- well rested
- at the right place
- equipped with the right supplies
- without your knapsack, hat, or phone
- a watch
- facial tissues
- several blue pens
- if you’ll need to complete a Scantron card: several sharpened pencils and a good eraser
- a highlighter
- for mathematics
- several sharpened pencils
- a good eraser
- a 30-cm ruler
- a calculator with extra batteries (and know how to replace them!)
Do not bring
- personal electronic devices including telephones
What to do 1st
As soon as you sit down, check that you have the right exam.
When the supervising teacher tells you to begin
- write your full name, roll number, and class (if appropriate)
- write the starting time and ending time beside the instructions
- check that your examination booklet has the right number of pages
- read the instructions on the cover sheet
- calculate how many marks you need to earn each minute—after deducting the time it will take to pre-read the exam and to check your work at the end
What to do 2nd
- Put down your pen.
- Quickly read each page of the exam.
- Look for
- question types you don’t understand
- words or phrases you don’t understand
- pages printed incorrectly
- Ask for help with anything that arose in step 3.
What to do 3rd
- Decide which questions are
- Before you answer a question, read it carefully. Answer the question that’s asked, not the question you imagine is asked.
- Answer the easy questions first. Don’t leave them to the end—you might run out of time!
- Answer the medium questions next—capture all of the marks that you can!
- Answer the hard questions last, paying close attention to the marking scheme and the time. If you run out of time on a question, abandon it and move on; if you’ve extra time at the end, you can return to it.
- Be sure not to spend more time on a question than it’s worth.
How to answer
- Pay close attention to the verbs used in questions. Each of the following requires a different response: name, list, state, describe, illustrate, compare, contrast, explain, analyze.
- The space provided for an answer is a clue as to the length of the expected answer.
- If several parts of a question appear without blank lines among them, you are expected to write your answers to all of the parts below the last part.
- If asked to
- describe the significance of X
- differentiate between X and Y
- compare and contrast Y and Z
- explain the relationship among X, Y, and Z
- Write in blue ink.
What to do when 15 minutes remain
- Make sure you’ve attempted all of the easy and medium questions.
- Return to any hard questions that you abandoned earlier; did you learn or remember anything useful while you answered other questions?
- Start checking your work.
What to do when 5 minutes remain
- Double-check your name, roll number, and class (if appropriate) on the cover sheet.
- If appropriate, make sure your Scantron card is bubbled carefully with dark marks and clean erasures.
[This page last updated 2020-12-23 at 12h45 Toronto local time.]
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