Examination strategies

The Harshit Aggarwal (B.Com(H) ,CS Final) (5278 Points)

16 September 2009  

Before the exam


 Revision, not re-learning


    *              Prepare a pre-examination study timetable. Share your time between subjects.

    *              Listen for verbal clues offered in lectures and tutorials.

    *              Study actively-verbalise and visualise your revision.

    *              Aim for understanding, not just memorising the material.

    *              Use concept maps/diagrams.

    *              Work in groups and individually.

    *              Identify problem areas and work on these.

    *              Revise tutorial problems.

    *              Do past exams (under exam conditions) and discuss your answers with your lecturers and tutors (where possible).

    *              Take effective breaks (planned and limited) - regular exercise is good for this.





    *              Get enough sleep - synchronise your body clock with exam times.

    *              Prepare your exam resources - pens, calculators, ID card, etc.

    *              Check the day/time/place for your exam.

    *              Check your transport and, if necessary, parking arrangements.


During the exam


 During reading time


    *              Read the entire paper thoroughly.

    *              Allocate time proportionally to the value of each question.



 After reading time


    *              Tick and order the questions you plan to answer.

    *              Re-read the questions and underline key words and phrases.

    *              Write notes/brief outline answers in your exam booklet.



 When answering questions


    *              Number answers clearly and accurately.

    *              Work thoroughly but rapidly.

    *              Answer the hardest questions first particularly if they are worth the most marks.

    *              Use other questions for clues.

    *              Notice where words/figures are emphasised.

    *              Find the themes, relate these to the course objectives.

    *              Identify formulae and equations presented in words.



 Multiple choice questions


    *              Examine the sequence of questions. Does that give you any clues?

    *              Read all the alternatives before choosing the answer.

    *              Make certain you are choosing the 'best' answer to the question.

    *              Be aware of the wording: "always", "never", "mostly", "rarely", double negatives, (eg "not unknown") the passive voice.

    *              Remember that wrong options are often based on common misconceptions.

    *              Make an educated guess for unknown answers unless you are penalised for wrong answers.



 Essay/short answer questions


    *              Keep time allocations proportional to marks.

    *              Provide definitions where necessary.

    *              Identify key concepts.

    *              Give examples.

    *              Write clearly and simply.



 Problem solving questions


    *              Write down any formulae needed first.

    *              Label all working stages clearly.

    *              Check computational accuracy.



 Before the exam finishes


    *              Re-attempt questions you found too difficult at first.

    *              Make sure the examiner can read your answers and diagrams.

    *              Never leave the exam early.

    *              Use spare time to thoroughly check your answers.

    *              Make sure your name and ID number are marked clearly on all papers.

    *                If you are running out of time  never omit a question completely. Give the examiner an outline of how you planned to answer a question/the remainder of the question.


After the exam


    *              Review your exam paper if necessary and discuss it with your lecturer.

    *              Consider how you could improve your exam performance. Make it a learning experience!