Photo: Benjamin A. Ward/OsloMet
Are you dreading the exam?
Prepare yourself for what will happen and make a plan, so you can more easily concentrate on the work to be done.
Ingunn M. Nilsen works at the Learning Support Centre (Studieverkstedet) at the University Library at OsloMet. There she advises students on study techniques and thesis writing. Here are Ingunn's tips for those preparing for the exam.
Are you going to have an oral exam?
- Practice possible problems and questions in advance. Look at past assignments, and feel free to work with other students. Have "test oral".
- On the exam:
- Note key words if the questions become long and complicated.
- Ask if you are unsure or if you forget the question.
- Breaks are not dangerous: breathe with your stomach, drink water, think again and continue.
- Remember: Examiner is usually looking to get the best out of you.
Tips for school exams
Read the assignment many times. Look for the verbs. They tell you what to do. Are there more questions? Should you answer all the tasks or just one? Look for the words "or" and "and."
Manage your time. Decide on task(s). How much time will you spend on each part? Be strict with yourself, so you have time to answer everything you have planned.
Got started. Feel free to start with "think-writing" for five minutes. When you write, you think. Ideas come, and it becomes clearer what you can actually write about.
Schedule the task. How many words should you write on each part? Constantly ask questions about your own text. Is this relevant to the answer? Is this what you should actually be writing about? If not, cut it out. Focus, prioritize and limit.
An academic language has a clear structure and a logical connection. If you write about different topics in one paragraph, split it up, possibly move parts to another place in the text where you write about the same thing. Each section has its own theme.Your job is to guide the reader through the text, so tell the reader what you are doing. Use conjunctions and academic phrases. Feel free to look in the Academic Phrase Bank (sokogskriv.no/en) if you need a refill.
Read what you write to yourself. Do you not understand what you are writing? Then others won't do it either.
Always set aside plenty of time to go through the text. Check for sloppy errors, proofread. There is no need to annoy the reader with things you can easily fix.
Remember small breaks. Go outside, and every once in a while, take a stretch in the chair.
Don't sit and lurk alone, seek guidance and advice well in advance of the exam!
Here are some of the offers at OsloMet:
- The Learning Support Centre (Studieverkstedet) provides guidance in study techniques and thesis writing. They also have their own language mentors for students with Norwegian as a second language. Find out more about the Learning Support Centre (Studieverkstedet) and book an appointment (oslomet.no).
- The University Library and The Learning Support Centre (Studieverkstedet) offer various courses in literature search, EndNote, Word, thesis writing, etc. See a joint course list (oslomet.no).
- "The starter pack in assignment writing (Startpakka)" (x.oslomet.no) is a web-based encyclopedia where you will find answers to many questions about writing assignments, source use and literature searches.
- ODA has previous tasks from many subjects (oslomet.no).
Practical exam information