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Exam techniques

 

Read

  • Read the instructions carefully.
  • Select the questions you wish to answer.
  • Check if any sections of the paper are compulsory.
  • Analyse exactly what the questions are asking you to do.
  • Decide in what order you will answer the questions.

Plan

  • Plan your time for each question. If a question is worth 10% of the marks, it only deserves 10% of the exam time. If you haven’t finished, move on – if there is time you can always come back and complete your answer.
  • Plan your answers. Writing the key points down means you can organise them into a logical order. Check that all the points are relevant.

Write your answers

  • Make sure you answer the question!
  • Keep to your time allocation.
  • If you are running out of time, finish the question using dot points.

Review your answers

  • Check you have answered any compulsory questions.

Tips for multiple choice questions

  • Answer the questions you feel confident about first then come back to the others.
  • Read each question carefully. Identify key words.
  • Read the question and cover the answers. Try to answer it and then compare your mental answer to the given answers. Is there one that matches your answer? 
  • Cross out the answers that are obviously incorrect, and then focus on the remaining choices.
  • Leave enough time to check your answers. Cover your original answer and answer the question again. If your answer is the same, you are probably right. Only change an answer if you are sure the original is incorrect.
Image of stressed student

Relax. Long, slow, deep breaths are calming.

Think positively. I can do it!

Seek assistance early. Don't wait until the last moment—you may not be able to get an appointment and relaxation strategies need time to be effective.

  • Remember your student card, calculator.
  • Know where the exam room is located.
  • Arrive with plenty of time to spare.
  • Take lots of pens and pencils with you (and a lucky charm).
  • Eat something before the exam—if you can't, drink water.
  • Use your reading time effectively.
  • Plan your answers in note form.
  • Plan the time for each answer—don't go over time.
  • Do any compulsory questions first.
  • Write legibly.
  • Check your answers—particularly if they involve calculations.