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November 29, 2020, 01:15:28 pm

### AuthorTopic: Exam technique discussion!  (Read 246 times) Tweet Share

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#### lm21074

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##### Exam technique discussion!
« on: October 21, 2020, 10:25:00 pm »
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Hey y'all

With exams approaching (and some already done), thought it would be a good time to talk about exam technique.

Some prompting questions:

Code: [Select]
 [b]How do you use reading time?[/b][b]In what order do you complete the exam for each subject? (e.g. front to back, some MC (if applicable) and some short answer, start from Section C, etc.).[/b][b]Thoughts on using highlighters in exams?[/b][b]How do you cope with nerves?[/b]
Feel free to add/ask more questions and/or give as much or as little detail about your approach as possible!

My (possible) rough exam technique
- Reading time - focusing on the big slabs of text for subjects like psych. Spending ten minutes on reading and comprehending short answer and skimming MC. Then planning the extra response. For English-based subjects, doing a very rough plan of each essay.
- I tend to complete the exam from cover to cover for timing purposes but might try alternating between MC and SA as recommended by one of the psych teachers at my school.
- Haven't really ever been a big fan of highlighters for any other reason besides making notes stand out or look pretty. However, I think this time around, I'll use a highlighter for the big slabs of text so that I can read and process it.
- Nerves are normal and common with exams. There isn't a one-sized-fits-all-approach to nerves of course, but this is just what generally helps me a bit.
Before the exams: breathing / mindfulness techniques (sourced on YouTube or elsewhere), having a filling breakfast, preparing materials the night before, avoiding talking to people about the content or knowledge before exams (unless it's some kind of joke related to it).
During the exams: using relaxation techniques like deep breathing, letting the adrenaline power me through but still trying to stay level-headed (easier said than done), time management - having a plan of attack as to how long I'll aim to spend on each section.

Wishing you all the best with exams!
« Last Edit: October 21, 2020, 10:59:23 pm by lm21074 »

#### BakerDad12

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##### Re: Exam technique discussion!
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2020, 10:44:06 pm »
+4
My dad, who was quite good at maths back in his day, said he would always do the easiest questions first, and the hard questions later. As in, he would literally mark out the easy questions and the hard ones, and do them separately. What do you guys think about this method?

#### Sine

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##### Re: Exam technique discussion!
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2020, 12:37:18 am »
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How do you use reading time?
Maths/Chem/Bio: Carefully read the questions. Just because something seems like something you have answered before don't assume so since there could be some minor change. I tried answering questions in my head also. For some of the more common questions, I think if you have done enough practise exams you already have an answer in the back of your mind. Also, I would think about any past mistakes I had made with similar questions to what is in the exam to make sure I don't make that same mistake again.

English: Read through the language analysis article/s. Then briefly look at the essay prompts and do some quick brainstorming.

In what order do you complete the exam for each subject? (e.g. front to back, some MC (if applicable) and some short answer, start from Section C, etc.).
Maths/Chem/Bio: Front to back always, I didn't see the point in jumping around given I expected myself to be able to complete all the questions. Completing the MCQs I found is a great way to gets some marks in the bank and sometimes the content from the MCQs can help and refresh your memory for some of the short answer questions.

English: Start off with language analysis (Section C) then move onto Text response and finally Context (old study design).

Thoughts on using highlighters in exams?
Outside of language analysis I never really used it. I can see how someone may want to highlight phrases from the stem of a question but I found just circling and underlining things with a pencil/pen to be more efficient.

How do you cope with nerves?
Can't say I was ever super nervous for my exams. I think everyone who cares about how they go on the exam (i.e. everyone on AN) will have some baseline level of nerves but once I was doing the exam it wasn't something I thought about. I think just opening up the exam for reading time and seeing familiar questions was great alleviator of stress though.

My dad, who was quite good at maths back in his day, said he would always do the easiest questions first, and the hard questions later. As in, he would literally mark out the easy questions and the hard ones, and do them separately. What do you guys think about this method?
Yeah, that is probably the most economical way of doing an exam. Make sure you maximise all the marks you can get for sure and then start going for the marks that you may/may not get. However, I think once you are going for the much higher study scores the benefit you gain from this method diminishes.