Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences

Tips for exams

You’re in the middle of your exam, staring at the exam questions: what now? Use the following tips for the best approach.

First, a few recommendations

  • Always read the question very carefully and underline any key words.
  • Don’t think too deeply or creatively: the questions are rarely meant to trick you.
  • Only go back to improve your answers if you have any new insights, not because of nerves or stress.
  • Don't look for patterns in the answers (it is possible to have ten Bs in a row on multiple-choice questions, for example).
  • Remember: the answer doesn’t always have to be 100% perfect, as long as it’s the best choice.
  • Stay calm if others start sooner or finish early. Everyone works at their own pace.

Tips during the test

  • Work in three rounds: first do the easy questions, then the more difficult ones, then leave the hardest questions for last.
  • Look for key words in the question. Think of what you know about these items first.
  • On multiple-choice questions, cover the answers and think of your own answer first. Then compare it with the answer choices.
  • Stay calm when confronted with a difficult question. Carefully analyse what they want to know.
  • Questions with negative statements can be tricky. Make them clearer by reformulating.
  • If you are unsure about the answer to a multiple-choice question, cross out the answer choices to eliminate them one by one.
  • Always answer every question, and be sure to check this at the end.

Contact the student counsellor

Sometimes you can’t do everything on your own and you need help. You can contact the student counsellor for academic advice and guidance. For example if you have fallen behind in your studies or are having personal problems.

Published by  Student Affairs 19 June 2020