How to Survive Different Exam Formats and Types
Apr 13, 2018
One of the worst things that make any level of education almost impossible to love is exams. And while the high-school exams might have been hard, we have to be honest with you: they are nowhere near as hard, complex, and intricate as college and university exams, which are waiting for you in the future. So today, EssaysLab .com plans to talk about different exam types and how can you prepare for each one.
Timeframes for Exams
Generally, all the exams are taken in the class with limited time available that will define the number of tasks given to you. Check your syllabus for more information about the date of exam and time you supposed to complete it.
In some rare cases, you may be given an untimed exam; however, it is most likely to be a home-given one. Un-timed exams are also given as a part of an online course. You will receive a number of questions and tasks to complete and submit within the deadline given.
Moving on with the exams variations, let's talk about the formats your exam might have. First, consult your handbook as it can give you a pretty good idea about the format. If you have any questions, consult your mentor of a professor at least a week prior to the exam. You may be given one of the following formats:
Prior to the exam day, you will receive a list of questions that your exam will cover. During the exam, you will receive a combination of 3 to 5 questions you will have to answer.
Preparing for this exam format, you need to focus on the questions given and prepare answers within the given scope. You may also like the idea of giving the short title to each answer, so it would be easier for you to find the necessary information in your memory during the exam.
You will not receive any questions before the exam, so you need to focus on the:
- definitions and terminology. Use the flashcards method to help you remember the definitions,
- relations and dependencies between the notions, events, etc.,
- characteristics and features of the phenomena in the unit.
Open Book Exam
It is one of the easiest yet most tricky formats of the exams as you are allowed to use any hand-written or printed materials while answering the questions (for more detailed information on the regulations, please consult your professor or T.A.)
If allowed, make sure to properly structure your notes and color code them, so you can quickly access the required part of information. While revision, make sure to focus on the ideas and concepts, making notes about your personal ideas on the subject matter, impact it may have, or its positions in the general structure.
Types of Exams
So we have figured out basic formats, so let us move to the types of exams. This classification is based on the types of exam questions you may find in your exam of the form of the assessment given. The first aspect is a method: written or oral exam.
Written exams usually include one or several exam questions:
- Short answer questions
In most cases, such questions are based on the units or chapters you have studied, and refer to some basic information, facts, and definitions. Depending on the subject or individual desire of your professor, "short answer" may vary from 2-3 words to one paragraph (approximately 150 words).
- Multiple-choice questions
This one is among the easiest types as you have to choose one right option from the list of alternatives. While revising for this type of questions, make sure to highlight the key pieces of information, paying attention to the differences, generalization, or comparison.
More likely to be found in the humanities, matching refers to finding the proper parts of the sentences within the giving scope and pairing them with the other halves. While working on such questions, look not only for common sense, but also for pronouns used.
- Solving the problem
For an exam in STEM disciplines, you might be given some problems or tasks to solve. Try to link them to the task you had in classes or as a part of homework while dealing with them during the exam.
- Questions-Answers Essay
Most likely to be the most complicated form of the assessment, questions and answers essay consists of the answers to the given questions structured as one cohesive text. Please remember that all the rules of essay writing are applied to this form of the exam.
Oral exams might be given if the form of:
Basing on the material of the chapter (or even course), you will be asked to choose the topic and prepare a presentation. This might be a detailed analysis of a question or a course-related topic you find interesting.
- Answers to the questions
As a form of seen exam, you might be given an oral exam that requires you to answer the questions from the list. And while it is a rare form of the exam (as it requires you and your professor to spend hours), some of the conservative mentors tend to love it. While revising, try to focus on the understanding of the context, rather than simply memorizing some facts.
- Research project and poster presentation
In some cases, when your professor is more interested in the implementation of the knowledge you gained, your exam might be the research project you work on the poster presentation in class. Regardless of the number of participants, make sure to plan your time and properly manage each stage of the research.
General Advice about Exams Taking
While all of these forms and types of exam are stressful and might take a lot of time while preparing for them, there is some advice we would like to share:
- be on time. It is your professor who might be late, but you have to be there at least 5 minutes before the exam;
- dress appropriately, try to be professional and calm, and turn off your phone (some professors can hate you even for the buzzing in your bag);
- predict the questions you may have (what has your professor focused on in class? What questions have they asked? What questions were asked in the chapter?)
This is pretty much everything you need to know about the exam formats and types. If you need any help with any of these formats, make sure to contact EssaysLab.com for professional and timely assistance.