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5 Tips on How to Finish Exam on Time

July 30, 2021 by Wajiha Yasmeen in Exam Preparation, How To, Student Life 8 min read

5 Tips on How to Finish Exam on Time

Imagine sitting in an examination hall, trying to finish 25% of the questions, within the last five minutes. 5…4…3…2…1.. And Boom!  rings the knell of doom. There is a tug of war between you and the examiner, with you trying to complete the paper and them doing their duty. Not being able to finish exam on time or solve all the questions is a nightmare for many board exam candidates that keeps them awake at night. What can you do to prevent this? In that case, read the full article to find out how to finish exam on time.

Take a quick glance at the paper before starting

As students, whenever we are handed a paper, there is a sudden urge to dive straight up and start solving immediately. The sudden rush of adrenaline can help explain this. However, no matter tempting this sound, you must avoid this trap at any cost.

Instead, take 5-10 minutes to review all the questions and their weightage. See which question holds the most marks and try doing them first. Then identify the ones you are confident about and know can solve perfectly in no time.

Time budgeting to finish exam on time

Now that you have reviewed the whole exam, it is about time to budget your allocated time and dedicate it to each section/question (depends on the format) of the paper. It is during this step, that you will realize the importance of the previous suggestion.

Allocate the most time to essay or subjective questions. For example, dedicate more time to questions you are not confident about and may need more time to answer. Customise your time budget according to your preparation. Lastly, don’t forget to keep 15 minutes for an unprecedented, emergency situation.

Timed practice to finish exam on time

Our brain, like any regular muscle, requires constant training to adapt to a situation or overcome a challenge. Timed practice refers to solving mock tests before the day of the exam within the same time as the actual test.

Consider your brain as an athlete that is preparing to participate in the upcoming Olympics. So in order for it to work quickly under the pressure,  you need to expose your brain to the stressful environment of a board exam. It also helps to train your arm muscles to write at a faster pace and reduce the risk of getting killing cramps in the wrist which will help you finish the exam on time without any fatigue.

For this purpose, we suggest using the  past papers from

See also  How Past Papers Help In Getting Good Grades

Start with low hanging fruit

Another very common mistake committed by those who jump right into difficult and long questions. They believe that if they can get these out of the way, then they can move on to doing easier questions without any stress.

Well this might work for some, but there is a high probability of one of these two things happening:

  •  You have spent the majority of your time writing average answers to the said questions and now have no time to attempt the ones you were confident you could score well on. 
  • You forgot the answer to one of the questions and kept dwelling on recalling the answer. As a result, wasting too much of your precious and limited time. The anxiety starts to kick in! And BAM!!! 

So in order to avoid such circumstances, start by catching the low hanging fruits aka short and easy questions and gradually work your way up.

Avoid perfectionism

What we mean by this, is to focus your maximum energy towards solving questions that you know will yield higher results. For example, while solving your physics paper, start by solving all the numericals first, since if you solve them correctly, you can get full marks in them.

However, when it comes to essay questions, no matter how well you curate your answer, you can get a maximum of 18 marks out of 20. So in that case, just write the good enough content and move on to the next.

The fact is, exams aren’t fun and toe curling anxiety induced by them can often affect our performance. So make sure to keep the above tricks in mind to complete your upcoming paper on time. And in case a disaster strikes, take a deep breath and move on to the next question. You can always revisit them when you have enough time and energy to focus.

Hope this article was helpful. Let us know in comments, if you have any tricks that we might have missed.

Wajiha Yasmeen
Author: Wajiha Yasmeen

Biography of Wajeeha Yasmin

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