How to Write Your Exam Papers (TIPS)


 

Hey everyone! You may recall me promising that I would be posting tips on how to write your answers well. Anyway, here they are:

1. Keep your answers left justified. Don’t leave an inch of space next to the the left margin and then begin writing your answers.

2. Write in points as much as you can, except in English papers. Don’t write a whole paragraph explaining something that either does not need explaining, or that has not even been asked.

3. Read the question very carefully. Re-read the question. Ask yourself what the question is asking. If you know the answer, then write it. If you’re confused, try your best to make sense of what the question may be asking. If you can’t, then use your brains and make a smart guess.

4. Don’t leave any question. Don’t skip any question. Don’t leave the space blank. Examiners are always looking for technical terms or points where they may be able to give you marks. They aren’t always there to eat your heads off! Even if you don’t know the correct answer, make a guess. There is no negative marking so you have nothing to lose.

5. Check your answer sheet. Check it twice. If you have the time, check it thrice. While checking, don’t look at your answers and try to answer the questions again in your mind. Tally your answer script answers with those you just thought of and see whether they are the same or not. If not, make up your mind as to which one is the correct answer.

6. Don’t rush. You will have plenty of time to finish the paper. Don’t be in such a hurry that you overlook any sub-question or forget to write a step. You will lose marks and we don’t want that! Be calm and focused.

7. Don’t panic. You can’t always know everything (though, that’s not at all impossible). You may find that there is a question whose answer you don’t know. At times like those, don’t panic or be afraid. Think wisely and remain calm.

8. Use a black ball pen if you can. They are the best. They don’t leak and they rarely leave an impression on the back of the paper. The black ink will be more pleasing to the examiner’s eye. We want the examiner to be in a good mood while checking our paper. πŸ˜‰

9. Make sure your words are properly spaced out. Don’t squeeze in ten words in the same line! Your paper should look neat and clean and for that, your sentences shouldn’t be all bunched together.

10. Leave at least 2 to 3 lines before and after each question or sub-question. This is a precautionary measure so that if, later on, you feel you want to add something to your answer, you can easily do so, without making a mess of your answer script.

11. Number your questions correctly! Number them only and exactly as per the numbering given on the question paper. Don’t write Q1(a) instead of Q1(i).

12. Before you number your questions correctly, you must first remember to actually number them! The examiner won’t check your answer if the question number hasn’t been mentioned. Or if the incorrect question number is written, you will most likelyΒ lose marks.

13. Always draw a margin on the right side of the paper for your math examination. Always show your rough work in this margin, no matter how insignificant you may think it is. And remember to show the rough work for a question on the same page as your answer for that question.

14. While drawing diagrams, you must always use a pencil! Label your diagrams even if you have not been asked to. There’s no harm in staying on the safe side. Label the diagrams clearly and with legible handwriting. If your handwriting isn’t that good, you may want to label your diagrams in uppercase letters.

15. Always write your full name, index number, and if possible, date, on any supplementary sheets that you will have to attach to your answer script. For example, maps, graph papers, etc.

Students always keep forgetting the above tips and this is just to remind you once again of what has to be done.

There are many more tips to come… Keep visiting! πŸ™‚

Update 02/03/14: Please visitΒ Tip of the Day #8Β for more tips.

 

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This work by Helpline for ICSE Students (Class X – Class 10) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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209 thoughts on “How to Write Your Exam Papers (TIPS)

  1. Ananthi says:

    //. Use a black ball pen if you can. They are the best. They don’t leak and they rarely leave an impression on the//

    Brilli πŸ™‚ Is Black Ball Pen allowd in Board exam?

    Thanks for these Valid Tips… πŸ™‚

    Like

  2. harsimar says:

    leave two to three lines after every ques !!
    admin wont that give an expression to the examiner that we have left the space to write something that we eventually forgot ..??

    Like

    • icsehelpline101 says:

      Harsimar,

      I used to think the same thing! But I realized that if I do the same after every question, it will look like a pattern and it does help, in case I have forgotten to write something. Leave at least two lines for your own safety. In the end, it’s your choice. πŸ™‚

      Like

  3. Bleh. says:

    Cant we use a normal waterproof gel pen? I think i can write faster with those and also, im used to them. I think my work will be neater if i use them. Is it necessary to use ball point pens? Please let me know. Thanks.

