Know what to expect.
Last time we talked about knowing your equations, and how you should have prepared for these before the exam. It’s so important to know whqt you might expect in the exam paper, so I really do recommend that you get hold of some recent past exam papers.
Look at the front cover of the exam paper – what code is used? Have you been on to the examination board website and looked at the specifications for your subjects? The specifications tell you what you need to know, and exactly how you will be tested.
Of course, you must know the date of the exam, the starting time, and the duration. What equipment do you need? A black pen, ruler, calculator, see-through pencil case, etc. There’s no point in turning up at the exam room without the essential bits of kit – be prepared beforehand!
Look at the instructions – do you answer all questions on the paper? Make sure you answer questions in the spaces provided, but don’t think you have to fill all the space. If you’re giving a one sentence answer and there are three lines provided then just use whatever space you need. If you find that your answer is longer than the space provided then don’t be afraid to put your hand up and request extra paper.
If the question requires you to do a calculation then make sure you show all steps – you may get the final answer wrong, but if you show your working you may still pick up marks. Practice setting out calculations prior to the exam so you know what to include. Some calculation questions give you the units, but others may request that you give the unit – there will always be a mark for doing this, so make sure you don’t waste precious marks.
How many marks is the exam paper worth? How much time is allocated per mark? Use this information to pace yourself as you work through practice papers. Be prepared for questions about ‘working scientifically’ – if you’re not sure what this means then check it out.
If you know what to expect then you’ll be much better prepared – and that’s what it’s all about!