writing exams

5 Tips for Writing University Exams


We, at Student Awards, asked award-winning professors Roger Moore and Angela Thompson to tell us what advice they give students about writing university examinations.  Here’s what they said:

  1. If it is possible to do so, read the whole examination before you start writing. This will give your unconscious mind time to wrestle with the more difficult questions.  (Roger Moore)
  2. Plan how you intend to write the examination. For example: if there are four questions and they all have equal points, then divide the examination period into five equal parts; spend one part on each question. This way, you will do all the questions and you will still have some valuable time left to return to a question and to revise your answers.  (Roger Moore)
  3. Do some easy questions first. This will allow you to gain confidence. Leave the more difficult questions until after you have gained that confidence. By then, too, your unconscious mind will have been given time to wrestle with them.  (Roger Moore)
  4. Don’t get bogged down on any one question. Work to your time limits. The answer to what appears infinitely hard at one moment may slip easily into your mind the next. Leave a difficult question, do something else, then return to it.  Plan to finish early. Plan to give yourself time to revise. (Roger Moore)
  5. For long answers, I suggest students re-read the question to make sure that they are on track.  (Angela Thompson)