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Exam Strategies for School Exams

2021 has been a tough year for everyone, especially students. This year, exams are even more challenging as students have been learning in an unprecedented mode. As part of the exam practice team, I’ve helped many i-Learner students prepare for their school exams both online and in person. Although hard work is the key to academic achievements, effective exam strategies are also as important.

Here are some great exam strategies for school exams:


Before your exam


Know your syllabus and your school’s regulations

Before you even start revising, make sure you check the exam syllabus, and you are revising according to it. Each school has their own set of regulations. For instance, spelling differences such as traveling vs travelling. Familiarise yourself with the rules so you do not get marks deducted for these discrepancies.

Review the structure and tone of different text-types

Students often find it hard to revise for writing exams. A good way to do so is to memorise the structure and tone for different text types. For example, the signatures at the end of a letter and the structure of an argumentative essay. You should also review lists of connectives, conjunctions and useful phrases that are generally used.


During your exam


Skim passage and  then the  comprehension questions before you read the passage in detail so you can identify paragraphs with key information. Skimming is also very important in listening exams as students can identify keywords related to the questions beforehand and listen intently for the answers or signalling words.

Time management

I often encounter students who are not able to finish the paper in time. Always wear a watch to the exam so you know the time. Set a time limit for each part to ensure you can finish the whole paper. Don’t be afraid to skip questions that are taking you too long. You can always work on them later.


Most of the time, students are able to point out their mistakes even before I do during marking. This proves that they’re able to spot their mistakes without help. Hence, the importance of proofreading. It is very common for students to make careless mistakes during exams as they are nervous and rushing through questions. If they proofread their answers before handing in the paper, they will get better results.


Older students should also:

Take Notes

Taking notes not only helps with memorising, but also consolidating complex concepts. However, you should not be copying from the textbook directly. Try to summarise the concepts in your own words. Through this process, you can figure out which areas need more revision. This is especially helpful in subjects such as History, Chinese History, Citizenship and Social Development and Science subjects.

Teach someone/ Form a study group

Research shows that teaching others can help you learn. Students can form a study group to help each other out and revise at the same time.


If you adopt the above strategies, you will surely pass your school exams with flying colours.