7 Strategies for Taking Timed Exams

by Sarah Adams

When you're taking timed exams, the clock is ticking. If you don't answer all of the questions within the allotted time period, it can mean the difference between a pass or fail. Here's 7 strategies to help you beat the clock.

Keep Track of Time

Wear a watch and use your time wisely. Count the number of questions and divide the number of minutes by the number of questions. This way, you'll be able to gauge how much time you can spend on each question. For example, if it's a two hour test with 60 multiple choice questions, you've got two minutes to answer each question. Do the same thing for essay questions. Even though some questions may be tougher than others, it should even out.

Answer the Easy Questions First

Skim through the test and answer all of the easy questions first. If you don't know the answer, cross out the answers that you know are wrong. Don't waste time trying to figure it out and move on to the next question. Sometimes, the answer will pop into your head a few minutes later as you read other questions. Mark the question with a star and come back to it later. You just may have a decent amount of time when you finish the test to go back and answer it correctly.

Setting Tasks in the Right Order

If you're taking a reading comprehension test, read the question first and then read the story or article. With this order, you'll be able to find the answers as you read instead of having to go back and read the passage again. Reserve the Last Five Minutes Mark your answers in the test booklet. Save the last five minutes of the test to transfer the answers to the answer document. Five minutes should be enough time for you to ensure the answers in the booklet correctly match the answer document.

Stay Focused

Even though you're watching the clock, don't obsess about it. Avoid daydreaming, and don't watch other test takers to see where they are in the test or wonder what they're doing. Stay completely focused on the mission and task - to complete the test within the allotted time.

Be Prepared

Being prepared is more than just having enough pencils. Be sure to have studied and reviewed both the topic and questions from previous tests, even if you feel that you know the subject well. You'll feel more confident and likely score better.

Energise the Brain

Taking timed tests is a workout for the brain. Be sure to eat a good breakfast and drink water before the test. Both food and water energize those brain cells. With these 7 strategies, you'll be both mentally and physically in prime shape for the marathon of a timed test. Pace yourself and stay focused.

Tags: essay brain
Categories: Exams