The tricky thing about exams is that you can study so much that you know the information inside and out, but still have a poor test writing technique which somehow usually affects your results.
Trust me when I say that how you approach a test really can make a difference in your grades. Yes, you obviously need to know the answers but some of the tips here can help you get better grades in your exams.
Here are eight things you should do during an exam to help you ace it.
- Read Instructions Carefully
The first thing to do when you’re given your question paper during exam is to go through the instructions and be sure to understand what’s required of you. General instructions are usually contained on the front cover of the question papers. Seek clarity from your invigilator/supervisor if you need to.
2. Go Through The Entire Questions
As soon as some people get a test, they like to start on the first question on the first page. I get the temptation to want to start ASAP, but reviewing the test can be helpful. That way, you know how many pages you have to get through and you can see how much the questions are weighed. It’ll also prevent you from being *surprised* at the end by a question you never saw coming.
3. Assign Time To Each Question
This is called game plan, and you will need only a couple of minutes to set it up. With your game plan, you can figure out how much time you can devote to each section. This will help you stay focused and hopefully finish on time.
4. Leave Nothing Blank
You can’t get a mark if you haven’t written anything down. Even if you don’t know something, it’s better to come up with a guess than put a big fat question mark down on the page. In almost any subject, you could be given marks for certain key points. For example, in maths, your formula might be good. In science, you might get marks for mentioning key terms. And don’t ever think you shouldn’t write something down because you’ll be embarrassed if it’s wrong. That’s just hurting you and your marks.
5. Play To Your Strengths
Test formats vary, but a lot of teachers like to put the shorter things at the front of the test that are worth less, like multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, one-word answers. The back is normally where the essay questions are. And they can take up a good chunk of time. Just because the test has a page one doesn’t mean you need to answer it first. If you want to start off with the essay questions because you want to ensure you have enough time for those, do them. Some people might prefer to work on the shorter questions so it can get their brains churning about the difficult ones.
6. Look For Answers In The Questions
If you have a lot of multiple choice or fill-in-the-blank questions, pay attention to them because the phrases might actually hold keywords or even answers to other questions. For instance, if you don’t remember a term or an important character’s name, it might be written in one of the previous questions. There might even be a statement about a key method or plot in a story.
7. Ask If You Don’t Understand Something
Are you not sure what a word means in a question? Are you unsure what part of the diagram your teacher is referring to? Ask. Don’t assume because assuming wrong will cost you marks. A bunch of other students might have the same question as you so you’ll be helping them out. There might even be a mistake with the question. If your teacher says he/she cannot answer it because it has to do with the answer to the test, at least you know you’ve tried.
8. Check It Over
Unless you are writing until the very last second when your teacher calls time, use those spare moments to check your test over. I have seen and heard one too many stories about how people have skipped questions and entire pages in their test writing frenzy and never realised it. And triple check that there’s nothing on the back page. Make sure that you’ve read the questions correctly and you’ve answered everything that was meant to be answered. Watch out for second and third parts of questions.