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A-level essay subject students: Do you finish exams in time? Watch

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    I'm referring to any subjects which involve exams that demand lengthy essay style answers, such as: English lit, Economics, History, Psychology, Geography, Philosophy, R.S, Government and Politics, etc etc etc.

    So How do you all cope with the time given in exams?

    Do you finish on time?

    Do you have time to check over your answer?

    How much time do you have left to spare? (if you manage to finish at all)
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    For English Lit/Lang and History I finished with about 5 minutes left without really thinking about time-managing in January but I'm a bit worried about my Government and Politics in May; I have to write 6 essays (2 super-mini essays, 2 mini and 2 big essays) in just 80 minutes for 80 marks, so it would seem I don't get a huge amount of time to plan.

    I've never spent too long on a question or not have enough time. I take my watch off and leave it next to my paper so I look at it every 5 minutes or so, and I generally know how long I should spend on each question.

    I guess it depends on how fast you can come up with your ideas and how fast you can write. I generally write loads faster in the exam than in mocks in the classroom and just roll with my first idea, instead of spending ages pondering over the question- although this tactic doesn't always work, got an A in my English AS in January but a C in my History for not reading the question properly....
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    Nope. In my geography exam we had one report style question to answer in and hour and a half. Needless to say I didn't finish it, had to leave out loads of case studies and rush it.
    History I think I just about finished it.
    Archaeology was a big rush as well.

    I'm really bad at time management in exams. Couldn't cope at GCSE never mind A level. I just don't know what to leave out. I never have time to check essays in exams, I write right till the end.

    I hate the strict time...if I had as much time as I wanted, my grades would be much better. Hence why I prefer coursework to exams.
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    It might depend on how you learn, but I found planning to be really helpful. I went in to my Eng Lit exam with a rough idea of what I was going to say and in what order and spent the first five or so minutes jotting that down. It stopped me having to pause halfway through and spend ages thinking of what to say next. I didn't have a timing problem, but I do write really quickly/bordering on illegible... I had maybe five minutes to check over what I'd written? I remember giving it a brief read and then going back and correcting myself/rewriting bits, and that's when I ran out of time

    I also did Film, but I timed myself reeeeeally badly (I read the clock wrong part way through ) and thought I had less time than I did, so I twiddled my thumbs for a bit at the end - my mark wasn't as good as my English one...

    Psychology was absolutely terrible. There is no where near enough time to write everything that needs to be said, nor enough space! Might depend which examboard you're on (I was OCR) but I found for the A2 options paper that the longest you could spend per shorter question was ~7 minutes (no more) and for the longer (15 mark?) ones about ~15 minutes. I pretty much jammed everything I thought of into the answer and some of it was probably pretty jumbled; but, if you are on OCR, the examboard know that it's a stupid exam and they seem to pretty leniant when giving marks away

    I don't remember having timing problems in any subject at AS though, but that's probably down to the speed that I write at :dontknow:...

    When you practice exams make sure to time yourself, I found that really helped to show me just how long I could spend on certain sections.
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    I do Govt & Politics and also Economics.

    For Politics, It is really difficult to write a lot within an hour and 20 mins unless you have rough idea about what might/might not come up. The trick is just write, write and write as long as you know you're a answering the question.

    I have personally never had problem in relation to finishing off Economics though. Even though it involved some complicated stuff sometimes.

    All the subjects that you have listed above will definitely require a good ability to write an essay involving analysing and evaluating.

    If your timing is not up to standard, I would recomment you to start timing yourself before the time of exams, as it can be really diffficult to strucure an essay sometimes
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    For economics, I write until the end for the last 25 mark question.

    Mainly because I do not see the point in checking, I don't find myself making many grammar/spelling mistakes in the economics essays, so no point in wasting a few minutes.
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    My A levels were English, Psychology, Religion (philosophy and ethics) and History. I don't think that I ever ran out of time in the exams. I usually had plenty of time left over to check if I wanted to. The exams have a time limit which should be sufficient for you to write a good standard essay and a good length piece as well. As long as you go in and know a reasonable amount you should be fine

    Time wise left over, mine varied between 30 and about 5 minutes, depending on how much I had that I could write down and how well I knew the information.
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    Gov and Politics A2, I normally finish with about a minute spare. Planning is the most important thing ever.
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    I'm at uni now but last year all my a levels were essay based. I did manage to finish them on time and I'm usually a slow writer. If you know your stuff really welll I find you finish much quicker since you're not sitting around trying to think of what to write next.

