Studies of Life

Learning by doing.

The Exams are knocking at my door…

14 April 2012 by Jim

On scheduling studying work


I am two days before my exams, and I take it pretty well right now, because I’ve worked a lot today, and I am proud of myself, even if there’s still stuff left to do. I found out that I now do not need the daily plan anymore because I do enough work without tracking my time meticulously. It seems as though the daily scheduling is needed as long as no urgency is felt on my side. As soon as urgency kicks in, though, scheduling is moot. So my ideal working method would be to work in scheduled bits throughout the year and then let go off the schedule in approach of the exams. A task list is useful, too, if it is reachable.

On pre-exam anxiety


I’ve also found a nice way to get rid of anxiety. I bribe myself with work, saying that if I really surprise myself by the amount of work I get done, I can buy my own peace of mind with that additional work, along the lines of: “I put in more work to have a license to not worry.” This is quite powerful.

That’s pretty much all there is to it. I am going to finish reading all my courses, rereading the important stuff, and then I will write my exams with peace of mind next month, having paid €160 for the surveillance in the French institution that I am writing them in here in my home country. The joys of distance education are endless. No people running around stressing you out. No professor looking at you and scowling. It’s bliss. If I master the art of stress-free studying, maybe I’ll be able to pull of the same manoeuvre next year when I go to my local university here. It’ll be a welcome change in my routine. If I succeed in getting through this year. Let us dearly hope that we get at least up to the point of last year1 this year. Thank the gods for the second exam session where I can repass all exams I will fail next week. I will succeed.

Let the things I outlined here be the first rules to adopt for next year’s classes.2

This post is entirely composed in markdown format, a wonderful invention that makes it easier to write without so much WYSIWYG fuzz. I might turn to LATEX again for document setup. Or simply use better templates.


  1. I had 57% of the possible points last year, 50% being the minimum, so I only got 14% more points than I absolutely needed, which is a small margin of error… ↩

    1. Schedule your daily work until urgency is felt (around 3-5 days before the actual exam)
    2. Use a task list.
    3. Let go off anxiety in favour of more work. Worrying doesn’t give you points nor enhances your studying.

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