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Answering Exam Questions

Many of the semester exams allow you to choose 2 or 3 questions to answer from a list.

The first thing to do once you have made your choice of questions to answer is to see how much time this gives you per question – and stick to it. If you overrun badly on the first answer it means that you have less time to answer other questions well. It is also probable that you are not writing a clear answer either! Leave space to come back to it at the end if you have time and go on to the next question.

For each question…..

1. Re state the question in your own words at the top. This shows the examiner your basic understanding and how you are thinking. It also helps you to frame your answer and focus your mind.

2. Write your answer plan. Choose the key words in the question and from these plan your answer. E.g. does it ask for examples, does it ask you to critically evaluate rather than discuss? What are the areas that you need to concentrate on? Use these key words and themes to form the basis of the answer plan.

3. Use your plan to write out the answer in full. Use theory and frameworks and cite references where appropriate. From an examiner’s viewpoint it is always good to see frameworks applied in context as it shows understanding.

4. Stick to the time you have allowed…...

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