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Mini-Module: Preparing for Exams and Online Exams

Online exams: Time management

Skills for Learning LogoOnline exams: Time management

This page looks at how you should take control of the time in an online exam. 




Before the exam

Plan your time in advance. Don't wait till the exam - if you do you will be reacting to things rather than taking control of them. 

  • Well before the exam, look at the rules, start planning what you will do, how you will divide up the time, and put yourself into your future self's shoes and start to see what you should do now to make things better for future you. 
  • If you are allowed, read the exam before you go to bed the night before. The sleeping brain processes the last things you thought about and sorts them out for you.


During the exam

Don’t multitask during the exam. The brain can only focus on one thing at a time, so focus on the exam. 

Decorative cartoon illustrating multitasking






Work out your timings:
  • How much time do you have, and how many questions are there?
  • Are the questions broken down into parts?
  • Check how many marks are assigned for each part – plan your time accordingly
  • For each hour:
    • 10 minutes for reading the question carefully and planning
    • 45 minutes for writing
    • 5 minutes for checking through at the end.

  • What sections / parts / topics are required?
  • Plan your answer before you start writing it


While you are writing:
  • Don’t waffle – marks are given for quality not quantity!
  • It’s okay to stop and think – don’t feel you have to be writing all the time.

  • Stick to your timings and your answer plan as far as possible
  • Don’t leave out parts of the question
    • Each part will have marks
    • Write something…
    • Something is better than nothing



Check how much you have understood by doing this quick activity.