Exam Instructions Aren’t Suggestions


I overheard two blokes, discussing exam strategy, and one explained to the other, how he answers one or two more questions than required, to increase his chances of getting better marks. According to him, the examiner marks all questions answered, and awards him total marks, based on the questions he scored the highest marks in.

I don’t know what exams they were discussing, but they looked old enough to be taking any professional or qualifying exams. And no, I wasn’t eavesdropping, I just happen to have really good hearing…when I happen across interesting conversation.

I hope by now, most students taking professional exams know the importance of following exam instructions. It is one of the things you are assessed on. Any tutor worth his salt will tell you that you wouldn’t not be doing yourself any favours if you do not follow the instructions – answer more questions than required.

I know most students seek advice from people who have gone through the same exams, but any advice given which are contrary to general instructions given by the examining body is not worth considering. Please do not think you will be given marks for NOT following instructions.

Should you decide to attempt more the required number of questions, you should be aware that:

  • You are wasting valuable time
  • The examiner will probably mark the first question(s) that are in-line with given instructions e.g. The instructions states –For section B: Two questions ONLY are to be attempted, and a student answers all three questions (Q2, Q3 & Q4) in that section, in the hope that the examiner picks the one with the best answer.

    The Examiner only marks the first 2 – Q2 & Q3 – answered on the question paper, and ignores the extra question. He does not look to check if the last question was answered better than the first 2.


© countingonaccounting and Nuan Moji, 2013 – 2014. The unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts & link may be used, if full & clear credit is given to Nuan Moji (blog owner), and countingonaccounting, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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