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How to get faster in exams?

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Applying to Uni? Let Universities come to you. Click here to get your perfect place 20-10-2014
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    As far back as I can remember (year 6 sats) I have never finished exams on time. This gradually got worse throughout school and GCSEs where I would leave many questions blank. During ASs I was losing about 10ums per exam just from missing out the last questions. The school entered me for the extra time test which I got. With my extra time in A2s I finished some and didnt finish others, I was under a lot of time pressure but no more than everyone else. Now I have got to uni and I have had exams this week and am off the pace by so much I don't really know what to do. My first exam I missed 30/100 marks, the second was multiple choice so i was able to make educated guesses towards the end, I dont know how much this cost me. The exam today I missed 50/150. The last question on the exam today was really easy too which makes it more annoying. I get exam time at uni to.

    Although it makes me feel slightly sick to think about those exam papers being taken off my desk with all those marks not got. It is not the end of the world because I still hope to have done enough to get 2:2s and the first year only counts for 1/9th. However, this obviously can't continue if I am going to do well in later years. I have 1 exam left to pull my score up but it is next year that really counts.

    The trouble is there is no obvious way for me to do it. I don't spend really long amounts of time on a single question and I spend the whole time working. I read the question, which does take me a long time at least twice as long as average, think about it for a short amount of time and then write my answer. Before I know it, 3 hours 30 have gone by, there is only half an hour left and I nowhere near done. Looking back it is hard for me to see what I could have done differently to finish it time. People tell me they finish half an hour early and then sit there doing nothing, I don't know how they can possibily do it, that is an hour and a half before i finish and even then I am only 2/3 of the way through. I cant see how it is humanly possible to go that quick.

    Does anyone have any ideas of how I could speed myself up in time for monday's exam or any advice for what I should do to oreoare for next years exams? If the same happens next year then my prospects won't be looking too good.
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    I had the same problem during A2 exams (especially the ones which required me to write about 5 essays!!).
    All i can suggest is use a watch (really helped me! the thought of spending too long on a Q made me go faster)... look through the paper and just see if there are any questions to definitely know the answer to... this way, you've answered the 'easy' ones and started processing information about the other questions too.

    Good luck for monday!
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    sniff cocaine before the exam heck thats what i do.
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    (Original post by Craming Revision)
    sniff cocaine before the exam heck thats what i do.
    Is this serious? I might look stupid if you were joking but it isnt a silly suggestion really.
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    (Original post by Craming Revision)
    sniff cocaine before the exam heck thats what i do.
    I prefer magic mushrooms. Having a unicorn telling you all the answers, is a risk free cheating method.
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    I have never had this issue and have never really not finished an exam and the only advise I can think of is to not annotate everything foir essays because what you should do is just find the quotes you need for the marks and right about them in depth and make sure you write enough to get the marks but not too little,ask your teacher how much you should write per question and you need to think in a second and no longer about the question
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    i always do past papers with my headphones watching a movie or something so when i go to the exam hall to do the paper cause it's so easy concentrate i do the paper in about half the time
    it works for me but it takes some getting used to
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    Speed (the drug)
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    Usually as soon as we're allowed to start the paper, I quickly flip through the exam and see how many questions I need to do in the time period we were given. Then I give each question a time limit and make sure I stick to it. Every so often I look at the clock and see if I'm sticking to time, and quicken the pace if necessary. This has always worked for me, so if you just give yourself a time limit for each question, I'm sure you'll be able to finish the paper as well as having time to check and make corrections. After a while, you'll get used to it (:
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    Practice timed past papers. That's the only way you'll get used to it.
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    Have you had medical testing for this? I.E. Dyslexia when it comes to reading?
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    I heard about a guy in my year that reads through all of the questions first and then starts answering the easy ones and he does exam papers really fast (I suppose the flicking through the booklet is the most annoying thing).

    I think there might actually be scientific credence (forgive me if I'm wrong, but this is what I've heard) to this too, if you're doing repetitive/non-taxing tasks then your frontal lobe is freed up to work on harder problems (this is apparently what happened with Einstein) so this way you would be cutting the thinking time down as it would be being done as you are writing the answer to a different question.

    Also your writing might be slowing you down, there are people I know that write really slowly and only just finish exams as the invigilators are coming around, so practicing writing (as well as doing exercises to minimise wrist cramp) might speed you up.
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    At least you didn't finish 20 minutes early and 1 minute before the end of the exam flicked through the paper and realised that you'd missed 20/80 marks because the last few pages were stuck together! This actually happened to someone in my biology class this year at A2!!!!!!!!!!

    I think that would be more annoying. At least you know that you've done all you can.

    Have you been to a doctor and seen if they can diagnose you with something like dyslexia?
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    Copy other people's answers. No need to think then.
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    This may sound silly, but use a smooth nib, nice feel ball pointed pen. Normally when i write, my hand flows and i finish 15 mark essays in about 9 mins. Try it!
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    (Original post by Sternumator)
    Is this serious? I might look stupid if you were joking but it isnt a silly suggestion really.
    why would i be joking it actually helps and works i did it in jan exams got BBC grades when i predicted UUE
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    (Original post by Booyah)
    Have you had medical testing for this? I.E. Dyslexia when it comes to reading?

    (Original post by Clare~Bear)
    At least you didn't finish 20 minutes early and 1 minute before the end of the exam flicked through the paper and realised that you'd missed 20/80 marks because the last few pages were stuck together! This actually happened to someone in my biology class this year at A2!!!!!!!!!!

    I think that would be more annoying. At least you know that you've done all you can.

    Have you been to a doctor and seen if they can diagnose you with something like dyslexia?
    Well they werent doctors but I have done quite a few tests and they say I am dyslexic. I was supposed to see a specialist to help me with dyslexia but I went to a couple and thought it was a waste of time to cancelled them. I have only just realised now that probably was a bad idea so I think I will try and get back into that next year. It was seeing the bill that made me cancel those, it was £300 an hour for tweleve hours a year. For that I was expecting for her to teach me some interesting stuff about how my mind works but it was just common sense stuff, people on this thread have been more useful tbh. After the second hour I walked out having learnt if I wanted to write faster I needed to practice my wrtiting and to read better I should practice readind and I couldnt bear to think people somewhere had paid £600 in taxes for that.
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    (Original post by Madmachine)
    Speed (the drug)
    I have actually done that a few times in the past and it did work for a couple of hours but the exams are 4 hours long and I badly crashed in the final hour. I couldnt think anything through. You can't really redose in an exam. Part of me would feel gulity about giving myself an unfair advantage but then I am already getting an unfair advantage by getting extra time so I may as well go all out. I probably won't do it again and I couldnt get any in time for tommorow anyway.
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    Practicing at home in time condition helps me.
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    (Original post by PrinceyJ)
    I heard about a guy in my year that reads through all of the questions first and then starts answering the easy ones and he does exam papers really fast (I suppose the flicking through the booklet is the most annoying thing).

    I think there might actually be scientific credence (forgive me if I'm wrong, but this is what I've heard) to this too, if you're doing repetitive/non-taxing tasks then your frontal lobe is freed up to work on harder problems (this is apparently what happened with Einstein) so this way you would be cutting the thinking time down as it would be being done as you are writing the answer to a different question.

    Also your writing might be slowing you down, there are people I know that write really slowly and only just finish exams as the invigilators are coming around, so practicing writing (as well as doing exercises to minimise wrist cramp) might speed you up.
    Thanks, I am going to do this. Subconcious is a powerful thing but if that doesnt work and I still run out of time at least I will run out of time on questions I wouldnt have done fantastic on even if I did attempt them.

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