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How to write a good answer in main exam?

Make sure you are clear about how many questions you need to answer. If questions are divided into multiple sub-questions check whether you have to answer any one of the sub-questions or all of them. Check the back of the paper for further questions/sections.

Read all the questions carefully

Read through all the questions before deciding on the best combination. Make sure you understand what the question is asking you. Underline the key words or phrases.

Plan the time

Plan the time you can spend on each question and allow time to re-read at the end of the exam.

Plan each answer before you start writing

Jot down skeleton answer-plans, on a page which you will later cross out as rough work, before writing the actual answers to be read by the examiners. This will help you to make sure your answer is clearly structured. Most students believe, incorrectly, that the overriding criterion is the number of correct facts in the answer. On the contrary, the logic, clarity and organisation of the work are at least as important as its content.

Write legibly

Your handwriting is important and you must take care to ensure that it is legible so that it can be understood. If you know your handwriting is difficult for others to read, train yourself to write more clearly. We have to mark large numbers of scripts to a tight timetable; if an examiner finds himself going cross-eyed trying to make out the words of one script, it will be very difficult for him to assess the answers at their true value - apart from the irritation, if writing is so unclear that the words have to be puzzled out one by one then it is hard to put the separate words together in one's mind and grasp the overall meaning.

Name the key thinkers/experts

When you discuss ideas/techniques associated with specific individuals, mention their name and if possible give an indication of the book or article title.

Give examples

Illustrate theory with concrete examples. (This is a point which obviously depends on the topic and may be inapplicable to some topics). If there is a `stock example' which the textbooks or the lectures always quote, give a different example if you can. Quoting a stock example just shows that you have remembered it. Quoting a different example (provided it is a true example of the issue it is used to illustrate) shows that you have understood that issue well enough to identify an example for yourself; it is much more impressive.

Use all the time available

You should aim to complete your answers well before the close of the exam but it is wise to use any extra time you have to check your answers and correct any mistakes.

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