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Find out about the exam Preparing for revision

You need to know about the exam. The specimen exam paper, which will be very similar in structure to the actual exam paper, will help you become familiar with the format and whether there are compulsory questions. Your actual exam paper will be available from your module website under the Assessment tab. You'll be told when it will become available.

One of your module mailings will include a specimen exam paper. When you get it

  • read through it
  • look at the layout
  • get to know the way the questions are organised
  • look at how many marks are allocated to each part.

Some specimen exam papers include answers to give you an idea of the type of content expected, but accept that your own answers will be less polished than these.

Here is a checklist of questions to help you think about the format of your exam. Write the questions down and add the answer once you've found it. Add other questions to suit your own module.

  • How long is the exam?
  • When do I need to start and finish it?
  • How many sections to the paper?
  • How many questions do I need to answer in each section, and out of how many? For example, 3 out of 5.
  • Are any questions compulsory?
  • What types of question are there? Short answer, essay, technical questions, calculations, report, multiple choice - split the paper into sections as necessary, for example, Part 1 is essay, Part 2 is short answer.
  • Are any questions worth more marks than others?
  • How much time will I have to answer each question? (allocate time to suit the number of marks and allow time to read, plan and check).
  • Are there any 'seen' questions available before the exam or are there additional booklets or information available ahead of time? Your module website will publish these if they are available for your module.
  • Do you have any queries for your tutor about the exam format?

It's very important to answer the right number of questions. You'll lose marks if you answer too few, and waste time if you answer too many. Read the instructions on the exam paper carefully.

You may also be able to order previous exam papers if they're available for your module. Use these to practise constructing answers to exam questions. If you have example answers in your specimen exam paper they will help you see how to construct answers, but if you find this difficult then discuss it with your tutor or with other students. Be aware that the format of your exam might be different to previous exams and the exam questions and topics change each year, so you won't be able to predict what will be included.

Once you understand the structure of the exam, think about the following as you plan your approach.

  • Will you need to submit your answers to particular questions in separate documents?
  • Do you know what system you will be using (you can find this information on your module website)?
  • How will you allocate time during the exam time to answer the required number of questions, according to the marks each is worth?
  • How much time should you allocate to reading through the paper at the beginning and checking what you've written at the end?
  • Which sections do you think you'd be happiest tackling first?
  • Don’t forget, if you submit more answers than the number of questions specified for you to answer, markers will mark the answers in the order they are presented in your submission. Any additional answers submitted won’t be marked.

Last updated 5 months ago