    Like

    • ICSE Helper says:

      It has been specifically mentioned in the ICSE Council Syllabus book that candidates are “required to write their answers in black ink pens. Fountains pens and ballpoint pens may be used, but pencils may be used only for diagrams.” I’m not sure whether gel pens are included in the description above. I would recommend using ballpoint pens to stay on the safe side, but the ultimate decision is yours. Hope this helped! Thanks for visiting and good luck for your exams! πŸ™‚

      Like

      • Sudarshan says:

        The board allows pens of all kinds ,both blue and black in 2015 ,but ball pens are proffered as they are less messy.

        Like

  4. Aryan Verma says:

    in my school the last year batch of class 10 wrote their answers with blue pens..
    in 2013 syllabus it was stated that students have to write the answers in black ink..
    now in 2014 syllabus it is stated that students have to write answers in black ink ONLY..
    so which pen should we use ?

    Like

    • ICSE Helper says:

      Aryan,

      Undoubtedly, if the syllabus book clearly states that candidates should use black ink, then I would suggest you use black ink. There’s no harm in using black ink and it’s better to be safe than sorry. πŸ™‚

      Like

  5. Jaaaay. says:

    heyy. i dun have a doubt regarding this but i would like ya to post something which i think is quite helpful..
    for those who prefer studying onine,
    these sites are amazing-
    http://www.targeticse.co.in/
    http://crackicse.com/home/index.html
    http://www.topperlearning.com/
    ps: sorry for commenting in the wrong section.. i dint know how to post but i rele wanned to spread the word.
    ps: thanks for making this site. helped mee like shit. especially after reading ur inspirational stories and stuff, im not at all scared for boards weirdly enough. peace out.

    Like

    • ICSE Helper says:

      Thank you for your suggestions and positive feedback. We will post the website names in a separate post. I’m really touched and happy that the quotes helped you, and undoubtedly, there’s no need to be scared at all! Good luck for your exams! πŸ™‚

      Like

  6. Bleh. says:

    Our computer applications teacher asked us to write the comments of the program in different colour so that it is easy to make out a comment from the program code. I am writing the whole paper with a black ball pen so is it okay if i use blue ball pen to write the comments? Or should i use a pencil? Please let me know. Thanks and by the way, i think this site has helped me alot so hats off to you guys ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • ICSE Helper says:

      Tricky question. I don’t know whether blue ink is allowed or not but I know that writing in pencil is definitely not allowed except for drawing diagrams. I would still suggest using a black pen for everything, but maybe you can underline the comment in blue – if it won’t change the result of the program. I haven’t taken computer applications so I wouldn’t know.
      Also, I thank you for your kind words. It really makes me feel special to know that this website has served its purpose. Good luck for your exams! πŸ™‚

      Like

    • ICSE Helper says:

      To remain on the safe side, I would suggest labelling your diagrams in ink so that there are less chances of it rubbing out. πŸ˜€ I guess blue ball pens are allowed then.

      Like

  7. Ohfainrehearse says:

    Dear admin,
    I’ve written my past two exams with a blue gel pen. My teachers say this is accepted but now I’m really confused as to whether it really is accepted or not..can you please confirm whether or not blue ink is accepted?

    Like

    • ICSE Helper says:

      This is indeed very confusing. Even if you have written two of your papers with blue ink, I would say it’s okay. However, I would suggest writing with black ink – not out of compulsion, but because it is more soothing to the eye when checking papers. Also, the Council has mentioned that candidates should write in black ink in its Syllabus book. Don’t worry though, but I would recommend using black ink in the future if you are comfortable with it. Some say blue ink is acceptable, hence I cannot say for sure now. Good luck for your exams! πŸ™‚

      Like

  8. sagar gupta says:

    Hey….. I have mistakely numbered my questions…… Iaftwr 3(a)1….I wrote 3(a)3….will that make any difference

    Like

    • ICSE Helper says:

      Sagar,

      It is very important that you number your questions correctly. It is highly probable that it will affect your score adversely, however, if the examiner is lenient, he/she may overlook it. Do not worry about it and focus on your next exam. Take extra precaution next time. Good luck and keep visiting! πŸ™‚

