It always happens to me. I feel absolutely fine the night before an exam, but I wake up with this sickening feeling. I don't know if applies to only me, but I have compiled a checklist of stuff to before an exam.
1) It goes without saying, get some good sleep. But I am surprised at the amount of my classmates who don't abide by this golden rule. It becomes quite easy to study into the early morning when you're running out of time, but there comes a point where enough is enough, and the best thing to do is get some sleep. Make sure you have multiple alarms ready and at least one family member prepared to get you out of bed by whatever means necessary if you're the type to sleep in.
2) But before you turn in for the night, make sure your bag is packed with everything and anything you might need. Pens, pencils, erasers, tippex, ruler, highlighters, calculator. Not only do you need to bring all this stationery, but there are other objects I find essential. Always bring water to the exam, being hydrated can make a world of difference. Also, bring a watch. I once made the mistake of assuming there would be a clock in the exam hall, but I was seated in the one seat in the hall where you couldn't see it!
3) Get up in the morning with plenty of time to relax. Eat whatever breakfast you prefer (for me this is cereal and coffee) and never even think of skipping this oh-so-important meal. Keep calm, double check your bag, and get dressed comfortably for the exam. Just don't try to cram stuff into your brain. If you're going to do any studying, make it tiny bits and pieces: rereading a story or poem for English, going over some math formulas. Nothing that'll stress you or put you in a panic.
If you've got an afternoon exam, try to not stress out. I, for one, have my maths exam in three hours and am feeling quite panicky. I'm just trying to kill time and not panic. As I find writing calming, I've been writing this to settle my nerves and use an extra half hour. In fact, my leftover time is now an adequate amount to get ready to get to school and take the exam. So anyway, for all of you who are about to take an exam... Good luck!
Image: Francisco Osorio