Exam checklist – what to pack

05 November 2020

It’s that time of the year again. Exam time!

In recent blogs we have covered how to

Our last blog in this ‘series of 3’ provides you with a short but effective checklist of what to pack for your exam.

The last thing you want is to sit in a middle of an exam trying to come up with answers/trying to remember what you have studied, only to feel very thirsty or in need of a tissue or whatever the case may be…

Your pencil bag with essential stationery

Keep the following in your pencil bag, that you will be using during exams, at all times:

  • A few pens: you never know when a pen is going to run out
  • More than one pencil
  • A pencil eraser and pencil sharpener
  • A ruler
  • A calculator

Your ID or form of identification

Determine before the time whether any form of identification or proof of an exam number is needed. Keep this item in the same place so that it is ready for the taking when you leave your home to go and write your exam.


Studies have proven that dehydration can negatively influence cognitive functioning. Drinking enough water makes you more alert. It is also believed that the action of drinking water whilst writing an exam alleviates exam stress because it briefly distracts you and gives you something else to focus on albeit for a few seconds only.

Of course it’s not a good idea to drink too much water whilst writing an exam!

A pack of tissues

You don’t want issues with tissues, or rather, not have a tissue at hand when you feel a sniff coming on. Consider this your etiquette tip of the month.

A watch

Don’t break into a fit of giggles. You might think wearing a watch is for fuddy-duddies but do remember that you will not be able to look at your cell phone during exams to determine the time.

Most exam rooms have a clock to help learners keep track of how long they still have to write but this is not always the case, or the clock might malfunction.

You need to be able to tell the time in order to work out how much time to spend on each question and how much time you have left in order to finish on time.

A warm sweater

Dress in layers when you are writing exams so that you will not be too hot or too cold as this will draw your attention away from what you need to concentrate on.

Don’t dress too warmly. Pack a sweater that is easy to put on if the air con is too cold or too many windows are open that will cause a draft.

Something to snack on

Not everyone wants to snack when they are writing exams. Eating something small does help to keep you focussed whilst writing and concentrating.

If it is allowed, consider taking a healthy snack to your exam venue.

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