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Testing Exam Tips

  1. Mar 10, 2016 #1
    Hello everyone,
    I am a first year university student studying astrophysics. I have a question regarding test-taking. I've noticed this year that during exams I tend to leave a lot of marks on the page. That is to say, I study thoroughly and devote a lot of time to doing so, but when it comes to take an exam, I sometimes can make very silly mistakes that have an effect on my grades. I am just wondering if anyone has any tips or advice on how to take exams effectively without psyching yourself out due to nerves and pressure. Thank you everyone!
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 10, 2016 #2
    Certainly the most basic one is: never leave an exam early.

    You've already allotted that time to be in class anyway. If you finish early, you check over every problem frontwards and backwards until time is up.
  4. Mar 10, 2016 #3


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    1. Read over the entire exam first and attack it strategically.
      This will help you to make the best use of the allotted time. If there's a big question at the back that's worth 50% of the marks, you'll generally want to spend 50% of your time on it. Also, you'll see what problems you have to deal with and sub-consciously you'll have some time to think about them before you answer. Sometimes there's a context to exams as well that's easier to notice when you step back and look at the big picture.
    2. Start with the easier questions. This will help to build your confidence.
    3. Check your answers. Do the units work out? Does the order of magnitude of the result seem reasonable to you?
    4. Leave space for coming back to answers.
    5. Take your time to write out the algebra legibly. It can be very easy to miss a step or a term because of poor writing.
    6. Practice, practice, practice.
    7. Take care of yourself before you even get into the exam. Get enough sleep. Get regular exercise. Eat well. Keep quality in your down time.
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