Basic exam technique

Some basic techniques apply to most types of exams, so you might find it helpful to keep the following in mind:

  • use the reading time to read your whole exam paper very carefully
  • plan your time according to what questions are worth – spend more time on questions worth more marks
  • try doing harder questions first, while you're fresh
  • stick to your time limits – if your time for a question is up, move onto the next one and you can always come back to it later if you have time
  • try to make your handwriting legible, no matter how rushed you are – if a marker can't understand your answer, they won't give you the marks
  • if you can, use running writing in exams – it's a lot faster than printing
  • make sure you've answered the question – if you don't, you won't get any marks
  • follow instructions – you won't get marks for information you haven't been asked to give
  • aim to spend 5–10 minutes at the end of the exam checking over your work – it's a great way to pick up extra marks.
Everyone works in different ways. Try a few exam techniques and see what's best for you.