Time in exam hall is one of the key factor on how well you score.
Besides proper preparation and study for exam, it is important to manage time in exam.
Exams can be of three modes like theory based, objective type and practical based.
Theory based is way where in one has to write the answers in a lengthy description manner.
While, objective types are those which have multiple choices to select from as only one correct answer to the question.
Practical exams are a sort of lab exams with only small marks allotted for writing questions.
Remaining depends on how fast one uses his bench work or practical skills.
All these exams defer in their requirement to write, describe the subjects and even the time factors which affects the scoring.
How to Manage Time in Exam Hall
For objective type
Objective type exams are mostly conducted as exams for recruitment in jobs, entrance to higher education institutes or even eligibility for scholarships.
1. Try to answer fast so that you will reach the end of question paper in minimum time period like half of the total given time. This we can call as first run.
2. Answer those only well known to you in the first run i.e. absolutely known ones. Further these questions should also those which require less time without need for rough work or calculations. If there are questions with calculation needing extra time leave them for present and answer in next run.
3. If one is well prepared, he answers most of the questions like 70% in the first run itself.
4. Then answer doubtful questions in the second run. Try those you seem to know but are not sure here, firstly avoid those which seem completely out of topic or your capacity to answer. Then of the remaining two try to finalize one. If a question requires calculations do it now.
5. Also answer those questions which require rough work to calculate or draw etc. to find solution. This mostly takes up 25% of allotted time. Then the rest of the time can be used for next or last run.
6. Answer those you do not know by blind fold if there is no negative marking. If there is negative marking, do not answer. For this if you have a choice of 4, and then first eliminate two which are out of context and choose among the best two.
Example: Who discovered “E=MC2”
a) Faraday b) Henry David Thoreau c) Einstein d) Linnaeus.
In the above b & d are out of context so you have a & c which it makes you close to answer and it is ‘c’.
7. Check for any questions with a bit of twist in questioning. If you had made mistakes if any there.
For easy type or explanation type:
Here as we know one has to write lengthy essay of the answer to the question.
Here time is consumed by your hand writing, making diagrams, thinking (in the mind simultaneously) to make description and also recalling ones memory of the subject. So to score well, one has write much, in an impressive manner and in a legible way to look attractive (not scribbling). Here the skill to utilize the time efficiently to score well and answer well is required.
First write short answer as it saves time. Because answering two 5 mark question fetches more marks than answering one 10 marks question in the same time. Moreover you will feel stress free as the requirement of number of questions to answer goes down.
Also like above try to answer well known questions first. This minimizes time required to think and describe your answer. Further since the evaluator sees well answered questions first, he gains good opinion of your paper (first impression is best) and evaluates positively.
Try to answer by using diagrams as it minimizes the requirement of description.
Ex: Enzyme kinetics diagram:
If a question needs diagrams to answer, then prefer to write it first. Because, diagrams catch attention and are easy to understand so the evaluator will be impressed. Answers with neat diagrams in general score more. But if the diagram is too tedious like in anatomy or botany, then take up that question last.
Also if a question requires a derivation to answer then, answer it first if you have good memory about and you will not waste time deriving there. In case you are not sure and expect some time to derive then prefer to answer it last.
Practical exams unlike above methods require physical and also mental skills. But in general they are easy to score and for them exam time is not a factor. Hence it is not worth thinking on how to manage time in exam hall for practicals.
Since exams are a key part of our education system, we need to have a special concern and focus towards them.