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Exams are a formal method of assessing what you have learnt in a course. There are different types of exam questions, the most common written types of questions are:

Exam formats & requirements

It is important to know the exam format and requirements before an exam. Use the following checklist as a guideline.

  • Where and when is it?
  • Travel - check travel arrangements and times
  • How long is it?
  • Open book or closed book?
  • Structure - how many sections and are they all compulsory?
  • How many questions?
  • How many marks are allocated to each question?
  • Types of questions - multiple choice, short answer, practical etc?
  • Prepare your materials, eg pens, rubbers, calculator, student ID number, etc.

Time management

It is important to structure your exam time. All exams have a reading time where you should read through the entire exam paper and plan your answers. Mentally prioritise each section and which questions need to be answered. Work out a time breakdown for each section / question, identify the easy questions and look at allocated marks etc.

At the beginning of the exam, circle the questions you will answer, re-read them and underline the keywords. Write brief outlines for each in the exam booklet.


Short answer & essay questions



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