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5 Time Management Techniques for Exam Day

6th January 2018 Posted by: Mike Robertson

The festivities may be over but do not despair - if you have exams coming up we have a series of guides to help you through the stressful exam season. Here are the best techniques for exam day and how you can prepare yourself for what's coming.                                


Ahmad Ossayli

Read questions clearly

Do not underestimate the power of words. A simple change in phrasing or key vocabulary can drastically alter the type of answer you should give. Skim reading won’t suffice on exam day; you must carefully consider all of the content presented (including multiple choice answers), and give yourself sufficient time to think. This doesn’t mean that you should deliberate; consider it as calculated time management learnt through rigorous exam preparation.

Misreading a question can ultimately cause you to miss out on marks you may have otherwise gotten. Similarly, examiners can often over-word questions, disguising key bits of information in flowery language. In either case, thorough and calculated reading will increase your chances of scoring highly.


Know how much time to dedicate to each part

If you’ve done your homework, this should ideally be done well before exam day. Understanding the format of the exam and its scope of questions is paramount to being sufficiently prepared. It can be a good idea to work out what carries the most weight and how much time you might need to achieve all the marks. This will ultimately depend on the way you work and what types of questions you have to answer, but by being self-aware of your own abilities you can approach the exam realistically.


Give yourself time to review your answers

Don’t underestimate the importance of a second read. You would never type an essay without looking at the screen, so why start on one of the most important days in the student calendar? Leaving a sufficient amount of time to reread your responses is almost as important as writing the content itself. It can be tempting to carry on with extended answer questions without checking for spelling, grammar and expressive errors; but allowing time either at the end of the question or the exam is absolutely paramount. It doesn’t need to involve a thorough knit-picking of each sentence, just a skim for quick-fix errors that will drastically alter the overall quality of your work.


Start with your strengths

Although some students like to answer the most difficult questions first, there is something to be said for nurturing positive energy on exam day. If there are particular topics or essay questions that you feel confident and well-versed in, answering them at the beginning can give you strength for the rest of the exam. Not only that, it will free up much needed time to tackle more difficult questions that require a lot of brain power.


Don’t leave early

It might sound obvious, but leaving an exam early is just as bad as leaving questions blank. Even if you feel ultra-confident about the quality of your answers, staying the course and rereading everything you have written will give you the best chance at getting the mark you deserve. Leaving early will only increase the likelihood of regret or the belief that you could have missed something vital. Use any extra time to check all grammar and rewrite any illegible handwriting.




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