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Exam strategies for D-Day
Aaditya Lohana |
February 27, 2006
You have studied hard for your exams and D-day is approaching fast. You are nervous about how you will answer each paper.
Fear not! Follow these tips and give every exam your best shot.
~ Make a checklist of pens/ pencils, hall ticket and all relevant accessories. Run through this and keep your exam kit ready the night before.
~ Keep a photocopy of your hall ticket with you as a back-up.
~ Start early from your house and reach the examination hall well in advance.
~ At the hall, avoid any sort of discussion on the subject/ examination with your friends/ classmates; it could leave you confused, especially if they have adopted a different study strategy.
~ Before you start answering the paper, read the instructions carefully and understand them well. In case something is not clear, discuss it with the invigilator to avoid any assumptions on your part.
~ Spend five minutes making a mental road map.
Consider how many questions you need to answer and allocate your time based on the marks carried by different questions.
Ideally, finish answering all questions about 15 minutes before the scheduled time. This leaves you with time to check your answers.
Based on your familiarity and ease in answering a topic, prioritise your answers within a section so that you answer the easier questions first and the difficult ones later.
~ During the exam, periodically keep track of the time you have in hand and the questions you need to answer.
This way, you will control the time you have to answer each question and you and adjust the pace if required.
Structure your answers
The introductory lines of the answer sets its tone for the examiner; be careful while framing the opening lines of any answer.
The way you present your answer increases its value. Ensure you highlight the relevant points that need the focus/ attention of the examiner.
Stay in momentum
Work on an answer/ problem until you get stuck. Think about it for a minute or two and, if a solution does not come to mind, drop it and go on to the next problem/ question.
Don't spend 30 minutes struggling for an additional five marks and run out of time. Jump on to the next question. You may get time towards the end to answer the question you were stuck on.
Understand the problem: what you are supposed to find, whether any sketch/ illustration would help. Pay attention to each part that needs to be answered.
Neat and careful work with proper steps would make your approach look complete.
While answering essay type questions, organise your answer: The more important points need to be mentioned first; the rest of the points should follow in decreasing order of importance.
If you run out of time on a question or get stuck, move to the next question. However, leave some blank space at the end of the previous question so that you can come back to it if you have extra time.
Always answer the full number of questions required.
If, even after careful planning, you find yourself stuck in a situation where you may not be able to attempt the entire paper, start jotting down your answer in bulleted points, even if you cannot elaborate a full answer.
In case you start to panic, take a break! Put down your pen, close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and relax.
When revising your paper at the end, check the following.
Did you answer all the question(s) asked?
Did you answer each part of every question?
Do your answers look reasonable?
Do your calculations check out (save this one for last)?
Now, good luck for your exam.
Aaditya Lohana is an AVP at Lohana Test Series, a division of Career Launcher India Ltd.