Final Push: Clarice's Study Tip #4 – Exam-Writing Strategies

By: Clarice Fu

So you followed your study schedule, made a super 1-page cheat sheet, you’re feeling pretty good about tomorrow, and you’re heading to bed early.  EVERYTHING IS PERFECT. 

…Except you had a very restless sleep, realized too late that you didn’t bring a watch (!!!), and you’ve got major butterflies in your stomach as you are waiting outside the exam room.  That’s exactly what happened to me today   =)

Wave the Help Flag

No matter how well you prepare, most students will still get nervous.  It’s just natural!   But the moment that the exam is in front of you, it’s time to execute.  Are you going to be paralyzed by your nervousness, or are you going to channel the adrenaline into doing your best?  Did you know that there are strategies to exam-writing that will increase your chances of getting a better mark?  Try these tips that have worked for me every time:

  • Preview your entire exam paper. Before you start madly writing, spend 2-3 minutes scanning through all the questions.  Figure out what the easy questions are, make a mental note of the highest-scoring questions.
  • Figure out how many minutes you have for each question.  It’ll help you assess your progress throughout the exam.  Leave enough time at the end to do a double check!
  • Answer the easiest questions first.  Get them out of the way quickly and bank those marks that you know you can get.
  • Make sure you answer the highest-scoring questions.  You’ll spend the most time on these ones because they’re the most difficult.  Even if you can’t answer all of it, do your best to get as many marks as you can.
  •  Read each question carefully.  Reread it.  Underline the important details and the actual question you need to answer.  It’s happened to me before – I spend valuable time answering the wrong thing, or I miss an important detail.  What a terrible waste of time!
  • Check the time periodically.  Nothing’s worse than realizing you have 20 minutes left to finish half of the exam.  YIKES!  If you realize that you’ve been too slow, you’d better speed up!
  • Double check your work. Don’t lose marks on careless mistakes.  Today, I caught a silly calculation error that would’ve cost me at least half the marks.  I like to leave at least 20-30 minutes to double check my work.

I wrote non-stop for 3 hours today and I’m in dire need of a hand massage…but boy does it feel good to be done!  Tomorrow will be my last tip, but I’m still cheering you guys on!   Let me know if these tips work for you! J

Til tomorrow, goooooooooo Rovers!!!

<3 Clarice

Check out the entire Final Push series

Tip #1: Plan a Study Schedule
Tip #2: Make a 1 Page Cheat Sheet
Tip #3: Be Prepared
Tip #4: Exam Writing Strategies
Tip #5: Preparing for the real Big one

Nick Pearson

Leave a Reply Text

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *