Are past papers really useful when you are preparing for an exam? This article will discuss how using past papers can benefit you and how you can locate the ones you need.
Understanding Past Papers for Exams
Anyone who has taken a GCSE or other national exam has probably seen practice papers which are samples of the types of questions you can expect when you take the actual test. These practice papers help you get an idea of what you should study to get ready for your exam. Past papers are different because they are real test samples that were used for others who have already taken the exam you are going to be taking. These questions are ones that real students answered when they took the exams. Exam questions are changed every so often but knowing what has been on past papers is still very helpful.
What are the benefits of using past papers?
The following are some of the many benefits to studying past papers.
You will know the kinds of questions that will be asked. You won’t go into an exam unsure of how the questions are formatted and what they are asking. This will help you relax and be confident before you take the exam.
You will know what kinds of answers they are looking for on the exams. When you use past papers to study you will see what types of answers get the most points and what types of answers you should probably avoid. This will give you an idea of how to write your answers when you take the exam.
You will know what areas are going to be covered on the exam so you can make sure you study the right things. You will be able to determine what areas you are going to have to do more studying in and what areas you are strong enough already which will help you get the most out of your studying.
You will be able to make sure you know how long you need to spend on each section of the test. Your exam is going to be timed so it is important that you use past papers to see how long it would take you to complete the exam. That way, you can make a plan for how long you should actually spend on each section so you can ensure you don’t run out of time during the exam including essay questions.
You will be able to take the exam using the past paper to help you practice focusing on the task at hand. The more focused you are the day of the exam, the better you are going to score on the exam.
What to do with Past Papers
The most important thing for you to do with past papers is to make sure you use them! If you are lucky enough to get past papers from a tutor or other educator, make sure you take advantage of this. If you can get your hands on multiple past papers, that’s even better and you will be even more prepared.
Listen to what the educator that you are working with when they give you suggestions on how to get the most benefit out of past papers. Some educators will suggest you use the practice papers in a setting similar to the one where you will be taking the exam but others may say you are better of using the past papers to prepare at home.
Don’t wait too long to start using the past papers. You are likely to be a lot less stressed when you take your actual exam if you have worked through several past papers over a long length of time. The sooner you start preparing for your exams, the more likely you are to succeed when you take them. Take the past papers that you have access to more than one time so you feel confident and prepared.
Take a real practice test at your house with the past papers. Set up the environment so that it is as similar to the environment of the actual exam as possible. That means setting a timer to the amount of time you will have to take the actual test and working on the past papers in a quiet place where you can focus on the exam. Make sure you don’t skip any questions just because you think that you already know the answer to them. Work on your test taking skills including going back and looking over your answers, skipping harder questions and going back to look at them a little later and answering the questions you know before working on the harder ones. Also, if you have extra time at the end of the exam time period make sure you look over your whole exam for any possible errors.
Use the past papers as a way to see what your strengths are and what areas you should spend more time studying. Don’t panic if you have trouble in certain areas of the exam. Look at it as a chance to get more prepared before the real exam. The results of one past paper is not necessarily going to determine how you do on the actual exam if you use the results to work on your weak areas.
You can locate past papers at past papers page.
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