The hour of the Admissions Test is upon us, and the time has come for you to march into the exam room and do your best!To ensure nothing holds you back, we’ve put together a quick list of tips – from what to eat, when to sleep and how to handle the test – to help you succeed.
The night before
Have a healthy, well-balanced meal with protein, vegetables and fruit. Keep yourself hydrated and skip dessert if you’re not hungry – no point over filling yourself and feeling soporific the next day. Stop your revision at 7.30 and don’t pick it up again that evening. If you don’t know it by this point, then you never will. Remember that the Admissions Tests are testing what you can do not what you know: It is far more important to let it sink in, have a good night’s sleep and wake up feeling energised and ready to attack your test.
Get up early (if only on this day!) and have a good breakfast filled with protein and fruit. Have a quick glance over any flash cards you have made, but don’t go back to your original notes. Go easy on the caffeine – it won’t get you through the exam, it’ll just make you feel jittery and you might find your energy levels crash half way through. Having said that, don’t lay off it completely – especially if you’re a regular caffeinator – as you could find that you suffer from headaches mid-way through. Pack a banana and eat that before you go into your test – this will give you a slow release of energy, which will keep you going through the test (ask the nearest scientist if you’re wondering why).
During the test
Keep an eye on the clock – there is nothing worse that running out of time on the final question – which is often worth the most marks – because you spent too long on a question at the beginning. It helps to have a plan in your mind as to how long you are going to spend on each question to maximise your marks and then stick to this. If you get stuck on a question, move on and come back to it at the end. The wonderful thing about your brain is that it will have been thinking about it whilst you’ve been doing other things, so you’ll be in a better position when you return to it later. Check your answers! You can lose so many marks because of silly mistakes, so go back over the questions when you’re done and double check your answer. If you’re writing an essay, read the question at least three times to make sure you understand what is being asked. Plan it before you start writing and then double check your structure, argument and examples. It can be very difficult to do this when everyone around you has already started scribbling, but ultimately, it will ensure your final essay is stronger. Make sure you are using your knowledge in your essay! Don’t get to the end, look back and realise your essay could have been written by anyone with a layman’s knowledge of your subject and not someone who has been researching the topic for the last six months…
After the test
Breathe a sigh of relief and don’t talk to anyone about your answers! For most of the tests you won’t find out your score until January, so there is no point worrying about it. Your next step is to start preparing for interview – you’ll find out around the second or third week of November whether you’ve been invited to interview – so try to get as much practice in as possible! Wishing you the best of luck – and any last minute questions – give us a call on 0207 499 2394 or facebook us
Our Oxbridge-graduate consultants are available between 9.00 am – 5.00 pm from Monday to Friday, with additional evening availability when requested.
Oxbridge Applications, 14 – 16 Waterloo Place, London, SW1Y 4AR