9 Tips for Passing Exams (2020 Guide)

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9 Tips for Passing Exams (2020 Guide)

Accredited project management consultant, Steve Browne, offers some valuable advice for anyone looking for exam success!

1. Timings

Take time to read the exam paper, annotate each question with ticks and question marks to decide which questions to tackle first. Think about which questions you can give a good answer to and prioritise those. Do your best answer first.

Allow time at the end to check over what you've written, and don't forget – watch the clock!

2. Read the Question!

Make sure that you are answering the exact question that has been asked. Read the question once, then twice and a third time if necessary.

3. Layout

Numbering your key points can make marking your paper easier for the examiner. Leave plenty of blank space between your points so that you can add information if you remember it later. If the question asks you to 'List and Describe', make sure you do both parts. First list and then write a set of descriptions.

4. Examples

In 'Explain' questions it is always a good idea to include a brief example. If you can't think of an example use something day-to-day like something to do with a supermarket for instance.

5. Diagrams

If the question asks for a diagram then you must provide one, otherwise you will lose marks. Check with your trainer ahead of the exam for guidance on including diagrams that will help your explanation, even if the question doesn't ask for one.

Do NOT waste time fine-tuning diagrams. Make them readable and fit for purpose but don't over elaborate.

6. Length of Answer

Know when to stop writing. First paragraphs often hold more weight, so get your key points across first.

Write enough but not too much, and manage your time.

7. Simple Sentences

As general guidance, short sharp sentences are better in exams. It is easier to build your answer with a number of simple sentences rather than a single long sentence. It makes it easier to understand, and easier for the examiner to mark.

8. Who, What, When, Why, How

It can be hard to write an 'Explain' or 'Describe' answer when you think a single sentence captures the point. So write a sentence stating What something is. Then another saying Who carries it out, a third sentence could say When this activity takes place. A fourth could add Why the activity is needed, and even mention the consequences of not doing it. And writing How the activity is carried out completes the picture. All of this together shows a full understanding which is what the examiner is looking for.

9. State the Obvious!

Don't hesitate to state the obvious in an answer. Don't assume anything. The examiner doesn't know that you think something is obvious. If you state it you may get marks for it.

Good luck in your exams ?


Many thanks to Steve Browne for sharing this advice.

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