Exam Skills Home PageAn examination is one of the means that can be used to measure the achievements of a student. It is a highly structured form of assessment where it pays to know how it works and to develop techniques that suit you. This page gives an outline of examination procedure, and you can look at the following tips:
ExaminationsAn examination usually takes place in a quiet room between precise times. The time and date of the examination are published in advance on an examination timetable. The examination is governed by examination rules and one or more invigilators are present in the room to make sure the rules are kept and to advise students.
Most examinations are written. Usually you do not enter the exam room until the senior invigilator says. You will probably be told to leave your bags and coats at the back or front of the room and you are not normally allowed to take books or notes with you. Smoking, food and drink are not allowed, although sweets and covered drinks (that cannot be spilled) may be permitted.
If you have special medical needs you should tell the people setting the exam well in advance so that arrangements can be made and so that invigilators know what is happening.
You enter the room and quietly sit down at a desk. On each desk there is an examination paper with questions and paper for writing answers on. Students are not allowed to look at the questions until the invigilator says that the examination has started.
Examination papers cover a range of topics that is related to the syllabus (list of subjects covered) of the course. They do not necessarily cover all the topics on the syllabus.
A common form for examination papers is that you have to answer three or four questions and that you are given two or three hours to do so. Knowing the form (pattern) that the examination paper will takes helps you to prepare effectively.
If you have to answer three questions in three hours, you know that you must revise for at least three topics, and that you should revise for two extra ones to make sure that you can answer three questions. You also know you need each answer to be such that you are able to write it clearly in about one hour.
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