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Exam Tips and Strategies

Day Before the Exam:

  • Make sure that you know exactly where the exam is being held, how long it will take to get there, and any public transport schedules etc.
  • Make sure that you know exactly what documentation you might be required to bring with you.
  • Get a good night’s sleep, and avoid the temptation for a late-night cramming session.

On the day of the exam:

  • Eat adequately, but lightly. No matter what time of the day your exam is you don’t want to turn up there overly hungry or, worse, overly full. As you’ll be sharing a room with others, avoid baked beans at all costs.
  • Anticipate a room that might get very warm, or very cold and dress so that it is easy to adapt to either condition without feeling uncomfortable.
  • Get to the exam location with plenty of time to spare.
  • Do not forget to bring any required ID documentation such as a drivers license, passport etc.

During the exam:

  • Don’t be shy about asking any questions about the exam process before you begin. The staff are there to help you.
  • If you have the opportunity to take any pre-exam questions, such as survey questions, take them. They will help you get in the groove and settle yourself in.
  • Go through each question and answer those that you feel comfortable. Skip (and mark) those that you are unsure of. When you get to the end of the exam you can go back and have another go at the questions that you were having problems with. Do the same thing again – make another pass right through to the end of the exam and answer the ones you can, and mark the ones you can’t.
  • Make sure you answer every question before the end of the exam. Don’t leave any questions unanswered. Even if you don’t know the answer to a question, you have a chance at getting points simply by guessing. No answer = no points.
  • If you’re doing a multiple-choice exam remember that, generally speaking, two choices out of the four possibles will be easily dismissed as wrong answers, leaving you with two, similar, possible answers. Even if you don’t know the answer, you’re now left with a 50/50 chance of getting the right answer.
  • Read each and every question properly – even if you think you know the answer before getting to the end of the question. Think about the way that the question is being asked, and watch out for things like negative phrases (e.g. Choose the option which DOESN’T describe), subjective questions (e.g. Choose the option that BEST describes) and multiple answers (e.g. Choose MORE than one).
  • Use the tools at your disposal. Most testing centers will provide you with a pencil and paper. Take advantage of them where you can.
  • For longer questions, where there is a typical scenario outlined culminating in a question or series of questions, start at the end. Read the last part of the question first and determine what is being asked. Then return to the start of the question and go from there.
  • Don’t underestimate the value of ‘gut-instinct’. Sometimes we just know the right answer but then we allow doubt and misgivings to enter our head. When all else fails, trust your gut.

After the exam:

  • Go off and celebrate in the best way you know how! 

(P.S. Don’t forget to read over our more extensive exam tips and strategies).

Posted in Exams, General.

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