1. Not reading the question properly
"Not reading the question properly, and thereby failing to get the easy marks". This is the biggest sin of exam taking and one of the most common errors. You should make sure to Read the requirements properly and you understand the wording of the whole question– do not start worrying about the contents of the question until you know what is required from you!
2. Letting yourself be distracted
Letting yourself be distracted by watching what other people in the hall are doing. If the candidate next to you starts scribbling straight away, ignore them. There is no time to be following the herd so hold your nerves and focus only on your paper.
3. Poor time management
Poor time management – spending too much time on questions that have too few marks. Spend a few seconds to check budgeted marks and budgeted time mentioned in upper right corner of the exam software; set time limits for yourself and stick to them. It’s as simple as that. Allocate your time and attempt every part of every question!!!
4. Not understanding the verbs used
Not understanding the verbs used – Explain, define and illustrate. Many marks are lost needlessly by candidates who fail to grasp the true meaning of the question. If you are asked to define a term, do just that. And if you are asked to illustrate, remember to provide examples from the question or real life.
5. Poor layout
Poor layout – not using gaps, headings and so on. The examiner doesn’t want to be faced with reams of unorganised script anymore than you do when you pick up a text book. Guide the examiner as much as possible and impress him with your organisational skills.
6. Focussing too much of your answer on theory
Focussing too much of your answer on theory, when application of the issues of the question is more important. You need to read into the question to show that you can apply the rules in practical set ups.
7. Not allowing enough time to get to the exam hall in time
Not allowing enough time to get to the exam hall in time – plan the journey, make allowances for traffic jams and so. Turning up early may not be ideal in terms of giving you plenty of time to develop butterflies, but consider how much more stressed you will feel stuck in a traffic jam five kilometeres away, with only ten minutes to go.
8. Remember the Minimum pass mark is 20% weighted score
Aim to get 50% in every paper to achieve the required target of 20% weighted score.
9. Never write nothing!
Always write something for a written part – never write nothing! Anything sensible will almost certainly get you 1 mark, which could be the difference between passing and failing. There is no negative marking, and so even if you are wrong you will not lose marks.
10. Don’t spend too long on one Question
In a calculation question, no one MCQ can be worth more than 1 mark. If you find yourself spending too long on one MCQ then leave it – there will be plenty more marks available in the same time.
Preparation in terms of exam knowledge is important, but understanding exam technique and how to cope with the exam stress, is vitally important.
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