In the hot seat

You’re now sitting in the exam hall and the examiner tells you to open your paper... what do you do next?

Read very carefully all

the instructions on the question paper — how many exam questions do you have to answer, whether you have any choices or must answer all questions, and whether some questions are worth more than others.

If you have a choice of questions, read through the whole exam paper to identify those questions which you feel you can best answer.

Proportion your time for each question depending on the marks each is worth. If all questions are of equal value, allocate your time equally between the required number of


Before answering the question, read it through very carefully, noting the key words.

Make sure you don’t spend too much time on your first question only to find you have no time for the last question.

Choose an easy question to start with to allow your thinking processes to warm up.

Make sure you include only information relevant to the question and avoid padding any answers.

Make sure your answers are legible, grammatical, punctuated and spelt

correctly. Answers produced in this way will unconsciously appeal to the examiner and may influence the final mark.

Take the trouble to have a quick look over your answers before handing in your paper. It’ll give you an opportunity to pick up any errors and to make last minute changes. You can often pick up a few extra marks in this way. — Agencies