Truth be told: Entrance exams are pretty overwhelming for many reasons. From the algebraic expressions, math problems, abstract questions, and paragraph passages that you need to get correctly, one of the most intense parts of every examination is answering all of the questions on time. Imagine you are on the last part of the test and are required to write a 500-word essay with just five minutes left on your clock? Sure you’ll feel your heart will about to explode in any minute!
Whether it is UPCAT, DLSUCAT, USTET, ACET or any other entrance exam, securing a success in any test is a balance of proper review, practice, and time management. Here are some quick tips to manage your time smartly during an entrance exam:
Know how much time you have for each question
Before you start filling out your answer sheet, make sure to check first the questions you are about to answer. Guesstimate how much time you have for each one or for each category. Some exams provide at least 1 to 2 minutes for easy to average questions (multiple answers, true or false, identification) and 3 to 5 minutes for difficult questions (problem-solving that requires equation or reading comprehensions). Knowing what time you should finish an exam can help you manage time constraints better.
Read each item carefully
One of the most common mistakes that test-takers commit is not getting the answers right, but failing to follow the directions. As you start to answer the examination, make sure to read instructions carefully and repeatedly. Some of the questions can be a bit tricky so try to understand each items well. You’ll be surprised that some answers are already in the questions!
Answer the things you know first
One strategy you can try is to start answering areas that you can complete quickly. Easy questions that you can answer faster than the required time give you extra minutes that you can use for the difficult ones. If you need more time to answer an item than what is allocated, make some markings on the number and move on to the next one. As you finish the exam, you can go back to the numbers you haven’t answered yet if you still have time. Do not dwell on a single item for too long or you might end up missing all the other important parts of your test that could have weighed more.
Relax and don’t rush yourself
While it is completely normal for you to feel nervous during an exam, too much pressure can block your thoughts. Test anxiety is one of the common problems that students experience during an exam so be sure to take a deep breath and relax your mind. If you’ve studied and prepared enough, then there’s no reason for you to rush and freak out.
Plan for questions that require long answers
This tip is especially true with essay items mostly found at the end part of exams. Despite the time pressure, you can still construct the best answer by mapping out your mind starting from the biggest ideas–but don’t spend a third of your time in just planning! Just write it down and ideas will surely flow as you go on.
Double-check your answers
Once done, make sure to double check all of your answers. Go over each item so you won’t miss anything, including writing your own name! If you still have time, proofread your sentences and look out for any spelling errors or illegible writing.
Passing your dream university’s entrance exam is not a one night process; it is a product of a consistent and disciplined practice.
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