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Write exams like a pro

Write exams like a pro

You've worked hard, you know your stuff, now ace that test. Write exams like a pro with these tips from SAIT's own masters of test taking in Academic Coaching.  

Before you start

  • Take a deep breath. 
  • Get the directions down — listen/read carefully.
  • Scan the whole exam and get a feel for the pace you'll need to finish strong. 
  • Jot down any memory devices or formulas you know you'll need and might forget.  

When you're ready

  • Start with the easiest and shortest questions.
  • Next, move to the longer or more challenging questions with answers you know or can get to with a bit more time.
  • Finally, stop at the unanswered questions. If you're stuck, look for hints in other test questions. Ask yourself what you do know and start there. If all else fails, use your best guess. 

Make sure you know what the question is asking and answer accordingly.

Pro tips for true/false tests

  • If any part of the question is false, the answer is false.
  • True means always true, 100% of the time — qualifiers such as "always", "all" and "never", usually indicate a false statement. 
  • Your first response is usually your best.

Pro tips for essay tests

  • Start with the easiest question and make sure you understand it — if you don't, ask. 
  • Before you start writing, make an outline — this will keep you on track and capture your ideas up front. 
  • Use your most important points first — and get to the point. 
  • Pace yourself based on how much each question is worth and the time allotted. 
  • If you get stuck, move on — another question may trigger the answer. 
  • Write something for each question — point form is better than nothing. 
  • Check that you've answered all parts of the question, then review your answers for grammar and clarity.

Get more helpful advice on how to write exams like a pro — connect with a coach!

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