Last Days Before the ADIT Exam: Things To Do And Not To Do

Borys Ulanenko
So you've been studying for the ADIT exam for weeks. You're almost ready to take the exam. But there are only a few days left before you have to take it, and that last day is probably going to be the hardest. You'll be tired of studying, your mind will be tired, and you'll be worried that you didn't do everything you could. So here are some things we recommend you do and not do on your final days before the exam.
1. Don't cram!
Cramming is one of the worst ways to prepare for a test. The night before, your brain is already tired from all the effort it's been making all day, and you're more likely to just repeat things you already know than to learn anything new. And if you don't sleep well the night before, it will be even harder to concentrate on the test the next day.
2. Get more sleep
Sleep deprivation has been studied a lot in the last few years and found to have profound effects on your mind. Even mild sleep loss can lower your cognitive abilities, like your ability to remember new information. Your reaction time slows down, your attention wanders, and your brain just doesn't work as well. You can make up for some of that by taking caffeine -- but only some of it.
3. Stay away from alcohol (If you can)
Don't drink alcohol before the exam. It will not stimulate your brain cells so that you can solve harder questions. It will not relax you so that you can answer easier questions. It will not let you sleep better at night.
4. Eat well and eat light
Eat a good meal at least six hours before the exam. You will not have time to eat during the test, so make sure that your stomach isn't empty before you begin. By the way, don't forget to have some drinking water (or tea!) near you.
Here are some materials to review before the exam:
  • The syllabus and your notes. Closely examine the topics you are weakest on.
  • Case studies and past exams. If you want to spend time studying before the exam, we strongly encourage reviewing case studies and past exams. Past exams are the only way for you to get a detailed look at how cases are written and what the "best" answers look like. (BTW, don't try to reread OECD Guidelines before the exam - the Guidelines are a thicket of hundreds of pages of dense, unhelpful prose that even experts sometimes find hard to follow. This is NOT the best material to go over a few days or even hours before the exam).
  • ADIT exam rules. It's best if you know them in advance and there would be no surprises during the exam.
Keep calm and remember it's only an exam! Good luck!

What are your hints and tips for the last days before the exam? Share them with us!
We discuss exam strategies and share hints and tips in our textbook and the transfer pricing course. 

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