Exam Preparation is very important. Listed below is a
general plan for exam writing. It is also important to check
common exam mistakes. In addition, there are different
kinds of exams; you should try to develop
an approach to Multiple Choice Exams and learn to
evaluate Practice Essay Problems.
Any known "blind spots"
1/2 - 1 page before reading the exam questions.
Use suggested time or number of points to calculate
Write ending time by each question. (example:
Use 1/3-1/2 time to deconstruct question, brainstorm,
and plan answer.
When time is up: Be ruthless - STOP and move to the
- Reading the
Read "call to question" first - (before
reading the full question)
Read the full question for the purpose of understanding
the story level of the hypothetical. Diagram or sketch
the fact pattern to clarify the alignment of parties
Read call to question again to be sure you know what
you are being asked to answer.
Look at the question for a second time, searching for
ambiguities and issues that relate to the call of the
question. Consult checklist.
Read call to question literally. What specifically do
you need to answer?
Examine the question from a "big picture"
perspective. What kinds of analysis must happen to
"advise your client" or answer the intention
of the question. What are the possibilities you
Use your checklist to help you look for other issues
that could or should be in this question as you read it
for the third time.
Ask yourself about each fact: "Why is my professor
telling me this? How does this contribute to or alter
my analysis of what I have been asked to do?
- Preparing to answer
Use of your time to plan an answer for a question with
unlimited space for writing, but for space limited
answers, plan more carefully using up to ½ of your
Prepare an event diagram.
Create an issue and fact outline or sketch.
- Writing an
Skip lines, if possible.
Follow your plan or outline
For better organization
Because it decreases skipping or missing important
Use terminology of course being examined.
Don't talk over the exam with other students
Watch a good movie to take your mind off of the
hypothetical stories in the exam.
© Martha M. Peters, Ph.D. 1999.