What to do on the day of exams - checking the room and exam paper

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Exam Day Preparation - what to do on the day of exams - checking the room and exam paper“Whether faced with friend or enemy,loss or gain,fame or shame,the Wise remain equanimous (calm and composed.). This is what makes them so extraordinary.”

Exam Day Preparation - Checking the roomIn the exam room, look around you, note where the doors and windows are, where your desk is in relation to them and the invigilator. Sit down carefully, making sure that you are planted squarely on your seat, and can sit with your spine straight and in a comfortable position. Push the chair to see if it scrapes or makes a noise, so that you can be aware of that and try to avoid making a scraping noise during the exam.

Arrange your pen and other implements in a convenient way so that you can get to them easily without knocking them onto the floor. Notice the space in front, behind and to the sides of you. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.

Being aware of the space around you and the space you occupy in the exam room can make it your space, under your control, your little haven for the duration.

Exam Day Preparation - Checking the exam paperWhen everyone is in their place and the exam is ready to begin, the invigilator writes the start time and end time on the board. Every exam room should also have a clock that is clearly visible to all the candidates – the invigilator will probably check that it is. You should be given some rough paper, and if not, you can ask for some.

Once the exam papers have been handed out and the exam has started, you need to read carefully through the general instructions on the first page. You’ve probably already read several exams of a similar kind and so you know more or less what to expect of the general instructions and layout of the exam and the number of questions to answer, so there should be no big shocks waiting for you. The general instructions on the first page tell you:-

How long the exam lasts

How many questions you have to answer

Perhaps the marks allocated to each question

Other requirements like using diagrams and whether you have to hand in the question paper at the end of the exam.

You almost certainly can answer the questions in any order that you like and this is normally stated in the general rubric. Don’t rush your initial check as it’s important you understand the general rules. If they are not clear, then ask the invigilator by raising your hand or do whatever is permitted under the exam conditions. As long as the question is about the meaning of the general rules, not individual questions or their content, it should be permitted. Sometimes there are typing errors or other printing mistakes in exam papers, so if you spot something like that, you will be doing everyone a favour, as the invigilator can point out the error to the other candidates.

Exam Day Preparation - Assessing the questionsOnce you know the number of questions you have to answer and how much choice you have, read through them all to see what key words link to areas you know a fair bit about, and which instruction words seem clear and straightforward. Select the easiest question first, rough out the structure of the question or any maths or other calculations you need to do, and start writing, noting the time and then roughly dividing the time left by the number of questions you have to answer.

Don’t rush this initial reading of the questions. You must read them carefully to make sure you understand the underlying or indirectly stated requirements. A few extra minutes spent reading the questions carefully and not rushing at them is time well spent and can avoid a later realisation that the question actually referred to something quite different from what you understood.

If you’re struggling with the meaning of a question, it’s best to continue to the next clearest question that you feel you can answer. If you’re running out of time towards the end of the exam, then don’t worry about beautiful sentences. List the points you intend to make in note form or use a flow chart, with arrows and common symbols as links. If possible, try to find time to add your own view as well at the end.

The good thing about exams is that they don’t last long. The time may zip by and the whole thing may be a bit of an anticlimax. If you do leave early, go quietly and don’t speak till you are well away from the exam room so that you don’t disturb others who are still working.

Have a list of Important Questions/Terms/Concepts and complete them at first place.

i. Concentrate on the questions that have maximum marks .

ii. Focus on the main theme of the answer and the formula associated with it.

“If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)

Exam Day Preparation - we wish you well as you prepare for the exams

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