How to maximise exam reading time

Exam reading time occurs at the first 5 or 10 minutes of the exam. At this point, students are often their most stressed having just left the chaotic atmosphere of their peers, coupled with pre-exam-anxiety. However, reading time is a valuable commodity and should not be wasted.

If you find yourself panicking as the exam papers are handed out, spend the first 30 seconds of reading time breathing. Focus on your breath and even close your eyes. After this, flip open the exam booklet to begin your reading time with a refreshed mind and renewed perspective.

The best technique for your reading time is to read the entire question booklet first. Read each question until you are the back of the exam booklet. Make sure you locate the page that says ‘end of exam’ to ensure you have not accidentally forgotten the last page. For English comprehension papers, read the question first, then the relevant extract, and then the question again. If you find you have thoroughly read everything and still have extra time, practice answering the first few questions in your head.

Remember: reading time is only for reading! Any highlighting or note taking will result in disqualification.

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