What should you do in exams ?

Monday, August 8, 2011

How you face the exam is another skill that everyone should master. There are some people who are not very good at facing exams due to various reasons.  Some of those failed in exams do not have necessary exam skills to face the exam effectively, while others simply perish in exam pressure.

First thing is you must take exam as a challenge that you want to succeed. Just like a play in a game, no matter hard you study, the performance in the exam itself matters in most of the case.

Ideally you should have finished studying a day or two before the exams. The best approach is finishing your studies day to day rather than waiting for the exam. When it comes to the exam day, you are happy and relax person.

Next you should have done some homework in preparation for the exam. Going through the past papers and finding question patterns is handy. Then you exactly know which area you need to focus more and where you can be relax. Remember, effort is a limited resource you have and you must use it effectively.


In the exam day morning, no points get up early and put lot of effort. Quickly rushing through high-level topics might be handy. So do not expect to do miracles in the exam day, just have a self evaluation and try to do your best.

Having a bottle of water is handy because sufficient liquid level in the body keeps the concentration high. In the exam fully focus on it and nothing else. Make sure you have sufficient meal before entering the exam hall. Otherwise not only the exam paper, your stomach too may start raising questions during the exam time :-).

When you get the paper, never miss out reading the instructions, because you never know if they have done subtle changes to structure of the exam or the marking procedure.

Never ever answer a single question based on your own assumptions. For example if you feel like there is a small mistake in the question, do not answer for the modified question in your mind. Rather answer for the original question unless examination staff has given you specific instruction on changes. This is especially relevant when it comes to MCQ questions having negative marching schema.

Answer the paper in several rounds. In the first round answer the questions which you are really confident or like, easy or less time consuming. This will boost your confidence. In the second round attempt those you kept aside. While you were answering other questions, your inner mind look for the structure and answer for those kept aside. In the second round, you will be in a better position to answer those. The final round is for those really difficult questions to give a chance. Try your best to earn at least few marks out of those.

Ok, this point is relevant for MCQ questions. If there is no negative mark system, always answer all the questions.  If there are really difficult questions, still you must attempt and answer those. Some students use to mark random answer to that kind of difficult questions. But that shows your stupidity. Never ever answer a question on random basis. Remember, if there are five answers in MCQ, marking a random answer give you only 1/5th of a chance to get marks. But if you read the question and eliminate possible wrong answers (say one wrong answer) and pick from others, you have better probability (here1/4th) of getting marks.

So use this technique to increase the chance of getting marks. But you must be cautious of the fact that if you eliminate the correct answer, then you have zero probability of getting marks :-(.  If there is a negative marking system, still you can apply the same approach, but this time you must narrow the answers in both positive and negative direction. Here you must be extra precautionary in narrowing answers due to possible negative marks.

When it comes to essay or semi structured questions, it is very important that you have followed few past paper marching schemes to get a feeling of expected format of answers. In general, use of clearly labeled diagrams and writing answers in point form is preferred.

Always answer to the point rather than writing unnecessary details. Remember that the person who marks your paper is also a human. If he likes your answers, you have better chance of getting high marks. So making your writing style interesting and lively makes the examiner interested in reading your answer full and getting high marks.

When it comes to answering international exams, even you should consider the cultural background of the person marking the papers.

So passing exam is an art that you must master in different aspects.

Last, but not for the least, never submit the answer papers early unless you are very casual about the exam that you sit. Always fully utilize the time and give your best shot rather than showing off others by leaving early.

Exam is a challenge indeed, so face it with confidence. Master the art of passing exams with minimum effort and build up a base for success in the life.

Related posts:
- How should you prepare for exams?

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