Before the exam:
Focus on revision, not relearning
- Create an overview of themes and topics.
- Aim for understanding, not memorising.
- Revise tutorial problems.
- Do sample exams (under exam conditions).
- Discuss your answers with your lecturers and tutors (where possible).
- Prepare a pre-examination study timetable. Identify problem areas and work on these first.
- Check the day/time/place for your exam.
- Know what you are permitted to take into the examination room and prepare the day before.
During the exam:
Before you begin
- Read the entire paper and check instructions.
- Allocate time proportionally to each question.
- Decide on the order of your answers and organise plans.
- Write notes/brief outline answers in you exam (after formal reading time).
- Make sure you answer ALL questions.
- Keep to your planned time limits.
- Work thoroughly but rapidly.
- Answer the hardest questions first, particularly if they are worth the most marks.
- Use other questions for clues.
- Examine the sequence of questions for clues.
- Read all the options before choosing the answer.
- Make certain you are choosing the ‘best’ answer to the question.
- Be careful of words like “always”, “never”, and “not”.
- Remember that wrong options are often based on common misconceptions.
- Make an educated guess for unknown answers unless you lose marks 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
- Note any values or limits provided.
- Label all working stages clearly.
- Check computational accuracy.
- Show your working unless told not to.
Before the exam finishes
- Re-attempt questions you found too difficult at first.
- Use spare time to thoroughly check your answers.
- 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 possible.
- Consider how you could improve your exam performance.