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Salient. Victoria University Students' Newspaper. Volume 39, Number 25. October 4, 1976

Psychological Intimidation

Psychological Intimidation

Of course, the Pre-exam Party Trick is one of the best ways of breaking the spirit of your competitors. Invite the whole class to a party the night before the first exam. You will generally find that none will come, but they will all feel remarkably shaken to know that you can hold a party at that time. Rub it in by telling them the next time you meet them that you hope they fail.

Another technique that I have often seen used is the Honesty Pays Trick. If you are doing no work, don't try to conceal it. A much greater psychological victory can be gained by telling everybody you don't need to work. Alternatively you can spend all day in the cafeteria, and when you are asked why you are not swotting you can reply, with your nose upturned, "I need a little relaxation. I am doing much more work that you!" However I would not recommend this second technique, as it is not being completely honest.

Confidence, or at least an air of confidence, is of utmost importance in breaking down the defence of your rivals. Convince them that you know the work and they don't. Tell them of all the topics that could be in the exams. They will take fright, tell that you have learnt more than them, and try to expand their programme.

When the exam time comes don't wait at the entrance looking through scores of notes. There is nothing more calculated to put you off. Arrive ten minutes late, just when the other entrants have settled down (after all, what is ten minutes, when compared to the disruption you cause). Finish your answer book within an hour (even if you have to miss out pages to do so), and make sure everyone hears you ask for more paper.