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St. Joseph's Catholic High School
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When You’re At The Exam

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Some Strategies To Calm Your Nerves.

  • Get a good night’s sleep before the exam – fatigue doesn’t help anyone!
  • Wake up early enough so you don’t have to rush in the morning.
  • Eat a good breakfast so you have fuel for your brain.
  • Double check the night before that you have everything you need for the exam (calculator, pens, ruler, help sheet if allowed)
  • Bring your notes to the exam but try not to study last minute – just use them if you need to do a final check.
  • Don’t talk to students about the exam in the ten minutes before – give yourself a chance to relax.
  • Be prepared to not know every answer on the exam – no one will!
  • If you are feeling nervous, take some deep breaths, and do your best – no one expects any more than that!
  • Bring a watch to the exam so you can be conscious of time and manage it well.

Here are some helpful tips when writing an objective exam:

  • Survey the entire exam first to see what kinds of questions are being asked, length etc.
  • Quickly budget for how much time you’ll spend on each question
  • Read over each question carefully
  • Answer easy questions first to save time and build confidence
  • Pick out key words in the questions to ensure you don’t misunderstand
  • Circle any questions you have difficulty with so you can go back to them at the end of the exam
  • For multiple choice, read each option separately and determine whether each statement is true or false
  • Leave yourself at least 15 minutes at the end of the exam to review your answers and ensure you didn’t make any mistakes 

Here are some helpful tips when writing an essay exam:

  • Do any initial preparation the teacher allows for (i.e. novel review, outlining different topics)
  • Read over the entire exam first
  • Quickly budget for the amount of time you’ll be able to spend on each question
  • Number questions exactly to match the question numbers
  • Outline your answer to the question before you begin writing
  • Pay attention to key words that indicate what you are being asked to do
  • Start with an intro and end with a conclusion for each question
  • Answer questions directly – don’t beat around the bush
  • Leave time at the end to check for spelling mistakes, grammar stakes, clarity of ideas etc.​​​