On The Exam
Plan Your Time Very Carefully
Scan through the paper before you start writing,
and take a good few minutes before you write while you work out which questions you are going to answer and
which order you are going to answer them in.
Plan how much time you are going to spend answering each
question. In doing this you should have a plan of campaign. Hopefully as you will have also done
lots of practice papers before you will have done this before a number of times.
It’s Probably Better to Do the Easiest Questions
First. In general it isn’t clever to attempt questions on topics that you
know most about, if the question is very hard and it is not compulsory it is best avoided even if you know
lots about the subject, and you should instead do an easier question.
Work out from the
marking scheme which bits of each question it would be most important to answer to get most
Make sure you read the
whole question as sometimes at the end of the question there are clues as to what the examiner wants
carefully, and try and adjust the time spent on a part of the question against the marks you are likely
to achieve. If it's a 60minute exam, and it's marked out of 60, then
on average you've got 1 minute per mark etc. Remember that exam questions are about writing down what that
examiner wants, not what you think the examiner might like to know :-) !!!
If you get stuck, move on and come back to the difficult
question later. Gazing at a question you can’t work out how to answer is a waste of time and it
might just be easier to do when you come back to it later
Always explain your workings so that the examiner
understands your logic and use your common sense. The examiners cannot ask you unreasonable
questions and in general, if the question seems unreasonable, it’s probably because you have misread it or
misunderstood what the examiner is getting at, so try and use your common sense. If you don’t explain how you
arrived at an answer and the answer is wrong you will likely get zero marks. If you explain your working and
it is partially correct you may get some credit for this
If you are nearly out
of time do the easiest bits of the remaining questions, maximizing your likely marks. Keep writing
until you are told to stop, as your watch or the room clock may be running slightly
Never leave early,
just keep checking your answers. You’ll always find something that you’ve missed however small, it’s
inevitable. Check all you calculations, workings and that you’ve read and answered all the questions and
explained things properly in all your answers.