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How to Pass the Exams

There is a technique to just sailing through, so make sure you donít just count on good luck.

Itís that time of year again when students across the country are gearing themselves up for exams. If you feel youíve left your revision too late, donít despair. Follow our guide and start today.

Before you start

q Get organized: draw up a revision timetable of topics to cover. Stick to it and let friends and family know that you are serious, so they donít interrupt your studies.

q If you find it difficult to concentrate, donít study at home where you will be easily distracted; go to your library instead.

q If motivation is a problem, arrange to meet a friend and study together. But donít let it turn into an excuse for a social chat or a moaning session!

q Remember what you are studying for. Why do you need these exams? Keeping your long-term goal in mind will help maintain your motivation.

Studying tactics

q Go with your body clock: if youíre slow in the morning, use that time to do some background reading. Do the weightier work in the afternoon.

q Donít study for more than thirty to forty minutes at a time. Take the regular breaks to get enough fresh air and stretch your legs.

q Donít study too late, especially the night before your exam. Tiredness will hinder your performance the next day. Always make sure you wind down before you go to bed.

q Itís important to maintain a happy, positive frame of mind, so donít let revising take over your whole life.

q Give yourself something to look forward to after a dayís studying: meet friends for a drink, or relax in a warm bath.

q Eat well; have a proper meal rather than snacks snatched at your desk.

On the day

q Allow plenty of time to get to the exam, but donít arrive too early or youíll sit around getting nervous.

q Resist the temptation to compare what youíve revised with other students while waiting.

q Do read the paper thoroughly before starting. Itís time well spent. Itís very easy to misunderstand simple instructions when youíre under a lot of pressure.

q On multiple-choice exam papers, go through and do all the easy questions first then go back to the beginning and try the trickier ones.

q On essay papers, tackle the questions you feel happiest about first, so you can build up your confidence.

q Work out how much time you have for each question and place yourself accordingly. You have nothing to gain from finishing early.

q Always keep things in proportion. The worst thing that can happen is that youíll fail. If necessary, you can usually retake an exam.


Find the phrases in box A in the article. Without checking in your dictionary, try to guess from the context what each one means. If necessary, use the definitions in box B to help you.


1) to sail through an exam 6) snatched

2) to gear yourself up for exams 7) the trickier (questions)

3) to stretch your legs 8) to tackle a question

4) to hinder your performance 9) to pace yourself

5) to wind down 10) to retake an exam


a) to make it difficult for someone to do something;

b) to go for a walk, especially after sitting for a long time;

c) to make a determined effort to do something difficult;

d) to succeed very easily in a difficult challenge;

e) to rest or relax after a lot of hard work or excitement;

f) to do an exam again;

g) to do something at a controlled, steady speed;

h) to prepare yourself for something you have to do;

i) taken quickly;

j) difficult, complicated, needing great care to do well.

Date: 2016-04-22; view: 792

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Public Exams in Great Britain | Ex. 5. Study the following definitions and give the corresponding words.
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