Q&A #5: How can I get the most out of Exams ?

There has been a lot of hype about taking Exams recently due to the disruption caused by the Covid panic over the last 2 years.

There is just no need to be worried about taking exams as long as you realise what they are about and how to do the best you can with what you know. Here are some notes I sent to a friend to help him to persuade the examiners to give him as many marks as they can …

The way to make exams work for you is to sell what you know to the examiner, thats your only purpose during the exam. So in your answers you make it as easy as possible for the examiner to realise that you know what you are doing. NOT necessarily that you have got the right answer but that you’ve understood the question and have a good clear approach to answering it. Then they can give you marks because they can see you are trying to help them.

Here are some ideas to get the best marks you can …

  1. Before going into the exam consider having a small sweet or savoury snack 15 minutes before the exam so that your blood sugar level is reasonable before you start, if you are diabetic take advice on this.
  2. When you go in to take the exam start by settling down, making yourself comfortable and taking a few slow deep breaths to relax.
  3. Read the Paper right through then read it again and pick the questions you are most comfortable with, tick them so you know which ones they are.
  4. Answer the questions that you are comfortable with first,
    gather the easiest marks first.
  5. To get most marks show in your answers how you are thinking
  6. If you get stuck on a question move on to another, come back later Don’t worry, it’s not life and death, its basically just for a badge! Just imagine you are explaining it to a friend, patiently.
  7. If you have any time left at the end then go through your answers and make them as clear as possible – give the Examiners the opportunity and cues to give you the most marks they can.
  8. If you are thirsty ask for a drink of water.
  9. It can be useful to ask to go to the toilet during the exam, just to get some exercise and a stretch. This can also provide inspiration sometimes.

Well thats it, not a lot but it can help enormously.
Always remember you are in the exam to help the Examiner to award you marks, that’s your whole purpose for being there!

Good luck.

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