As we reach the start this year’s exams and work our way through each subject, here is a little checklist that you can have a glance at before setting off each morning. It is important to get your brain into ‘exam mode’ in order to exact the maximum out of each paper. The below pointers will help you get organised and put you in the right head space:
Pointers to Get You into the Exam Head Space
- Do your best – that is all that is expected of you.
- Get to the exam hall at least fifteen minutes before each exam.
- Be fully aware of the start and finish time of each exam.
- Read the instructions carefully on every single page.
- You cannot leave during the first thirty or the last ten minutes of each exam.
- Prepare for a longer exam paper than any of the ones you have sat during school.
- Make sure you have plenty of pens, pencils, rulers, etc.
- Phones, books and notes are all forbidden in the exam hall.
- Use the toilet before entering the exam hall.
- Answer your best question first to settle the nerves.
- Take your time when reading each question.
- Attempt all parts of every question asked.
- If you make a mistake, draw a line through, so it is still readable.
- Questions answered, even if cancelled out, must be corrected by the examiner.
- Check that you have answered all parts of all questions.
- Make sure to include all extra pages used e.g. graph paper etc
- Place twice as much emphasis on ten markers than fives etc (twice as much time also)
- Carefully label any diagrams you draw or use.
- Layout your paper well. You can save the trees in later life.
- Do not repeat yourself in a question.
- Skip a line or two after each full question.
- Remember that any reasonable attempt will get you some marks.
- Bring some sweets and water into the exam hall.
- Focus on your own exam paper not your friends efforts beside you.
- Don’t panic if you don’t understand a question at first.
- Eat good meals before and after each exam.
- If you run out of paper, ask for more from the superintendent.
- Think how your answers will sound to someone else reading it.
- Spend appropriate time on a question depending on marks allocated.
- Try and write clearly especially in subjects with a lot of writing.
- Answer the exact question that you are being asked on the paper.
- Go into each exam with a positive and determined attitude.
- Put a ‘*’ on questions you didn’t finish and revisit at the end.
- Show all rough work for each question on your answer book.
- A labelled picture/diagram can explain better than words.
- Scribble down notes if you happen to run out of time.
- You are ready. Leave all doubt outside the exam hall.
- Stay until the end of all your exams.
- Do your best!
Ten Admin checks fundamental to the Exam Hall
If you are getting ready to sit your Leaving Certificate examinations this week, the following administration information is certainly worth a quick read. The more familiar you are with exam hall procedures, the more you can focus on your own game plan:
1. Be very clear on the timing of each exam.
2. Get there early on the first day of your exams to find out where to put your school bag and what centre (exam hall) you are sitting in.
3. When you sit down each day, double check you have the correct paper and label in front of you. At Leaving Cert level, you can change from one level to another on the morning of the exam, but this does not come recommended, as you have spent considerable time preparing for a specific level.
4. You cannot bring any notes, school bags, phones, or materials into the exam hall with you. You should just bring in your pens, instruments, and some water/sweets.
5. Listen to the superintendents’ instructions carefully at the start of each exam, as there may be corrections to be made to the exam paper or other announcements.
6. Be aware that Higher, Ordinary and Foundation Papers may finish at different times.
7. You will not be allowed enter the exam hall once thirty minutes from the official start time of the exam has elapsed.
8. If you take paper one at higher level for a subject, you must take paper two at higher level also. The same obviously applies to Ordinary and Foundation levels.
9. You can obtain a copy of the exam paper from the school authorities after the exam. Each exam paper will be uploaded to the examinations.ie website soon after each exam.
10. Ensure you write your exam number on each booklet you use and be sure to hand up all your writing material. Good Luck to you. Joe.
To view last weeks feature article on ‘Final Exam Prep from Home with Parental Advice’, click here.
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