Preparing for English Exams

The best way to prepare for the NCEA exams is to start early, to plan your revision, and to use sound learning strategies. As exams move closer, you should prioritise your time. This means deciding how much time to allocate to particular subjects or topics. For some of you that will mean it is time to focus on your English, especially essay writing!

In general, essay questions test understanding (of themes, ideas, concepts), and the ability to interpret, analyse, and evaluate. In preparing for essay questions, you must make sure that you understand the ideas, concepts, and theories that have been set out in the course. Your preparation can be assisted by

* discussion with peers
* drafting responses to possible questions.
* feedback on any internal assessment work (especially the pre-lims)

As in all exams you should read the question very carefully.

  • Look for key words or phrases that will tell you what is expected in your answer.
  • Make sure you do not write for too long on any one question. If you do, you will be under time on another, and risk losing more marks than you will gain.
  • Begin with the questions you find easiest, and which deal with the material you know best.

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