Before the Exam:
- Prepare a bound reference. When doing so consider:
- What areas do you struggle with? Make sure notes on these are easy to find.
- What areas can you easily remember by heart? It may not be useful to include these in your bound reference.
- Be concise: time in exams is limited and you don’t want a needlessly large amount of notes to search through every time you need to check them.
- For more formulaic concepts, such as Prim’s algorithm, it may be helpful to include a worked example.
- Devise a way of making notes on a particular area easy to find quickly, such as by making indents at the start of each area of study (note that tabs, bookmarks, or anything else that protrudes from the bound reference are not recommended since VCAA has restrictions on the size of your bound reference).
- Try completing a practice exam under timed conditions to identify question types or areas which take you longer to complete (or you can’t complete). Focus on studying these question types or areas.
- Try to study around the time of day you have exams. It trains your body to be alert at those hours of the day.
- Reading exam reports (available on the VCAA website) can be helpful for identifying common mistakes (you may even wish to take note of common mistakes in your bound reference).
During the Exam:
- During reading time, focus on reading the later questions in the exam which require more thought.
- When writing time begins, start by answering the questions you focused on during reading time.
- Reread questions, particularly those worth more marks. It is easy under exam conditions to miss some nuance and misinterpret the question.
- If a question is taking longer than ~1.5 minutes per mark to answer, skip it and return to it later.
- Use technology to solve questions wherever possible. This is generally less error-prone than solving by hand, and faster.
- Try to avoid simple, but common, mistakes:
- Round your answers (to 2 decimal places if not specified).
- Present answers in the required form (e.g. y=a+bx for linear equations).
- Include units in your answers.
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