      Like

  9. snehashis says:

    will there be any deduction in marks if we have left a gap and not stiked it off and from then onwards our answer script will be checked or not ?please help

    Like

  10. sid says:

    will there be any deduction in marks if we have left a gap and not stiked it off and from then onwards our answer script will be checked or not ?please help

    Like

    • ICSE Helper says:

      Sid,

      Of course your answer sheet will be checked and I strongly believe that they will not deduct yor marks because of the same. I am pretty sure that examiners are bound to check each and every page of your answer sheet and extra supplements that you have submitted. Don’t worry about it. πŸ™‚

      Like

  11. Ayush Bohra says:

    Hi man, i found ur site really helpful
    I hv just entered class X recently and from now only the workload has inccreased. We are told in school to make notes.

    Can u pls tell how to make good and effective study notes which will quickly refresh the important points bfore an exam

    Liked by 1 person

    • ICSE Helper says:

      Ayush,

      Thanks for your encouraging words!

      While making notes in class, pay close attention to what the teacher is saying and jot down anything which you feel may not be included in the textbook – any minor detail, examples, etc. which may help you in understanding the topic well. Also, make sure your notes are legible and try to write in points. Make tables if necessary. Do not write full sentences as that may consume your time and you may miss out on what the teacher is saying. Make and use your own shortcuts so that you increase your speed while jotting down notes.

      For further tips, I will write a post regarding the same in the future. Hope this helps! Keep visiting! πŸ™‚

      Like

    • ICSE Helper says:

      Abhi,

      Yes, of course. Though, I would recommend you read your syllabus booklet for the coming academic year and check once to know for sure. It will be mentioned somewhere in the beginning under rules and regulations.
      Hope this helped! Thank you for visiting! πŸ™‚

      Like

  12. Mona says:

    R/Sir, what should be the writing format for the exams? whether we can use the cursive writing format to attempt the exam or we have to use any other format??

    Like

    • ICSE Helper says:

      Mona,

      Hi! I am pretty sure that there is no fixed ‘writing format’ that you have to follow. Your handwriting depends on you. If you are comfortable with cursive, write in cursive. If you are comfortable with print, then write in print. As far as I know, it doesn’t matter what you pick. However, make sure that your handwriting remains consistent throughout your paper (answer sheet). Do not change your handwriting in between.

      Hope this helped! Do keep visiting! πŸ™‚

      Like

  13. Raj verma says:

    admin your tips are really helpful and significant to be noted in the board examinations.

    the one thing i just want to know is that,whether we should write the full answer sheet in black pen or not,some say that it is just meant for numbering questions.Then what would be good for the board examination 2015

    Is there any site that offers the current rules and regulations formed regarding board examination?of icse board

    Like

    • ICSE Helper says:

      Raj,

      You may go through the ICSE Syllabus for Class X for the examination to be held in 2015, as given by the CISCE Council on their website, http://www.cisce.org. You will find all relevant information on their website.

      I would personally suggest that you write the entire paper with a black ballpoint pen and avoid the use of two ink colors. This will not only save precious time, but also make the paper more appealing and easy on the eyes of the examiner.

      Hope this helped! If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to ask! Thanks for visiting. πŸ™‚

      Like

    • ICSE Helper says:

      BG,

      Please go through the ICSE syllabus booklet for Class X for the 2014-2015 year, as prescribed by the CISCE Council to check for sure which color ink you can or cannot use. You may also avail the same on their website, http://www.cisce.org.
      As such, it is preferable that you use black ink. Also, be sure to use a ballpoint pen as there are less chances of it leaking through or spreading.
      Hope this helped! If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to ask! Thanks for visiting. πŸ™‚

      Like

  14. Manikanta says:

    Can I write all my questions first and at last attempt essay,letter,comprehension in my ENGLISH & 2nd language exams. thank u…………..

    Like

    • ICSE Helper says:

      Manikanta,

      Hello! Since in the English Language Paper, there are no sections, you may attempt any question in any order. However, make sure you answer all of the subquestions of the chosen question before moving on to the next question. In papers with separate sections or parts, choose one section and complete all questions within the chosen section. Within a section, you may attempt questions in any order, but make sure to answer all subquestions of a chosen question before moving on to the next question. Also, it is extremely important that you number your questions correctly, as given in the question paper. Mention the section letter/number in bold, legible handwriting.

