Exam Strategy

Exam Strategy

Developing effective strategies for exams could be the difference between failing and succeeding. Good exam techniques can assist students in finding the focus they need to achieve good results.

It is important for students to spend time thinking about what they have done in the past that hasn’t worked so well. There are many exam techniques that can allow for maximum success if enough study and preparation has been done. Well before an exam, students should find out what types of questions will be in the exam. Knowing this information provides an opportunity to plan out what questions should be completed first. This is a personal choice; some students like to do multiple-choice questions first, as they believe it is easier and quicker, others like to do extended responses first so as not to ‘forget’ key points. In order for students to know what works for them, trying a variety of combinations in mock-style tests sat under exams conditions can be a good way to see what order is more comfortable. Note, once this decision has been made, students should stick to it; last minute changes can result in unnecessary confusion and stress.

Follow these simple in-exam techniques for optimal exam success:

  • Use reading time effectively – look over the question(s) that you are going to do first, and use this time to prepare your answer.
  • Use allocated marks to give you clues on how much information to include. Generally, 1 mark is allocated to 1 key piece of information
  • Make sure answers are concise, correct, and complete
  • Keep an eye on the clock – make sure you allow yourself enough time to complete the exam, and have time to revise any answers you might not be sure about