Exams…we’ve all been there. Whether it’s a quiz, test, midterm or final, you probably remember experiencing some levels of stress and anxiety, even if you know the material off by heart! Keep on reading for some exam writing tips to help you ace your upcoming exams…
Manage your time
You want to be well aware of time when you’re writing an exam. Before you start, look over the exam so you know what to expect and how to budget your time. Always try to answer the questions you’re most confident in first. If there is question you’re unsure of, skip it and come back to it later. Also look at the marks associated with each question… leave yourself enough time to complete those questions since they will be worth a good chunk of your exam!
Read the question
This may seem like an obvious piece of advice, but you’d be surprised at how many people don’t answer the question correctly because they didn’t read it properly! To understand what the question is asking you, you may need to read it over two or three times. That’s ok! Take a deep breath and stay calm. If the question still confuses you and if it is possible, ask the professor. You’re likely tripping over the wording of the question, so don’t be afraid to ask for clarification.
Think before you act
This goes for pretty much everything in life, and especially when it comes to writing an exam! Always think the answer through before bubbling in your scantron…trust me, it saves a lot of careless mistakes. If your exam involves a short or long answer (particularly an essay), take a couple minutes in the margins of the page to write out a brief outline. This will act as a rough guideline for you to structure your answer and will save you time from erasing and crossing out.
Review your answers
If you have extra time, I would suggest reviewing your answers to ensure they are complete and accurate. If I have time, I always recalculate my answers for math and chemistry exams to check for any arithmetic errors. It’s always helpful in such exams to cover up your answer and work through the question again on a scrap sheet of paper. At the end, compare your two answers and see if there is anything you need to fix or add to your final answer.
Yes, this is easier said than done, although staying calm is probably the most important on this list! Try to avoid the nervous chatter outside the room…it will likely stress you out even more. If you find that you’re rushing through the exam, slow yourself down- breathe in, breathe out and take your time. You got this!
I hope these tips help you as you’re preparing for your upcoming exams! Make sure to study well ahead of time, so that when the day comes, you’re confident in the material! Above all, remember to maintain a positive mindset – you’ll do amazing!