      Hope this helped! Thanks for visiting! πŸ™‚

      Like

  15. Shruti says:

    Dear admin,
    In the english literature paper, can we start each part of a sub question on a new line and make separate paragraphs? Our english teacher has told us to start every subpart as a new paragraph but my friends say that we cannot write answers in this manner. (They say its like writing the ans in points)
    For eg. in drama,
    Q: Where does this scene take place? Who all are present here? What does bassanio say to portia next?
    Ans: The scene takes place _____
    ____ and ___ are present
    Bassanio says ___

    Ans The scene takes place _____. ____ and ___ are present. Bassanio says ___

    So do we write everything in one paragraph or can we make separate paragraphs for different sub parts?
    Thanks!

    Like

    • ICSE Helper says:

      Shruti,

      Frankly, I wouldn’t worry of that. Either is fine, according to me, as long as you have written the correct answers. Where the answers are elaborate, begin with a different paragraph; where they are short, one paragraph is fine. Ultimately, it’s your choice.

      Hope this helped! Thanks for visiting. πŸ™‚

      Like

  16. freakyfoto says:

    So the boards are coming up, and Hindi is the first paper, so I was wondering if you could suggest some ways to improve essay writing in Hindi as that is where I generally lose my marks.
    Also, since it is better to use ball pens, could you suggest a good one to use, since I have been using gel pens all along.

    Like

  17. sanchita says:

    the tips r vry vry vry gud.. all sud read dis who r going 2give xams really its is most imp thing 4 all of the board examiners….dis r vry heplful n r really impprtant…..

    Like

    • ICSE Helper says:

      Kashish,

      Yes, you may. As per my knowledge, the examiner is bound to check all questions attempted and consider the best of all.

      Hope this helped! Thanks for visiting. πŸ™‚

      Like

  18. Shivam Agarwal says:

    I had forgotten to number my answer in the composition of my english language exam. Ive written question 1, but not the subpart a b c and so on. Its very understandable as to which one ive attempted if the examiner reads the essay, but will this mistake cost me a lot of marks??

    Like

    • ICSE Helper says:

      Aniket,

      I see no reason why an examiner would deliberately not check your answer sheet. I wouldn’t worry if I were you. However, precaution is always better than cure and it would be wise to stick to black ink in subsequent ICSE/ISC examinations.

      Hope this helped! Thanks for visiting. πŸ™‚

      Like

  19. Ronit says:

    I am not sure if I have written the question number next to my composition on my English language paper. Will the examiner completely nullify my entire composition? I attempted the entire paper in the same order as the question paper and have numbered every other question correctly.

    Like

    • ICSE Helper says:

      Ronit,

      Let’s pray that they don’t. πŸ™‚ I see no reason why they should overlook your answer as no examiner would wish to see the hard work of a student go to waste if he or she can help it.

      Hope this helped!

      Like

    • ICSE Helper says:

      Adarsh,

      Bad handwriting does leave a bad first impression on the examiner. However, I cannot say for sure whether they would cut your marks for such a reason. In the worst cases, it would be only if the examiner is unable to decipher what you have written.

      Hope this helped! Keep visiting. πŸ™‚

      Like

  20. icsestudent99 says:

    What if someone forgets to write the question number on the graph sheet but writes all other details and places it write next to the solved sum so would he get marks for it?

    Like

  21. abhi says:

    now i m in class 9…..can u please help me i m unable to decide which publisher’s guide should i follow for all the subjects especially english literature????

    Like

    • ICSE Helper says:

      Sidhanta,

      This depends largely on the number of marks the question carries, how many steps the answer requires, whether or not you have written these steps, and to what extent your answer is correct.

      Hope this helped! Thanks for visiting. πŸ™‚

      Like

    • ICSE Helper says:

      Sukanya,

      Nothing will happen. πŸ™‚ As per my knowledge, examiners are bound to check everything that the student has written and then consider the best specified minimum out of all.

      Hope this helped!

      Like

    • ICSE Helper says:

      Mayank,

      I cannot say for sure, though this is a grave mistake. However, trust in God and leave the rest to Him. Relieve your mind of all worries and enjoy your vacation. πŸ™‚

      Like

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