NZQA Help for Students

Over the last days, teachers give helpful study hints to all senior students sitting exams. Take careful note of these. The main message is:

"Don’t panic. Do study. Get organised so you can get the most benefit from the time you’ve got."

Sitting Exams with Confidence

  1. Make sure breakfast is a calm, unhurried and healthy start to the day.
  2. Get prepared the night before – pens that work, a fresh battery in the calculator and anything else you need.
  3. Use sound exam techniques:
    • Read the instruction carefully and mark the questions that have to be answered.
    • Read the question carefully to understand it.
    • Jot down ideas and notes.
    • Change an answer if necessary.
    • Work at a steady pace and take no notice of others finishing early.
    • Relax nerves by deep breathing.
    • Have a go at difficult questions – there are no marks for blank pages.
    • Keep work legible and tidily set out.
    • Use time at the end to read over, correct and make changes.

Get Organised

You’ll use your study time far more efficiently if you invest a little time in organising yourself.

Make sure you’ve got a space that’s just for study – then you’re less likely to be distracted. If there’s no quiet space to call your own at home, go to the quietest corner of your local library.

Keep all your study stuff – books, papers, pens, pencils – together as much as possible. Then you won’t waste time searching for things.

If you’ve got heaps of notes and loose pages, put each subject on a separate folder. Paper clip or staple the pages relating to various topics to each other within those folders. Then you’ll be able to see how much you have to cover on each topic and subject, and it’ll be easier to allocate your time properly.

Studying with friends can be tempting, but think seriously about how much work you’ll actually get done – and if the answer’s not much, try to study by yourself and save the socialising for after exams.

Some STUDY POINTERS from Te Tari Awhina Learning Support at Unitec:

Planning Your Study Time

You need to do well in your final school exams to get into your tertiary course, and you’re starting to panic? Don’t panic, do study. Get organised and you can get the most benefit from the time you’ve got.

Exam Day Checklists

Familiarise yourself with the following checklists, memorising in particular the ones to use in the examination room. As you go over the points, try to visualise yourself in the examination room, imagining yourself in situations where you can use these techniques. Doing this will help you bring the techniques immediately to use should you need them.

Do This Now:

Know the DATE and TIME of each exam. Every year some students turn up on the wrong day, or at the wrong time for an exam. Their whole year's work is jeopardised. Colour code your exam times on your revision planner-one colour for morning exams; a second colour for afternoon exams.

Before the Exam:

In the Exam Room:

Aim for mental calm-get comfortably settled. If you are nervous, take slow, deep breaths. If you become tired during the exam, try these techniques:

Read the exam carefully. Make sure you note all of the following:

Plan your time carefully and accurately - according to the marks for each question. For example, if you have three hours (180 minutes) for a 100-mark paper, this equates to roughly 18 minutes for a 10 mark question. If you allocate 16 minutes for each 10mark question (32 minutes for 20 marks), this will leave 20 minutes for familiarising yourself with the paper at the start and, at the end, will enable you to re-read your answers, add to them if necessary and generally check what you have written. Keep to your time limit per question. Some give and take might be possible if you finish one question early and go slightly over time in another.

Essay Questions:

Short Answer and Multi-choice Questions


Near the End of the Exam

Study and Exams - Preparing yourself fro success

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