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Four Tips for Tackling Your Exam Paper

Four Tips for Tackling Your Exam Paper

When the timer starts ticking in the exam hall, it takes a lot of courage to pick up your pen and turn over your paper. As you quickly start to skim the questions, it's easy to go into panic mode as so many thoughts rush through your head, but try and take a moment to think and remember the following four tips, which will help keep you on the right track.

Leave everything else outside

There’s nothing worse than going into an exam hall with something stressful on your mind. Whether it’s an argument with your friends, something going on at home, or worrying about the other exams you’re sitting over the next few days, you need to tell yourself that there is nothing you can do about it whilst you’re in the exam hall.

It might be hard but you need to lock everything that is bothering you up in a little box at the back of your mind and concentrate on the exam. Take a few deep breaths, remind yourself that you can do this, and then crack on.

Don’t change the question

It is so easy during an exam to quickly skim over a question, see keywords and then start planning an answer in your head. This is where you need to be careful. It’s super important to make sure you read the question thoroughly and make sure that you are answering the actual question you’re asked - not the question you want to be asked!

Don’t get distracted by regurgitating random bits of information just to prove you know it - if it isn’t relevant to the question, it isn’t going to get you any marks - it’s just going to cost you valuable time.

Don’t look at other people

There is nothing worse you can do during an exam than looking around the room. There will be students who are furiously scribbling away as fast as they can, there will be those who smugly finish half an hour early and then waste their time leaning back on their chair instead of checking their answers, and those that look as nervous as you feel.

Whatever other students are doing, watching them is only going to make you feel worse, so try your best to keep focused on the paper.

Don’t be afraid to come back

If you read a question and are immediately stumped, don’t be scared to leave it for now. If you genuinely don’t know the answer, your time would be better spent on a question you can have a shot at, instead of wasting time rambling and trying to make something up.

Also you never know - the answer might randomly come to you ten minutes later, so it’s better to write it down in a nice blank space rather than having to scribble out your first attempt.

If your exams have already started but you're majorly lacking in confidence, it's not too late! Our tutors are always happy to answer any of your pre-exam questions, and we have some great revision classes running over half-term.

Kirstan N

Kirstan N

27th May 2022