Revision Secrets - Avoid these 10 common exam slip-ups

Revision Secrets - Avoid these 10 common exam slip-ups

Attention to detail is important to have in all of your exams. This will give the opportunity to go through several key reminders to ensure that your exam answers are well polished and that you don't lose easy marks on simple slip-ups.

The Three-times Rule

The most common slip-up in all GCSE and A-Level exams is failing to read the question carefully. Apply the three-time rule by reading the question three times before you start writing. Even if they are simple questions this disciplined approach will stop your brain from adding and deleting aspects of the question unconsciously.

Don't Be Messy

It may sound like quite an obvious tip, but it so important that your hand-writing can be read. Marks are regularly lost because examiners are unable to read the candidate's hand-writing. During your mock-exams double check with your teachers that your hand-writing is clear and easy to read. Well-presented hand-writing will also keep the examiner in a good mood!

Have I Answered The Question?

Good practice in exams is to ensure that your answer clearly fulfils the demands of the question. Give yourself 15-30 seconds when you have finished your answer to scan the question and your response.

Magic In Method

When you have to calculate your answer by going through several different stages it is important that you document them in the space provided. If the final answer is wrong, your logic and the process that you used can gain valuable marks. A correct final answer without any working can cost your more marks than a wrong answer with the correct working!

No Excuses!

One of the most important rules in not losing unnecessary marks is ensuring that no questions are left blank. Attempting questions that seem impossible will often help you to pick-up marks you hadn't accounted for. Often during the process of writing you engage your memory and unlock knowledge that you didn't know you had. The best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing you can do is the wrong thing, but the worst thing you can do is nothing!

Tricky Time-Management

In the examiner's reports it is common to read that questions towards the end of exams are often of a lower quality compared to questions at the beginning of an exam. This is usually an indication that students have failed to manage their time properly. Try to plan how long you are allowed on each question by dividing the number of questions by the overall length of the exam. This will give you a rough time-limit per question, and help you to manage your time.

Study past-papers

The most effective way to ensure that you don't slip-up in the exam is to practise past papers. Past papers are the closest tool you have to predicting what will turn-up in your exams. Often you can also spot patterns in the questions that are repeated over the years. Practising past-papers will also build-up your confidence in the exam. If you successfully complete past-papers there is no reason why you cannot replicate this in the exam.

The Beginning, Middle and the End

The beginning, middle, end rule is critical advice to ensure that you construct a sound and well-balance essay. A large proportion of student marks are lost unnecessarily because students are so eager to write down what they know, forgetting to structure their answer. Fitting your essay into this formula is a simple rule to use and it will give you the platform to score top-marks on essay questions in your exam.

Move On

If and when you arrive at a question you are struggling to tackle make sure that you know when to move on! Often students spend a disproportionate amount of time on one question, and sacrifice quality on questions later on the exam. Give yourself a time-limit, and have the discipline to move-one when the allowed time is up! You can always come back and revisit the question if you have time at the end.

Brilliant Bullets

If you find yourself running out of time the exam, in order to pick-up exam worthy marks you can always resort to bullet-pointing your responses. As long as they are written as sentences you will be fine. This approach will ensure that what you write-down is well focused, straight to the point and easy on time!


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