Day 38: The Amsterdam Field Manual on “Effective Exam Preparation Avoidance”

Henry, our Red Coated Tour Guide, is out entertaining cute children right now, so I'll have to stand in his place. Sorry - he's really good.

[Cue the soothing tour guide voice.]

Welcome.  Thank you for your interest in the highly sought-after talent of Effective Exam Preparation Avoidance.  Are you a beginner?  Perhaps you’ve had some experience yourself?  Oh, are you an expert?  Well then I’m sure you will have helpful contributions during our discussion.  Come along now…this way please.

Stop 1: Breakfast

Be sure and seek out a place to eat your morning meal as far away from your domicile as humanly possible.  Make sure it’s raining, and forget your umbrella so you can have “just one more cup of coffee until the rain lets up.”  Consider whether or not you’ve absolutely exhausted all possible conversation with the restaurateur.  If so, you’ve started out on the right track!  Next…

Stop 2:  Essential housekeeping chores

Although you could do laundry tomorrow afternoon following your three-hour exam covering a boatload of material, it would be better if you did laundry now!  That way, the three trips back and forth to put the laundry in, switch it out to the drier, and take it back to your room will absorb precious studying minutes.  Need even more help?  That’s easy – forget your laundry detergent.  Bravo!  On to…

Task 3: Examine the interior of your dorm room while avoiding the open books on your desk

In case you don’t quite understand this advice, I’ll help you out with useful information to illustrate my point.  For example, did you know that my dorm room floor is so uneven that you can effectively measure the angle with an index card?  Well, now you do.  It’s easy…

Just look at your prefab bookshelves jutting out from around a corner in your room.  Measure the length at floor level.  See? It’s exactly the width of the “narrow” side of an index card!  Now, let’s measure the top.  Wow! It’s exactly the length of the “wide” side of an index card!  Now, just subtract the narrow from the wide in inches, then turn that into a right triangle spread over the area of one side of the floor to the other. Calculate, and voila!

Good job!  30 more minutes down the drain.  Excellent work.

What?  It’s only 11:30?  Well, that’s a mere 3.5 hours of avoidance.  Not nearly enough to be effective.  Perhaps an early lunch?  Definitely.  A nap because the lunch made you sleepy?  Perfect.  Now, we’re talking.  You’ve avoided your family law final exam for 5.25 hours now.  After all, what in the world would you have done with all that studying time?


Task 4:  Panic and freak out because you just wasted 5.25 hours of precious study time.

A good way to approach this point in the process would be to grab all the highlighters you can find, throw open your laptop, madly begin typing as fast as possible to complete the outline that is only half-way done, forget a good portion of week one and two course material therefore having to re-read several cases and a few hundred pages, look at your red eyes in the mirror, try to remedy your red eyes with saline solution, jump back on the bed and resume the “madly typing and reading” portion of your work, and keep this up for the next seven hours.  Make sure and skip your dinner so you’ll have a blood sugar level of less-than-optimum.  Good.  Very good.

I can see you’re going to be a pro at this.

Repeat the “freaking out and cramming cycle” until 2:00 a.m., sleep until 5:30 a.m., finish your notes at 7:00 a.m. Print them out, and seek out a healthy breakfast to get your metabolism back into some semblance of a chemical balance to hit right before the exam.

There.  You did it.  You have now completed the Amsterdam course on Effective Exam Preparation Avoidance!  If you feel you need to crash for a three-hour nap, then you will get extra points plus a bonus video.

Tune in tomorrow where I’ll demonstrate Effective Packing Your Suitcase Avoidance.

Have a nice day.

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Disclaimer:  1) Amsterdam is the name of the third quadrangle section of residential halls in Brasenose College completed in the late 1800s.  They have in no way endorsed this exam avoidance program, nor is this blog post to imply such assertion.

2) Rumor has it that if you do the opposite of the advice in this field manual, you will pass an upcoming exam with flying colors.