8 Things I ALWAYS Bring to an Exam

In the next three days I have 4 major pieces of assessment (2 exams, a design project and a practical). Yay!

Better yet, last Friday (two days ago) I had yet another exam which I spent most of my week studying for – leaving me behind on my 4 upcoming assessment pieces. YAY!

While sitting the Friday exam I made a critical error – I forgot one of the 8 things I ALWAYS take into an exam, and it was disastrous (I’m being slightly dramatic – at worst it was inconvenient and irritated the people sitting around me).

So, let me explain by first telling you the 8 things I ALWAYS take into an exam…


Bit of a no brainer – exams can be anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours in my degree, which is a long time to be concentrating on one thing – you don’t want to get dehydrated.

2. Snacks:

To keep my blood sugar up during long exams, my snack of choice is jellybeans! Nothing fancy, just the cheap Glycojel Jelly Beans from your local pharmacy – they are my favourite (except liquorice – yuck!). 10 simple flavours that all taste the same but are completely different because they have a different food colouring in them. Perfect!

3. A Watch: 

Most people rely on their various handheld devices for the time nowadays, and I think it’s sad. Watches, on top of being very practical, can be absolutely beautiful and tailored to your personality (see my watch in the featured image). And in an exam phones are 100% banned – so a watch can be handy.

4. A Sweater:

Exam rooms are often air-conditioned and it can get chilly. Or, if it gets too hot from all the pent up stress being released in the room, you can take a layer off. (SIDE NOTE: Wear comfortable clothes to exams. No-one will care if you are wearing sweatpants and an old tee – everyone is far too stressed for that).

5. Tissues: 

Travel packs of tissues are a lifesaver for those of you – like me – who suffer from dust mite allergies. This was my big mistake on Friday and it left me sniffling and rubbing my nose for the whole hour. Perhaps not as disastrous as I made it out to be, but it was very distracting and highly frustrating!

6. Student ID:

I live in fear of forgetting my Student ID and being that student who has to go to Student Services and have my image recorded in their database of delinquents who can’t remember to bring a piece of plastic to an exam.


Always read your exam details at least a week beforehand so you can prepare notes (if your exam is open-book), or organise a pencil case of your permitted stationary (eg. pens, pencils, eraser, sharpener, ruler, calculator) so that you can do a practice exam or two with the permitted materials.

8. Luck Charms/Voodoo Magic:

I have heard of people bringing some strange things into exams. Mostly various luck charms (eg. lucky earrings, shoes, socks, keyrings) but the occasional stuffed bear or bag of herbs gets brought in and makes you wonder…


BOUNS ADVICE: What happens in an exam, stays in an exam. Don’t talk to people afterwards. That’s the way it should be.

BONUS, BONUS ADVICE: Don’t try and study the day of an exam. If anything it will make you confused and panicked. Trust that the study you have done will be enough, and know that you will do your best!


Good luck for any upcoming exams you may have! And I’d love to know what you bring into your exams to help you focus in the comments below.


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