Passing exams

Learn good exam techniques

When the exam starts

Arriving at the examination:

  • take slow, deep breaths to calm your nerves.
  • Repeat this when you feel you are getting anxious.

When the examination paper is in front of you:

  • read the instructions carefully.
  • check if the format is the same as the past papers or if there have been any changes
  • Ask yourself: How many questions must you answer?
  • Ask yourself: How many questions per section must you answer?
  • Ask yourself: How are the marks distributed? How much time will you allocate per question?

At the beginning of the examination:

  • Read the questions carefully, underline the key words.
  • Identify the topic, the limits and (importantly) the process so that you can answer the question as it is set.

Prioritise the questions you will answer by:

  • Ticking all the questions you could attempt.
  • Double ticking the questions you can answer best.
  • Answering one of the more difficult questions first.

Remember: make sure you leave plenty of time for all of the questions.

Keep a close eye on the clock, or make a point of putting your watch on the table in front of you, and writing down the time you started, and finished, your first question. Continue this process for each question you complete.