For those of you who are still preparing for your final exams and easily panic during an exam, some useful tips to stay calm and focus on the exam paper have been published by The Guardian. Although this information would have been useful to be published at the start of the exam season, we hope that the following tips can help with the remaining exams.
- Read the question twice – Before diving straight into the answer, it is best to first read the question to get a general overview of the topic being asked. Reading the question a second time whilst underlining key words with a pen or pencil will help you focus on the most important information. This simple tactic can help you avoid misreading the question, which has been found to be one of the most common errors that students make during an exam.
- Have you answered similar questions during revision? – Another frequent comment made by students is that they have ‘never seen that question before’. Typically exam questions will be based on your textbook information or be modified versions of some past paper questions. It is best to think back to similar questions you have answered during revision and modify your working to answer the exact question being asked.
- Always show your working, even if you do not know the right answer – Exams are not only marked based on the right answer but on your method and working out. Remember to always write something because leaving a blank page will get zero marks. Having some working in a question gives the examiner the opportunity to give you some marks.
- Think to what your teacher would say – Sometimes there may be a question that you have answered before in class with the teacher giving specific advice or tips as to the best way to answer it. Trying to remember the advice given by a teacher can jolt your memory and help you answer a question.
- Stick to your exam strategy – You may have prepared a useful method to answering specific questions. The panic of an exam may put you off and feel discouraged. In an exam, stay calm and think back to the successful method you developed.
- Take a deep breath – Sometimes the simplest advice can make all the difference. When feeling stressed, your heart rate is high and the easiest solution is to pause for a brief moment and take a deep breath. This can help slow the heart rate and let you focus on the question at hand.
- Do not put too much pressure on yourself – Some stress is known to help with performance because it allows you to take revision seriously and focus. However, excessive stress has the opposite effect and prevents you from thinking clearly. Remember that if you are worried about not knowing the answer to a question, your working and explanations do have marks awarded. Therefore do not feel worried that the wrong final answer to a question will award you low marks.
We hoped this has helped and wish you good luck with the remaining exams!
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