Top 10 Exam Tips

Generally speaking, the top ten things you should keep in mind as you do your exam:

  • Exam tip #1: Make it easy for the marker.
  • Exam tip #2: Use a black pen.
  • Exam tip #3: Write on one side of the page only.
  • Exam tip #4: Try to avoid writing extra pieces in margins that are linked by asterisks, arrows, etc.
  • Exam tip #5: Read and follow all key instructions. For example, if you are asked to provide a title to a response, than make sure you do.
  • Exam tip #6: Write in the correct genre/form and sustain it throughout. For example, if you are asked to write a speech, make sure it is clearly a speech from beginning to end. If you are asked to write a letter, make sure it has a salutation and address at the start, reads like a letter throughout the response and has a farewell or something similar at the end.
  • Exam tip #7: Try, as much as you can, to write clearly and legibly. Perhaps leave a line between paragraphs. Don’t be afraid of white space – it makes reading easier.
  • Exam tip #8: Practice the key conventions that demonstrate mastery of English: the correct use of apostrophe, the correct title conventions (either underlining or using inverted commas), the full use of a text’s title at least once and the correct spelling of key character names and composer’s names (at least).
  • Exam tip #9: If you have time during the exam, quickly proofread your work and check the pages are in the right order and that as many mistakes as you can find are corrected. (Examiners understand you are under pressure and that this is a first draft but demonstration of control of the key conventions is the mark of a more sophisticated response).
  • Exam tip #10: You may also be required to write a more personal response, which includes your ability to demonstrate you have reflected personally on the effect of studying a particular module or area of study. Think through how to do this.

This exam advice is general in nature and may need to be adapted for different subjects.