Part 4 of 5: TIME MANAGEMENT
This article is relevant for all candidates preparing to sit the ATX-UK (P6) exam. It is one of a series of five short articles on exam technique. The five articles cover:
- Reading exam questions
- Satisfying the requirements of a question
- The importance of thinking
- Time management
- The importance of question practice
These articles are likely to be particularly useful to those candidates who are not attending a course with a tuition provider, such that they are not receiving ongoing guidance and advice on exam technique.
Time is your most precious resource in the exam. There is enough of it provided you use it efficiently and do not waste it.
TIME MANAGEMENT AS A CONTINUOUS PROCESS
You should be aware of how much time has elapsed and how much time remains for each particular part of each question and you should tailor your answers accordingly. This continuous approach to time management will help you to get to the end of each question in the correct amount of time.
If you do not adopt this approach there is a danger that you will be too expansive at the start of a question, when there appears to be a significant amount of time available, such that you may find yourself rushing the final parts of the question or missing them out entirely.
FOLLOW THE GUIDANCE IN THE QUESTION
Exam questions contain the following guidance to help you manage your time efficiently:
- the number of marks available provides a clear indication of the amount of time that should be spent on each question part
- the command word(s) used in the requirement indicates the level of detail required in your answer.
DO NOT WASTE TIME
Because time is a finite resource in the exam it is important that you do not waste it. With this in mind:
- think before you write so that you identify the most direct and time-efficient way in which to do what needs to be done
- do not provide general explanations, long introductions or executive summaries unless the question tells you to
- where a question requires you to calculate, there is no need to explain what you are going to do before you do it; just get on with preparing the calculation
- only prepare calculations that have been asked for or that are necessary in order to address a particular requirement
- keep your answer specific to the facts of the question and the requirements.
Good exam technique will help you perform to the best of your abilities in the exam and to maximise the number of marks you earn. As a result, you will be able to earn the marks that all of your hard work prior to the exam deserves.
Accordingly, as you prepare to sit your exams, in addition to adding to and refining your technical knowledge, you should be aiming to continually improve your exam technique.
FURTHER GUIDANCE ON EXAM TECHNIQUE AND TECHNICAL MATTERS
There are four other non-technical articles that focus on the structure of the exam and exam technique (all of these are accessible on the ATX-UK (P6) technical articles web page).
Although exam technique is important, and can even be the difference between failing and passing the exam, it is clearly not as important as technical knowledge. Excellent exam technique on its own will not be sufficient to achieve exam success. Accordingly, there are technical articles to support you in your studies – access the article 'ATX-UK (P6) – Summary of available articles' for details.
Written by a member of the ATX-UK (P6) examining team