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BECE / WASSCE 2020: How to pace yourself to answer all questions

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WASSCE 2020

How to pace yourself to answer all questions REQUIRED during the BECE 2020 or WASSCE 2020 is worth mastering.

Work out how much time you have available for each question allowing time for checking your answers at the end. Never allow more time for questions that look as though they might take longer.

READ: BECE/WASSCE 2020: How to pick your questions in the exams

The questions in the WASSCE exams are often written such that a person who is capable of answering them has a sufficient amount of time in which to do so. If you run out of time on a question don’t over-run unless you are within a few minutes of finishing. Leave it and return to it later if you have time.

Be aware of the number of marks awarded for each section of the question in the WASSCE 2020 and have a rough idea of how they will be awarded. Don’t spend hours writing an answer to a question that only carries a couple of marks. Ask yourself what the examiner is looking for and answer accordingly.

If you find that you’ve completely run out of time on a question then make a list of the points you were going to make and move on to the next question. This makes sure that you don’t lose marks for not raising the points although you might lose some for lack of style.

The fact that you’ve run out of time probably means that you weren’t answering the question concisely and your time would therefore be better spent on another question. Cut your losses and try and do better on the next question.

Keep an eye on the time as you write and be aware of the rate at which you should be picking up marks. For example, in an exam which lasts 120 minutes and has a total of 100 marks available you should be aware that you have to try and score a mark at a rate of almost one a minute allowing time for checking at the end. Every time you make what you believe to be a good point think to yourself – “that’s another mark”. This should help you to keep your score rate up.

Attempt what you believe to be the easiest question first followed by the next easiest, then the next and so on. If a question is easy then you should be able to answer it both well and quickly. This should give you time in hand later on to tackle the harder questions.

If you get stuck or bogged down at any stage and it looks as if the problem might take a while to sort out then leave the problem to your subconscious to sort out while you go and attempt another question. You can return to the ‘sticking point’ later if you have time. It is amazing how a fresh look at a question after your mind has had a while to think things over can suddenly make the solution seem obvious.

It is easier to score a mark at the start of a question in the WASSCE 2020 than at the end. At the start you are fresh and will tend to be making your points thick and fast. Towards the end you will be looking for ways of winding up and completing your answer having already made most of your points. If you are having trouble composing a nice ending then just quickly finish it off and go on to another question where your time will be better spent. If you have time you can always return later and make a better finish.

Make sure that you always have the paper you require. If you are running low then put up your hand and ask for more before you run out during the WASSCE 2020 so that you can continue writing while you wait. A pause in the middle of answering a question while you await the arrival of more paper will disturb your flow and your train of thought as well as your concentration.
Never waffle. Linking phrases are OK but always stick to the facts. Examiners are very good at spotting waffle and they also get very bored with it. Since you won’t get marks for waffle don’t waste valuable time writing it!

READ: WASSCE 2020: The final minutes preparation strategies

 

How to pace yourself to answer all questions: Summary

  1. Work out the time available for each question
  2. Allow time for checking at the end
  3. Be aware of how the marks will be awarded
  4. Attempt the easiest question first
  5. If you get stuck try another question and return later
  6. Be aware of how often you should be scoring a mark – If you run out of time then list the points you were going to make
  7. Marks are easier to gain at the start of questions than at the end
  8. Don’t waffle

Source: Not known, to be updated

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