    Oh btw I warn you about hand cramps...
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    I normally have a right nightmare when it comes to law exams. At AS it was fine, generally managed to finish on time, but with my A2 exam in January I was nowhere near finishing the paper. (Think I need just better time management and to not write things that aren't necessary!)
    History and Government & Politics are okay though, finish on time with those ones
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    (Original post by Lizzieee)
    I normally have a right nightmare when it comes to law exams. At AS it was fine, generally managed to finish on time, but with my A2 exam in January I was nowhere near finishing the paper. (Think I need just better time management and to not write things that aren't necessary!)
    History and Government & Politics are okay though, finish on time with those ones
    lol A Level law....
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    NO NO, I never finish in time, ever. Except Psychology if I'm lucky but English Lit or English Lang? NEVER. I still do very well though XD
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    All my A Levels are essay based and I always finish early.
    I'm not good at waffling and I write really really quickly because I panic that I won't have enough time.
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    1. How do you all cope with the time given in exams?

    Depends on what the exam is. English is quite nice, I have an hour and a quarter to write an essay. I tend not to plan though, unless I absolutely cannot think of anything to write. History was horrible though, it was basically a mark a minute last year. I was expected to do about 1 page in 12 minutes and 2 pages in 24 minutes. And I find History the most difficult of all my subjects. Though I think we have longer in the exam this year, the mark a minute principle is still there and there's a lot of content to cover so I'm a little worried about that.

    2. Do you finish on time?

    Yes, I always make sure I do. But normally it's only just by the skin of my teeth. There have been times when I've put a full stop at the end of my last sentence and at that second we're told to put our pens down.

    3. Do you have time to check over your answer?

    Very rarely. In any case, I'm just normally too relieved to have finished XD .

    4. How much time do you have left to spare? (if you manage to finish at all)

    Normally somewhere between 10 - 30 seconds.

    I always take my watch off and put it at the front of my desk though so I can see it. Sometimes, I'll set it a few minutes fast too so that I definitely know I'll finish on time =/ .
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    All of my A Level choices are essay based, and depending on the question I almost always just finish. I've always struggled with time constraints, but luckily I'm a pretty quick writer so I just about finish with a few minutes to check over my answers. I have to keep checking the clock during exams to make sure I will at least finish each question, but I rarely get time to check lengthy answers properly because I write too much!
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    I have never finished an English Lit exam on time. Always had to miss stuff out at the end.
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    I do politics and used to have awful trouble with timings. Our questions are 40 marks each; part a is 5 marks, b is 10 and c is 25. I always used to run out of time on the c question and get 30 or 31 out of 40 on essays.
    Now, I do my question backwards - so part c first - and have been getting 38-39/40. Definitely a technique I'd recommend.
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    well for my economics exam in jan, i finished the paper but i didnt do as much as i could have done coz i didnt have too much time
    7 mins to write a 14mark essay isnt a nice situation

    this may, i have economics unit 2 which carries more essays and a super essay of 30mark, i should complete it in time with the pratise i have already
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    I did English Language, Ancient History and Business, they were all essay subjects (business was somewhat).
    In my a-level summer exams (2nd year), I finished in time on all of them. I rushed my english re-take's conclusion but that was it.

    I think it was down to my planning before-hand and doing endless past exam papers. I mean endless in the most literal way possible, I did one, or two, everyday from March last year. It paid off in the sense that I knew the subject inside out, I knew the structure of the questions and how to answer them effectively. So yes, I finished within the time allowed because of my preparation!

    I do recommend to everyone sitting exams this year to get started on past papers, even if you haven't covered the material the question refers to; re-word the questions accordingly (that's what I did) .

    Good luck to all .
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    (Original post by W.H.T)
    I'm referring to any subjects which involve exams that demand lengthy essay style answers, such as: English lit, Economics, History, Psychology, Geography, Philosophy, R.S, Government and Politics, etc etc etc.

    So How do you all cope with the time given in exams?

    Do you finish on time?

    Do you have time to check over your answer?

    How much time do you have left to spare? (if you manage to finish at all)
    english lit - i normally have time to check

    history - i run out of time!
 
 
 
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