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Effective strategies for taking exams

Published on 22 October 2018·Latest update at 30 August 2019
How to study for exams - Effective strategies for taking exams

Exams often contain difficult questions to test your knowledge of the subject. Of course, you are fully prepared and totally ready for it, but you still have some tension for the exam, which is very normal. Finally, this is the moment to show off your hard work and use the knowledge you’ve learned. To take this test and get the best results, we have some test-taking tips for you to develop a good exam strategy.


First read all the question and start answering the ones you immediately know

Open your exam and read all the questions carefully. Start by answering the questions you don’t have to think about very long. When you’ve answered these, they are done and you can go onto the next question. This way you can not forget the ‘easy answers’ and you know you’ve collected some points immediately with these answers. Make sure though to stay structured when answering exam questions: write clearly which answer belongs to which question.

Write down keywords

Once you have answered the easy questions, you need to answer the harder ones. Write down keywords that pop into your head when you read the question. Afterward, when you start writing out the full answers, you will have these keywords to make sure you won’t forget any of the components of the answer.


Carefully read the questions

It’s never a good idea to hurry while taking an exam. So take your time to carefully read the questions and make sure that you understand what kind of answer they want you to give. Therefore, it’s very important to understand the question. For instance, it’s very easy to mix up ‘do’ and ‘don’t’ or ‘can’ and ‘can’t’ if you read too quickly. Also, make sure to read all the information and text that is given. When you skip a part, you could easily miss some essential information regarding your answer.


Check your exam and answers

When you have some time left after answering all the questions, read the exam again thoroughly and check if you have answered all the questions. It’s very important to check if you did every part of the exam. Last but not least: don’t forget to check the back of the exam! It still happens that students forget to check this side and miss questions.


Don’t lose track of time

When the exam has started, check how much time you have in total and for how many questions. Divide the time equally over each question, so you know when you have to work a bit harder to finish the exam in time. Also, do not forget to check how much time is left in between the questions.


Make the questions which are worth the most points, first

If there is a big assignment or case in the exam which is worth a lot of points, consider answering this one first. This way you can immediately collect a lot of points. And if you would leave the big assignment for last, you might not have enough time left to carefully read all the information.

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