Sitting your Exams: Strategies, hints & tips

The Basics

  • Know the location and time of your test in advance.
  • Get some sleep the night before
  • If driving, parking will be a problem. So the general rule is to come early!

What to bring...

  • Bring pens (plural)
  • Your books and notes (for study)
  • Do you need a calculator? Approve it!
  • Student ID
  • Tissues, if needed.
  • Transparent water bottle

Put in your bag...

  • mobile phone
  • your watch (smart or otherwise)

In the exam

Relax and take a deep breath, you've got this. You've done the most important thing - you've turned up.

Use the perusal time to plan your approach to the exam paper

  • Plan how much time you will allocate to each task
  • Analyse the questions - choose the questions you are comfortable with
  • Plan essay argument and structure.

Allocate your Time

Divide time in proportion to the relative number of marks and type of task

Plan how you would complete the exam on the worksheet.

Determine the minutes required for each task relative to the number of marks for each task and the intensity of effort involved.

Topic/Question Analysis

  • Type of exam and marking criteria
  • Look for 'topic words', 'task words' and 'limiting words'
  • Plan of ideas

Instruction Words

Instruction words tell you what you need to do. These are essential because answering a question is not about what you know, but what you can do with what you know.

Complete the activity - match the vocabulary to the definition.

Always read the question carefully. Read it twice!

Topic Words

The subject you need to write about. Take care as this may just be a small aspect of the topic.

Limiting Words

These words make the question specific. They tell you what to include, and importantly, what to exclude. Irrelevant material does not earn you marks.

Identify the topic and limiting words in the below questions.

  1. Critically Evaluate the David Ulrich Business Model.
  2. What shapes your self concept of who you are? Discuss in relation to theories of self in a social world.
  3. What is the toxic protein in Alzheimer's Disease? How does this knowledge impact on therapeutic strategies for this disease?
Good luck!


Created with images by tjevans - "homework school problem" • Sid Leigh - "A lovely November afternoon in Akashi, Japan." • F1Digitals - "omr sheet fill" • geralt - "questions board blackboard" • Jon Tyson - "untitled image" • Sid Leigh - "A lovely November afternoon in Akashi, Japan."