- How to manage time to complete entire question paper.
- Which question should be taken initially.
- What is the best strategy to make your answer concise and effective.
- What to do when you don’t know the answer correctly.
- How to solve subjective questions.
- How to solve multiple choice questions.
- How to solve objective type questions.
Please read on for correct strategy….
- Get there on time – make arriving at the exam on time as simple and straightforward as possible so you feel relaxed.
- Take care of the technicalities – budgeting time, bringing the right equipment, writing legibly, improving weaker answers before polishing good ones.
- Read the instructions.
- Breathe deeply and don’t panic.
- Answer the question. Establish what it asks for; then recall, select the relevant material, organize it, and formulate your answer.
Here are two things you can do if you find that you have gone completely blank and you don’t know what to do. The first thing you can do is approach it on a physical level and begin breathing very deeply. Just let your mind go blank, flow with it for a few minutes breathing in and out as deeply as you can. Close your eyes if you like and just come around gently once your body is feeling more relaxed.
If you are just about to start writing on a certain question and your mind goes blank, just start writing anything at all on some scrap paper. Perhaps write the name of the topic, scribble down anything you can think of about the subject, and just see what happens. Hopefully this should jog your memory and get you thinking about the topic again. If it still does not work though, skip the question and come back to it later. Don’t spend precious time agonising over something that will probably return to you as your mind is prompted by other material on the exam.
- Check the marks allotted against the time available for each question, reading the instructions carefully.
- Do not read elements into the question which are not there. Underline words and phrases so that you realize what is there.
- Watch for absolute words or phrases, for example the words not or no, always, or never.
- Do not assume that a proposition is false just because it is unfamiliar (and vice versa).
- Check your answers. Make sure you know if a penalty is applied for guesses which are incorrect.
- Remember that all of the questions should be related to the course you are doing. Think about the questions in terms of the course objectives and your understanding of what your lecturer was trying to achieve.
Handling the question
- Check that you have identified the direction words, the content words which identify the precise topic of the question, and any limiting words such as: always, since WW2, in Australia.
- What assumptions are present in the question?
- What stance/point of view have you adopted?
- Have you used individuality in planning your answer? Will the examiner be able to distinguish your exam favourably from all the exams in the class?
- Have you included all aspects of the question?
- Can the examiner identify your plan?
- Are all your major ideas related to the question theme?
- Are they in proper sequence?
- Are there clear topic sentences?
Language and sentence structure
- Check spelling, punctuation, capitals, consistency of names, and details. Check that no words have been left out.
- Check for clarity and precision.
- Consider the examiner’s expectations in relation to the exam questions. Are you expected to present the data or accept it as given and focus on interpretation?
Check that you have made your meaning clear by using:
- Signposting words or phrases such as: first, next, finally, etc.
- Repetition. This distinction can be made even clearer by …
- Ideas, reworded and redirected. Another difference, which relates more to x than y, is …
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