Ultimate Guide to Exam Survival – Part 1

Exam season is upon us, a nervous and stressful time for many students, parents and teachers. Preparation is key to surviving exams in terms of revision, but also when it comes to taking the exams themselves. Follow our ultimate guide to exam survival below and be best prepared for the next few weeks of papers…

Pre-examination Preparation

  • Revision – no last-minute cramming, use past papers
  • Sleep – get a good night’s sleep
  • Don’t panic, be positive
  • Equipment – prepare night before, e.g. pens, calculators, etc.
  • Don’t listen to others
  • Don’t be late

The Type of Examination – know makeup/breakdown of exam

  • Written
  • Practical
  • Aural
  • Oral
  • Source Material
  • Multi-choice

Examination Preparation/Planning

  • Nervous? – pause and compose yourself
  • Read ALL questions
  • Note mark allocation per question
  • Choose questions
  • Circle key words
  • Allocate time per question
  • Plan EACH answer

After the Examination

  • Don’t listen to others
  • Don’t worry about it, forget it, it cannot be altered
  • What have you learned from it for next time?
  • How can you improve?

The Examination

  • Answer best question first – gives confidence, helps relaxation
  • Don’t rewrite the question
  • Respond to key words
  • Write simple, short sentences (don’t waffle)
  • Write legibly
  • Don’t assume examiner thinks you know anything – state the obvious
  • Watch the time – move on, don’t waste too much time on one question
  • Use diagrams if applicable
  • Use last few minutes for going back to unfinished questions and rereading / correcting your answers

Knowing what the Examiners want

  • They want to give you marks
  • Answer the questions set – don’t waffle
  • Write legibly – examiners have a lot to mark
  • Answer all the questions required – otherwise marks will be lost
  • Write simple, clear, direct sentences – don’t over elaborate, don’t be over-wordy
  • Answer all parts – pay particular attention to all parts
  • Use standard English – not slang
  • Substantiate opinions (I think / I believe) by relevant arguments
  • Use appropriate examples / illustrations – not a catalogue of examples with no explanation
  • Start the question immediately – don’t rewrite the question

What other exam survival tips have you been given? We’d love to hear them – share your tips with other students via our Facebook page or Tweet us @SPCYearbooks. Good luck with your exams from the team at SPC Yearbooks.


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