Examination tips, as schools open for the third term

With the CV Coach

This past weekend, saw a hive of activities, in Harare’s bus terminal for long distance coaches, as school children especially those in boarding schools return for the third and final term of the year.

Parents were not left out, as some could be seen milling around buses, with their children heads out through windows as they bid each other farewells.

At the same time, a host of other parents could be seen around town making last minute shopping for their kids who were returning to their respective schools. Some call it the ‘back to school rush.’

Anyway, the third term has become the decisive moment, in that in most cases it determines one’s probabilities of moving on to the next level or grade.

And, so nerve chilling has been the moment of taking the final exams of the year.

In this episode, the CV Coach will be looking at some of the best approaches on taking examinations. These guides though common, may define success and failures when it comes to exam taking.


First, it is said failure to plan, is the best formula if one wants to fail. In that scope, students should always plan for the pending exams, way before hand. Effective studying is the key and one of the best approaches to success in exams.

Be at the examination site on time

It is always recommended that you arrive at the examination center on time, so that you settle in, and have little time to reflect and refresh before the examination starts.

Read and understand the directions

According to some exam markers several students find it hard to succeed during examinations because of failing to follow the set instructions. Each question may have certain guidelines to be followed, make sure you understand them well before answering the question.

Some subjects such as Chemistry have specific instructions and need to be read carefully for you to comprehend the requirements well. This makes you give the test the right approach.

Know the scores

For questions that require essay type answers, pay attention to the score or marks for each question or part of the question. This will help you on the depth and contents of your answer.

Take the less time-consuming questions first

It is always good to start by the questions that are easy for you. This enables you to maximize your score right from the word go. This also helps in the long run, imagine spending all your time on hard questions and probably get them wrong, with no time left for you to tackle the easy ones.

Make sure you mark the questions you have skipped so that you return to tackle them later.

Keep you answer sheet clean

Some examinations are marked using machines and dirty answer sheets or rough marks on them may confuse the machine.

Time check

Always keep your eye regularly on the remaining time, this will guide you on pace adjustments.


Before handing in your answer sheet, spare some time to run down all your answers, checking on spellings, any omissions, and making sure that everything that needed to be done had been done.