Sitting Exams – More Exam Tips For Exam Success

Are you facing the prospect of sitting exams? Almost everyone does at some time in their life. Do you know what to do to get exam success? To get those qualifications that are going to help you get where you want to be? Perhaps you want to go to college or university, or just get through school? Maybe you want a promotion, or a career progression or change and need to take exams to get 2022 Jamb expo there.

Despite the all important nature of exam success in our society few people actually seem to fully know what’s expected of them when they are sitting exams, or how to best prepare themselves to achieve exam success. Often the “how to” part is largely left to chance, as if we will suddenly know by magic just what to do on the day of sitting exams! As if we should automatically know how to remember all the stuff taught to us.

In fact there’s a bit to know about revision and exams: when and how to start revision, how to organise notes, how to optimize revision so you remember as much as possible, how to practice exam techniques, what to do on the day of sitting exams, and even what to do afterwards.

For this article I’ll give some exam tips for completing multi-choice exams (which were personally my least favourite type, when I was a student!). Multi-choice provides an opportunity to test students over the whole subject area (in comparison to essays, for example, which test a few areas in depth). Many students panic about multiple-choice exams: they worry about getting confused between the possible alternative answers and may even end up guessing answers. However, there’s a technique for answering multiple-choice questions, and some information you should keep in mind when sitting multiple-choice exams.

Multiple-choice questions

 

  • Be aware that the topics studied on your course may be shuffled around on the exam paper and not presented in a predictable order (this isn’t always so, check past papers to see if this is likely to happen). Also the ideas and concepts you learned during your course will be reworded in different ways. You’ll have to understand your course material in order to work out the answers, may not be able to rely solely on recall.
  • Treat “multiple choice” as ordinary short questions – read the questions carefully and see if you can work out answers before you look at the possibilities given. This is important as you may become doubtful of things you actually know if you look at all the possible answers immediately. Use a “cover-up” strategy. Cover the possible answers and try to answer the question. This will help you choose the correct answer and stop you getting distracted by other seemingly plausible options.
  • If you’re sure you don’t know an answer then eliminate those answers which are clearly non-sense before considering the remaining possibilities. This will increase your odds even if you don’t know the answer. Remember that all but one answer has been made up. Making up lots of wrong answers isn’t always easy, and some teachers often put the odd (or more) really daft answers in. Don’t grumble about your teachers bad sense of humour – or imagine he or she is trying to insult you by including a stupid answer. These are not “trick” answers and the teacher hopes students will spot them easily, thus perhaps increasing your chances a little. Maybe you’ll even enjoy the joke at the same time!
  • If you’ve really no idea about the answer to a question don’t waste time agonising over it. Consider whether the possible answers are in the same topic area as the question, ruling out those answers which aren’t. There may be clues to answers in other questions. Quickly see if you can spot any, or look for them as you proceed through the exam. If necessary come back to the question at the end, if you have time.
  • Don’t be tempted to look for patterns in the answers. The order will have been chosen at random. Any patterns that are there will be entirely accidental.
  • Some institutions use a system of “negative marking” for multiple-choice exams, e.g. you might get 5 marks for a correct answer but minus a mark for an incorrect answer (sometimes called penalty marking). This is supposedly to account for the marks you would otherwise gain by correctly guessing at some answers, although not everyone agrees that the system is always as fair as it’s made out to be. However if there’s negative marking check how much will be subtracted per wrong answer. If, for example, one mark is given for a right answer and one deducted for a wrong answer, don’t guess at answers. If on the other hand more marks are given for a correct answer than are deducted for a wrong answer you might want to take some calculated risks, e.g. if you are sure that one of two answers is right out of 5 possibilities.
  • You’ll improve your ability to cope with multiple-choice questions if you practice. At first use your revision notes to help you. Later practice answering without notes, and then within the appropriate time limit. There are often a lot of questions to answer in the given time. Work out how much time you have for blocks of say 5 or 10 questions and practice answering at this rate.

 

Look out for the other articles I’ve written on this subject of sitting exams, exam tips and exam success, here and on Squidoo. Learn this stuff if you want to maximize your chances of exam success.

With best wishes for your exam success!

 

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