good idea if you need energizing at regular intervals.

3. Get a lot of sleep the night before the exam. Don’t spend it trying to cram in some last-minute studying—it won’t work. Instead, relax and get at least eight hours of sleep, which will be more beneficial than panic-studying until dawn.

4. Get to the venue an hour before the start of the exam. You don’t know what obstacles could be waiting for you: horrendous traffic, last-minute venue changes, flood. Also, it’s best to check out the venue before the day of the exam so you can orient yourself and not spend the minutes before the test wondering if you’re in the right place. After all the fuss, you wouldn’t want to miss your exam.

5. Bring something that can help you relax. Whether it’s a rosary, a good-luck charm bracelet, aromatherapy essential oils or your mother’s special cookies, bring something familiar and comforting to your exam. Think of that object as something to hold on throughout the test, like Linus’ blanket.

6. Put together all your documents in a small envelope. Don’t stash your test permit in your pocket. If it gets lost, then all is lost as well. Make sure everything is neatly stored together. Make copies if you have to, just in case something happens.

7. If you don’t know the answer, move on. Don’t waste 10 minutes of precious exam time trying to figure out the best answer. Be honest with yourself and take a risk—do you have time to make an educated guess, or are you going to shade a random letter? Just know that your own fate is in your hands (and try not to guess too often).

8. Go over the test paper and read all the questions twice. To make sure you don’t skip any questions, cross-check the number on the questionnaire with the number on your answer sheet. Possible school careers have been ruined with carelessness.

9. Use your scratch paper. Don’t try to figure it all out in your head; writing things down can help you think clearly. Ask for extra paper if you need it. Also, seeing the solutions in your own handwriting makes it more real, and may help you recall similar problems you might have attacked before.

10. Relax. We know it’s your future on the line. But panicking won’t do you any good. Once in a while, close your eyes and meditate. Pray if you want. Then pick up your pencil again and go through the test with renewed energy.


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