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Exam Tips

  • Check your timetable every day to make sure that you have not confused the day/time/venue of your exams. Don’t just rely on your friends – they might be doing different exams to you.
  • Get your uniform and equipment ready the night before.
  • Wake up early so that you have plenty of time for breakfast and getting ready. Put your alarm somewhere that means you have to get out of bed to turn it off.
  • Before leaving home, check that you have everything that you might need – black pens, pencil, sharpener, rubber, math’s equipment, water bottle. Leave at home the things you must not bring into the exam – ‘phone, smart watch, electronic storage devices and revision notes.
  • Allow plenty of time to get to the exam, especially if you have to use public transport. Unexpected events can happen and you do not want to be late. Have a backup plan for how to get to school if there is a problem.
  • Don’t panic if you think you are going to be late; try to contact school and we will tell you what to do.
  • Go to the toilet before the exam starts. Exams can be quite long and there is no time to waste.
  • Listen to the warning and instructions given by the exam invigilators or centre staff.
  • Remember to write your name and candidate number on the answer booklet and any additional sheets you use. You would not believe how many people have forgotten to do it.
  • Read the instructions and questions carefully before starting. Remember, the exams are not designed to trick you but you must be clear about what you have to do, especially on papers that offer a choice of questions.
  • Manage your time; quickly plan how much time to allocate to each section or question and be strict with yourself about moving on so that you can answer all the questions.
  • If your brain freezes, just start writing anything and you will soon start remembering more details. Start answering the questions that you feel most confident about and leave any questions that you are unsure about for the end.
  • Try to keep your handwriting tidy and write inside the border lines. You don’t want to lose marks because the examiner cannot read your answers.
  • Use every minute of the exam and remember to leave yourself some time at the end to review your answers to correct any spelling or grammar mistakes and add any extra comments you think are worth mentioning. You will be surprised what you can spot in those last few minutes.
  • Tell the invigilator or exams officer if you have a problem before or during the exam, for example an incident on the way to the exam, feeling unwell or simply that you can’t see the clock or hear the instructions. Minor issues can usually be resolved quite easily but we can’t help you if we don’t know there’s a problem when you are sitting the exam.