Seven steps to examination success!

November 11, 2015

Seven steps to examination success!

By Joseph A. Campbell.

To gain confidence, we must work hard to gain a strong sense of self-confidence. In order to ensure we are able to do this; following the 7 points below is key. These 7 points have been worked out through the process of preparing hundreds of students for examination success.

  • Read at least 4 hours per week and look up all words you do not understand in a dictionary, on a Kindle or through online search engines. This will ensure you use the appropriate specialist vocabulary required by your subject in your examination.
  • Quality over quantity. Only write that which is very good. Never make a point you are not sure of and always come across as confident to the examiner.
  • Relax and believe; this breeds confidence.
  • Answer the question that is set and make sure you work out how many marks there are in the exam and how many minutes you need to apply to each question (Marks for minutes). Do not answer the question you wish was on the examination and please do not waffle. Write your points and move on. Short sentences are often better and use paragraphs. If you are not sure what you are writing, stop! Honesty is confidence; waffling is dishonest writing. Your writing is part of who you are; make sure it reflects who you are accurately and fully. That it is of the highest standard.
  • Leave 5 to 10 minutes to check your work. Do not keep writing to the end! It may help to plan your work but always be aware of how much time you have for each question (see above).It is better to have a brief conclusion and check than a long conclusion and not check (Remember quality over quantity). No one is expecting you to write the most words ever written or to create a new way of thinking, just write what you know and write it well. This also takes the pressure off you which brings me to my sixth point.
  • Allocate minutes per mark. I believe it is important to give a little more detail here. For example in Psychology Unit 3 AQA ‘A’ there are 72 marks to aim for in 90 minutes, which works out at 1.25 marks per minute. Therefore if a question is worth 8 marks then you would spend roughly 10 minutes on this section. Allocate within your time management the time for checking but move on as soon as you are over or coming towards your time limit. This ensures that you have good coverage of your whole exam and therefore attain a very good mark. If you have extra time allocated to you, just change the calculation to accommodate the extra time you have for each mark.
  • Relax and believe (needs to be mentioned twice). If you do the above, you will believe in yourself. You will not be nervous, you will believe and you will do well. Always work hard; giving your best in a relaxed way. This leads to focus and, “Tachypsychia”-  which is a speeding up of the mind which makes time appear to slow down and gives ease, comfort and quality to whatever it is that you are doing (in this case an exam).



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