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Helpful tips for exams

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Tips for All Exams

1. Practice: People practise content but they don't practise test techniques. The key criteria of tests are that they are unpredictable and timed. The work done in class and the homework based on class work is always predictable and rarely timed. Effective practice for a test will come from attempting unpredictable work in a timed scenario. At home, unpredictable questions might come from a different text book or past exam papers. Then you need to self-enforce a time limit during your practice. For exam practice, we are lucky to have past practice tests available for students to work through. 

2. Skip questions: There is no rule that says all questions must be completed in a set order. If you can't answer it immediately, skip it and come back later. You never want to run out of time with easy questions left unanswered or rushed.

3. Read ALL of the question: So many students get caught by not reading the question in full. Force yourself to read everything by underlining key words. If you don't underline, you will miss something.

Tips for Multiple Choice

For multiple choice exams specifically, there are further things you can do to improve your chances:

1. Estimate an answer: Before reading any of the solution options, estimate a reasonable answer. If you read the solutions before thinking about the question, you may be influenced incorrectly.

2. Read all answers: Read all of your options before answering. There may be something you missed and need to rethink.

3. Eliminate incorrect answers: Often there will be some answers that are clearly incorrect. Eliminate those straight away so you are left only with those that are reasonable to choose from.

4. Answer everything: If you don't answer, you will certainly be marked incorrect. If you guess something, you may or may not be incorrect. Don't leave any question unanswered. Usually your guess will be an educated attempt and you will have eliminated unreasonable answers, so your chance of guessing correctly is actually quite high.

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