Exam Time Management Techniques

Exam Time Management Techniques

Admission for most US colleges and universities requite candidates to sit one or more standardized test types. SAT and other standardized tests like GRE, ACT and GMAT depending on your application.

For English-as-a-second-language countries TOEFL is required for applicants. This standardization of tests is arguably needed due to different education standards across institutions and countries. Having all applicants sit the same test, then comparing scores gives the admission counselor a better way of selecting the right students.


Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) is designed to gauge skill level of a student rather than their amount of knowledge. This is sometimes contested but perhaps that is a subject for another time.

SAT include questions that would show the student’s problem solving techniques. There are two versions of the test. SAT I, also known as the Reasoning Test, contain questions that evaluate your mathematical and verbal skills. Most of the question in SAT I are of multiple-choice type. SAT II examines subjects such as history, languages, science and broader field of study.

Time Management

Solid time management will highlight your preparation effort; poor time management will ruin your chances of achieving a good score regardless of your subject matter knowledge.  Try out these techniques and they are sure to boost your exam scores:

Be fresh on the test day:  Don’t study all night just before your exam and get enough sleep. You need to be physically and mentally relaxed and agile. Eat well will help you concentrate on the questions.

Bring everything you need: When going for your exam, prepare all you will need. Stationery, ruler, calculator and such you will need on the test day. Make a checklist if you must.

First: Familiarize yourself with all guidelines and directions, do not assume that you know it all already. This may be assumed but please do understand the workings of the test type  before you sit it.

Plan your answers: Read all questions first. Estimate your time for all the sections and questions. Do pay attention to how many points would each question is valued at and estimate your time accordingly. Don’t spend longer on a question th it is worth. A great way to practice this is with our Exam Timer app. It will train your internal clock and help align question value to the time available.

Take notes: When first reading through your SAT exam make mental quick note of the ideas that come to mind at the time. These perhaps still unformed concepts may be a base to expand on.

Start with the easy: After you have read all the questions, start with the section on your strongest subject. You are more likely to complete this section slightingly, while attempting the easier question, you might get ideas for ahead and channel this time towards the challenging set. In addition the relative confidence gained will help you through the rest of the exam.

Attempt all questions: Even if you blatantly draw a blank on any of the questions, take a shot. You may get a partial marks on an answer. On multiple choice you are statistically ahead if you answer instead of leaving the question blank. Do practice good time management and do not spend more time then recommended on a question.

Read it Again: If a question does not make sense to you at your first pass, read it again and  re-phrase it, perhaps even ask for clarification.

Don’t leave too early: If you think you have completed everything, don’t be in a hurry to get out. Go through you. Make sure there is r answers again perhaps you have a clear idea that you may have missed. Most of the time, you can find something that went unnoticed at first pass.  Never, ever give up.

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