The following article is written by Jess Holsman, Deakin psychology graduate and founder of YouTube’s ‘Study With Jess’, where she gives advice to thousands of students around the world on effective study.
You’ve no doubt spent weeks revising for your upcoming exams and now that they are finally here, there are a few important things to remember and do to help you perform at your best. Here are five things to remember when taking your exams to ensure the best outcome!
1. Create a plan of attack
Make sure to enter into the exam venue with a plan of attack. Before commencing, budget your time wisely and consider how you plan to spend the next few hours. Divide your exam time according to how long you anticipate you will need to answer each of the sections of your exam and do your best to adhere to a strict schedule to ensure you complete each section in time.
2. A multiple-choice tip
When reading a multiple-choice question, use your hand or your answer sheet to cover all of the potential answers. Brainstorm what you know about the topic first, before looking at the potential answers to avoid getting confused. Even though some answers may seem like a viable choice, allowing yourself to recall the relevant information first, before glancing over potential answers will help you to differentiate between what appears to be a logical option and what is in fact correct!
3. A tip for gaining extra time
Even though you can’t fill in the answers during reading time, gain extra time on an exam by using this time to answer multiple-choice questions in your head. On average, you are expected to be able to solve one question per minute. That means you could answer up to 10 multiple-choice questions in the first minute of writing time and gain yourself an additional 10 minutes on your exam!
4. Adapt your responses
Students often make the mistake of rote learning essays for exams. Often, questions in the exam will be similar to those that your teacher had provided you in class, however it is likely that the essay question will be an adaptation of the practice questions you were given in class. As a result, your polished and prelearned responses will likely fail to address the question effectively and could cost you significant marks in the exam! Instead, spend time learning the main points of each of your previously written paragraphs so that you can adapt your responses to the exam’s essay question.
5. Show your workings
Subjects that typically require you to show your workings in an exam include maths, chemistry and biology. While you may not feel the need to work out questions in your exam booklet and are able to solve them in your head, showing your workings as well as providing the answer in your exam booklet can prove to be highly advantageous! In the unfortunate event that you answer a question incorrectly but your workings were still correct, you may still be eligible to earn some marks.
Good luck for your exams!