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How to treat your exams like a business

"Get a broad knowledge base and make sure you know where to find what you need."

Does anybody like exams?

Believe it or not there are some people out there who love the cut and thrust of the high-pressure exam environment. But most of us could quite happily live without it.

There are plenty of study guides and exam tips available, but few take a practical, business-like approach to study success.

How about approaching exams as a corporate challenge?

Don't over-work your staff

Burning the candle at both ends is not the way to approach exam time fresh and sharp. Just like employees in a business, you need to get away from the office sometimes, have some downtime, and get some life balance.

What happens when staff work too many hours and the work/life balance gets out of kilter? Productivity generally drops, people start leaving in their droves, and creativity is marginalised. Things generally start falling apart.

During exam time, it’s important to ensure you are happy and rested. This will go a long way to ensuring you avoid a workplace blow-out akin to that listed above.

Keep supplies up

You wouldn't expect a business operation to be able to run without electricity or water, without equipment, or without the basic tools and materials needed to complete the job.

Hence, keeping your business fuelled with the resources needed to function, is fundamental for any manager.

It's the same for you. As you prep and cram, try to also to eat well, keep hydrated, and get some exercise.

Grow your knowledge base

Businesses succeed by continually growing their knowledge base.  Bringing in consultants, ongoing training and keeping up with industry change is part and parcel of any manager's life.

So, even as you warm up for your performance in the exam room, and try and keep the nerves in check, don't forget the whole point of the exercise – you are expected to know the subject matter and will be asked to prove it.

While a good business manager may not have all the answers, she or he should know where or how to find them.

Make sure your knowledge base is broad and that you know where to find what you need.

Get the little things right

Business managers can get tangled up in things like accounts, taxes, regulations or employee issues.

All are important but they needn't take up your time and energy and generally, they only do if they've been somehow neglected.

So, when prepping, don't forget those minor issues:

  • Make sure you've got food and water to keep you going on an exam day
  • Plan your meals out so you're not going into an afternoon session growling with hunger or dehydrated
  • Plan regular rest-gaps if you have a few exams on the same day
  • Make sure you leave early on the day so you're not late
  • Minimise stress by getting the little things right.

Pass and pass out

Profitable businesses take care to prioritise the important things. So should you in your approach to exams.

Like business operations, exam periods tend to have a deadline. Get there well prepared and then you can stop planning for a bit and take a break; call it a quiet time in the business cycle.

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