In this article, we’ve collected top points all students should be mindful of during an exam. Oftentimes, students get frazzled by the hectic nature of the exam with its limited time and confusing questions. To avoid this and not get lost, follow the following pieces of advice.
Tip #1: Answer Every Question!
Before writing something wrong, some students prefer not to write anything at all. This is great for the correcting examiners because it saves them work, but clumsy from the examinee’s perspective. Only if you offer a solution can your examiner award points for it. Sometimes rough approaches, a sketch, a formula, or a few keywords are enough to collect at least a few partial points. Therefore, answer every question – even if you don’t know the solution and only have a vague idea.
Tip #2: Answer Precisely!
The questions in your exam are usually not random products of thought (even if it sometimes seems so). The formulations are intentional and aim for a specific answer. So, try to be as specific as possible with this answer. Don’t beat around the bush but answer concisely. Do without filler words and ask yourself for each subtask: What exactly is wanted? What could points be for?
Tip #3: Use Technical Terms!
Every department and every subject have a special language. There are fixed terms and clear definitions that mark out the subject area and ensure unambiguous communication. Therefore, you should use technical terms during your exam and incorporate them appropriately into your answers. Firstly, you show that you have built up a basic understanding and secondly, points are often only awarded for fixed terms. Don’t overdo it, though, and wreak havoc on buzzwords — doing so could end up hurting your grade.
Tip #4: Write Quickly!
If you have already reviewed a written exam as part of an exam review, you will have noticed the following: On the first one or two pages you did an extremely good job and made an effort to write; after that, your handwriting became more and more scrawled until the end it was only roughly recognizable what you wanted to express. I often experience that students start the exam in a relaxed manner and calmly write down the answers. But at some point, the realization sets in that there is no additional prize to be won through beautiful handwriting. So, write fast – right from the start. Of course, the examiner must be able to decipher your answers, but a 1A typeface has never earned anyone an extra point.
Tip #5: Check off Completed Tasks!
Especially if your exam consists of many subtasks that you have to answer individually, it can be helpful if you check off the questions you have already answered on your task sheet. In this way, you keep track of things and don’t have to scroll through your documents as much. If you work on the tasks of the exam in an individual order, it is also advisable to note this “processing process” in bullet points.
Tip #6: Don’t Waste Time!
We have already talked about the importance of sound time management and regular monitoring. But just because you’re managing your time doesn’t mean you’re using it efficiently. Realize that wasting time is the biggest sin during your exam work. Time is your most valuable asset and therefore you have to defend it against all disruptive influences. Ignore background noise in the lecture hall, do not formulate unnecessary answer sentences, avoid perfectionism, and do not let any external circumstances prevent you from completing your exam as quickly as possible. There’s only one thing worth your time: the quality of your answers.
Tip #7: Don’t Dwell on Difficult Tasks for Too Long!
In every exam, there will be tasks that you cannot work on immediately. Either because the task is too complex or because you cannot assign the main topic immediately. Sometimes because you didn’t study well enough – but that’s not the point here. If you get stuck on a difficult task and can’t get any further: go to the next question. Don’t dwell on the same problem for too long if you can’t find a solution. Postpone your task and come back to it later.
Tip #8: Find Connections to topics from the lecture!
One of the most common reasons why students do not find the right solution or find it too late during the exam is that the examinees do not see any connections. They don’t see the big picture, the “global picture” of the lecturer, and can therefore not correctly classify the question. As a result, they are mentally stuck and do not know what to do. Therefore, try to assign each task to a topic from the lecture. Find connections and think about how similar problems have been solved so far.
Tip #9: Breath!
Exam means stress. What happens when you are stressed? Breathing seems hectic. In principle, this is good because it allows more oxygen to get into the blood for a short moment. But if you’re breathing at full speed for 60, 120, or 180 minutes, it can negatively impact your mental performance. So, pay attention to your breathing and breathe deeply several times during your exam. After completing each task, take a few seconds and breathe consciously. Calm down, gather new strength, and then move on to the next task.
In the End
If you follow our tips, you’ll have a much better time during your next exam. Just remember to keep calm and make the most out of the points we mentioned in the article. Don’t have enough time to properly prepare for an exam, then consider using the help of a paper writer to deal with the academic load you have. By delegating your assignments, you’ll have more time to dedicate to studying for the exam.