During the exam

Writing under timed conditions is challenging, and you may be tempted to start writing straight away to avoid running out of time at the end. However, this approach will almost certainly lead to difficulties because you may miss important instructions. To avoid this, read through the entire paper carefully and note the following:

  • How many questions do you have to answer?
  • Are there any compulsory questions or can you choose any you like?
  • Are long or short answers required?
  • Are marks allocated equally for each question or do questions have different weightings?

Now you can prepare to write. First, analyse the question carefully to make sure you fully understand what you are expected to do. Pay close attention to instruction words , which will help you to decide how to approach the question.

Next, make notes of the main points and decide how to structure the answer. Once you have done this, you can begin to write.

Avoid long introductions, keep your answer closely focused on the question, and write clearly and concisely.

Leave 10 or 15 minutes at the end to check your answer. If you are running out of time, write the main points down using bullet points.