Have you had trouble answering all the questions in an exam because of a lack of time? Have you misinterpreted a question because you were in a hurry? Or have you tried to squish in one last sentence when the invigilator is snatching your answer script? – These are, perhaps, the most dreadful experiences you can encounter in an exam. But did you know that these situations result from ineffective time management strategies?
Irrespective of how efficiently you prepare for exams, ineffective time management before and during exams can impact your results. Here’s a list of time management tips to help you manage time and score well in your exams.
Time management during the exam season
- Plan your study schedule: Planning and preparing for exams can rule out last-minute glitches and uncertainty. Make sure you have a study schedule during exams. Allocate adequate time for each chapter. Dedicate more time for difficult topics. Devote less time to subjects you are confident with. But do not skip any concepts during your exam preparation.
- Be aware of the question paper: Winners know their opponents before entering the tournament. Likewise, do some research on the question paper before the exam. Acquaint yourself with the question paper format and marks distribution pattern. You can get information on this from model question papers. Being aware of the question paper helps you plan your exam preparation strategy.
- Practice: A vital component of time management during exam time is practice. Attend mock tests and practice model papers in exam-like conditions. This will help you to write quickly and legibly during exams.
Managing time during the exam
- Read all the questions: As soon as you get the question paper, take a moment to read all the questions thoroughly. Don’t skim, or dismiss an optional question before thinking about it. This helps in strategizing your time, prioritizing the problems, and answering accordingly.
- Plan your answers in the first 5 minutes: Use the first five minutes of your exam time to read the entire question paper thoroughly. Here are a few things you can do in this reading time.
- Assess the questions.
- Plan your answers to the essay questions.
- In case of optional questions, select the one you want to attempt and commit to it.
- Read lengthy or complicated questions at least twice to ensure you understand it correctly
- Allocate time for each question
- Divide your time: Most of the 100-mark question papers are for 3 hours (180 minutes). In the first 5-10 minutes, read the entire exam paper, prioritise the easy questions, and underline the keywords. Keep the last 20 minutes to review your answer script. Divide the remaining 150 minutes to answer the questions. This way, you will have 1.5 minutes for every mark. (For example, you can allocate 7.5 minutes for five-mark questions).
- Start with answering the easy questions: Some students like to launch straight into the tough questions. Those questions can make them lose focus and get stumped. This leads to the quick derailing of your time management strategy. Instead, take up the questions you are confident with, first. This will boost your confidence for the tough questions.
- Ask for new scripts before you need them: In the exam hall, it can be incredibly frustrating to wait for the invigilator to pass on the extra answer scripts to you. If you think you need more paper in the next few minutes, raise your hand while you are writing on the last page.
- Don’t leave the exam hall early: It is tempting to leave the exam hall at the earliest. But resist it! Sit and re-read your answer sheet. Verify if you have answered all the questions. Check the spellings and rewrite the obscure words. The last few minutes can, indeed, fetch you more marks.
- In case of a blunder: In case you have answered the wrong questions, misinterpreted the questions or made any blunder, do not panic! Instead, write the new or alternative answer in bullet-points. Put down as much information as you can. Underline the keywords in your answer.
Keep these steps in mind to manage your time better for good results!
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