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Best Exam Tips & Techniques (How Teachers Can Help Their Students)

Updated: Oct 30, 2023

Exam preparation can be made easy with enough knowledge and specific techniques through which students can apply the information to solve different problems. Students can acquire all the knowledge from learning, studying, revising, and teaching.

Familiarity with the exam questions' style, time management, clear communication, and guesswork leads to good exam preparation. In this blog, we will look at the role of teachers in educating students regarding different exam strategies.

Types of Exam Questions

Commonly, the following types of questions are asked in the exam:

One Mark Questions

These questions must be marked right or wrong, and students do not need to spend much time solving them. Such questions are commonly B marks, and teachers can conduct quizzes in the classroom, allowing students to practice.

Two Marks Questions

It would be best to tell the students that one mark is for method and one is for accuracy in such questions.


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How Teachers Can Help Students with Exam Strategies?

Teachers should educate the students regarding different strategies they can undertake during exams. In this way, they can reflect their knowledge, skills, and understanding.

Revision Sessions

Teachers can assist the students during revision sessions in the following ways:

Thinking as an Examiner

You should ask the students to solve past papers and provide the examiner reports to them. This way, you can help students assess common mistakes and tips for good examination practice. You can also snip and discuss the relevant questions in which students have struggled while solving past papers or mock exams.

Marks Scheme

You should engage the students with the marks scheme, helping them understand the marks' allocation pattern and types. Such as:

  • M (Method Mark; correct or partial)

  • A (Accuracy Mark, correct method)

  • B (Unconditional accuracy mark, no method needed)

Peer Marks

It would help if you gave long answer questions to students, including problem-solving questions requiring various topics' applications. The students will then mark each other's work. It will help them know how easily others can interpret their answers.

Moreover, you can record different answers given by students in mock questions and let the students decide how to mark similarly.

Different Papers

Teachers should properly guide the students that each board exam has one non-calculator paper and two calculator papers. It is because when students know about the nature and type of questions, they can revise with great focus and clarity.

  • Non-calculator questions are related to calculating fractions and integers, leaving answers in terms of π, simplifying fractions, etc.

  • Calculator questions include solving using quadratic formulas, circle theorems, and sine and cosine rules.

Command Words

Teachers should tell the students how to answer different exam questions that start with different command words, such as construct, factorise, reflect, etc. It will help students choose the knowledge or skill required to solve a question.

Moreover, ask the students to identify command words from past papers and discuss how to answer different questions, highlighting the type of information required.


How Teachers Can Help Students


Before & During Exam

You can teach different guidelines to students to follow before and during the exam:

Before the Exam

  • Ask students to visit the location where their exam will take place.

  • Ask students to eat meals that contain slow-release carbohydrates and proteins.

  • Advise them to avoid chocolates and energy drinks.

  • Encourage them to bring a water bottle with them to keep themselves hydrated.

  • Ask them to plan and leave before time to reach the exam centre.

  • Ask them to bring spare pencils, pens, and other required equipment.

  • Advise them to have enough quality sleep before the day of the exam.

Talk with the students about their concerns in the morning just before the exam starts to calm them down.

  • Ask the students to use flashcards for quick revision.

  • Remind the students to check their calculators and reset them.

At Exam's Beginning

  • Ask the students to write complex or difficult formulae on a space in the answer sheet so that they can put off their pressure.

  • Try to make a mnemonic or rhyme for fundamental formulae so students can easily remember them.

Before Writing

  • Ask the students to read no further than about half of the question paper, as difficult questions are usually found in the next half of the exam paper.

  • Suggest the students solve the questions they like first, giving them a good starting boost and encouragement.

During the Exam

  • Ask the students to read the question paper carefully, spot the command words, and underline the key points to be answered.

  • Advise them to write working out for all the questions with more than one mark.

  • Specify them to transcribe all the things on the paper entered on the calculator.

  • Ask them to divide the total exam time among all the questions so they can pass on to the next question on time.

  • Ask the students not to forget to check the back side of the exam question paper to see if there are other questions.

  • Advise them to structure their answers with a clear and well-established outline, an appropriate introduction, and a precise conclusion.

  • Encourage them to brainstorm different ideas in case they get stuck at any point during the exam; it will help stimulate their brain to write the correct information.

Time Management

Educating students on effectively managing their time during exams is very important. For this purpose, you can:

  • Ask the students to check the marks for each question to ensure time management, gauging the required level of response.

  • Encourage the students not to spend too much time to solve a single question.

  • Tell the students to leave the complex questions and make an attempt to solve them at the end of the paper.

  • Advise the students to leave at least ten minutes at the end of the paper for proofreading to track the spelling and grammar mistakes.

  • Ask them to try attempting all the questions if they finish their exam early.

  • Teach them to check their work carefully instead of just having a glance over all the questions.

  • Advise them to reattempt the high-mark questions if they have plenty of time at the end of the exam.

Additional Tips

  • Moreover, you can also provide the following instructions to students:

  • Make sure you have all the required things and equipment.

  • Do not write over an error; instead, cross over it.

  • Write all the work on the exam paper, which is done on a calculator.

  • Cross through the work that you do not want to get marked in case of multiple attempts of the same question instead of scribbling or rubbing it out.

  • Take deep breaths for a few seconds, concentrating on breathing out completely.

  • Revise the last-minute facts in your mind just before the exam to refresh all the information.

Conclusion

Poor exam techniques can lead to disappointing results even for the brightest students. Therefore, teachers should pay special attention to ensure their students fully comprehend the significance of exam techniques and apply them correctly at the right place.

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