Four ways to manage your time on exam questions

3 min readNov 30, 2021

Running out of time is one of the most frustrating things about doing exams. Whether we’re on a roll with an essay question and lose track of time or have second thoughts about an answer, we don’t want to miss any of those all-important marks.

Now we’ve come up with some tips for you all to be a pro at time management for exams. Use some of the exam hacks below to make your time management worries a thing of the past.

1) Make timed practice papers part of your revision

It might sound obvious but the best way to manage time is to practice doing it. Exams have lots of different formats so you can use previous year papers to focus on the types of questions you struggle with. This has two advantages; first it’ll introduce you to a wide variety of questions that have been asked hence preparing you even better, second, since you’re constantly practicing papers it’ll also increase your confidence along with attempting speed.

2) Skim through the paper before you start

Get a rough idea of how many questions there are and locate your high-mark questions. If there is a section that’s worth 25 percent of the overall score, you may want to focus on it first or at least keep it in mind so you don’t get bogged down by smaller questions that are worth fewer marks. On the front of your paper it should say how many marks you can achieve in the exam; use this information to roughly time your entire question paper.

3) Answer the easy questions first

No one says you have to go from page one to page 20 in perfect order, but it’s equally important to find your quick wins like the shorter questions or topics you know inside out. Doing this you can split your remaining time up so you know how long you need to spend on the bigger questions. Hence effectively managing the time.

5) Keep an eye on the clock!

Making a habit of checking on the clock or your wrist watch (if you carry) in a regular interval of questions will help you not only in the exams but even in the long run. Now Most importantly don’t panic if you’re a little behind, just focus on the highest mark questions and power through! You can do it!

In the end, keep calm and keep hustling and you’ll shine in your exams.

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Bonus: Subjective questions

A lot of students get the most fear from subjective questions. This is mostly because most of the time students end up writing more than the required, which leads to consumption of more time than they should have. Five minutes of planning can go a long way. It’ll help you pick out the big topics, meaning focus on what’s important instead of waffling. Take a look at the mark schemes of practice papers to see how essay questions are marked and try answering in a way that fits the marking scheme.




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