Tips for taking Exams

Exams very time students sit in the examination hall, they feel anxious and are uncertain of what they will be asked. The pressure is so overwhelming that students tend to forget what they have learned.

This is natural and every student reading this would have experienced it. Here we will take a look at some tips and strategies which will help you prepare and attempt your exams/tests in the best possible way.

Before the examination

Relax: Some students keep revising till the last moment. This only stirs up more confusion. Stop revising at least 15 minutes before the examination time. Use these minutes to just relax and calm yourself down.

Self-belief: This is very important for any student. Self-belief is something which will help you attempt your paper with ease. Students keep revising till the last minute and still feel as if they don't remember anything this is just exam pressure. If you have self-belief, then you would revise your subject before sleeping and would not indulge in last minute preparations, especially on the morning of your examination.

Stationary items: You should be well-prepared regarding your stationary items. Before going to bed, you should check if you have all the pens, pencils, pointers and all the items needed in your pencil box. Always keep extra things so that if a pen or pencil gets damaged, you can continue writing without any delay.

Utilise free time: Normally students are first handed the answer sheet and after a couple of minutes they are given the question paper. You should use these few minutes to write your name and details on the answer sheet; making margins and organising your pens and pointers on your table, so that you can fully concentrate on the question paper once you get it.

During the examination"

Now let's come to the tips to follow once you are seated in the examination hall and the question paper is handed over to you.

Read carefully: Many students begin solving the question paper straight away without reading it thoroughly. This is not the correct way.

Once you get the question paper, take the first five to 10 minutes reading the paper from the beginning to the end. Read the instructions given at the top and understand how you have to go about solving it. Sometimes students complete half of the paper only to find out they have attempted the questions in the wrong sequence or manner, just because they didn't read the instructions carefully. Using the first 10 minutes in reading the question paper will help you concentrate on attempting the paper without any pressure.

Queries first: Once you have decided upon the questions you want to attempt, you should then clear out any doubts regarding those questions from your teacher and this should be done in the first 15 minutes. It's better to clear your mind first and then converging your attention on attempting the paper.

Choose questions wisely: Normally question papers do offer choices between the questions that need to be attempted. The tricky thing with these choices is that students decide on instinct which question to attempt and later regret not choosing the other question which they knew better. This happens because of haste.

Once you come to choose the questions you want to attempt, read each question at least twice and create a mental picture of what you have to write. This will help you clear away any doubts.

If you are sure you can attempt a question and write whatever is being asked, tick mark that question with a pencil and move to the next one. This way you will choose the questions whose answers you are sure of.

Marking the questions also helps as you then focus only on the marked questions. As you go about completing each question, make a small cross on the question in the question paper so you know which ones you have solved. This helps in minimising confusion as students, due to exam pressure, often wonder if they have solved a question or not and waste time checking the answer sheet repeatedly.

Take note of the marks: While choosing the questions, do keep an eye on the marks as well. If you know more about a question which carries 'three' marks rather than the one having 'six' marks, you should attempt the 'three' mark question first. It's better to get 'three out of three' rather than earn 'three out of six'.

Timing: Your answers for each question should be timed according to how much you have to write. Here again, do look at the marks allocated to each question and time it accordingly. A question having 'two' marks should be completed in, say five minutes, while a question having 'eight' marks would obviously take more time as your answer would be a detailed one.

Objective before subjective: The objective part of the question paper normally consists of questions with multiple choices. Try and attempt the objective part before moving to the written or subjective part.

At times students attempt the subjective part first and leave the objective questions for the end but don't get enough time in the end and loose precious marks.

Headings for clarity: Writing long answers in paragraphs would get you confused and your teacher would also lose interest in reading pages upon pages of written text.

In subjects such as Pakistan Studies and biology, in which there are long answers or ones with facts, always answer using headings. These headings not only help you concentrate on the answer as you would write in an ordered manner, but your teacher too would be at ease while checking your paper.

Draw diagrams at the end: In science subjects, students are asked to draw neat and labelled diagrams with the answers. Once you have written

Attempt all questions

the answers, you should leave some space for the diagrams and draw them once you have attempted all questions. Students normally get so involved in drawing that they lose track of time and are unable to finish the written part of their question paper. It is also wise to first finish the written part for it holds more marks than the draw- ings, but if they * are easy and | simple, do it with the textual answer. Be conserva-| tive: Students = have a habit of attempting their question paper in a colourful manner by using blue, green and black coloured pointers or markers for headings and underlining each one of them. The aim should be to attempt a neat and clean paper with no over-writing or spots of ink on pages.

As time is of value, therefore, using multi-coloured pens will make you lose precious time. Use only two pens; a blue pen for writing the text and green or black for headings. It would keep your answer sheet simple and would give you time to write more as well.

After the paper

Extra sheets: In subjects requiring detailed answers, extra sheets are needed to complete the paper. Whenever you take an extra sheet, always write your name and other particulars on it and do staple all extra sheets with your main answer copy once you have finished the paper.

Also mention the total number of extra sheets attached on the first page of your main answer sheet.

Recheck: Once you have completed your paper, it is important you recheck it from the beginning. Make sure you have attempted all questions with their respective parts.

Also do check that you have solved the objective part of the paper and have drawn all diagrams and have labelled them properly. Sometimes students leave the examination hall without checking and later regret missing out a question.

All the best with your exams!