[Editor's Note: this article is in reference to the old paper-based exam, not the computer-based exam that is now in use.]
Manage your time.
When you begin the exam, designate time allowances for each section based on the point values available. Begin each section by recording the start time so that you can effectively manage your time. Remember, budget your time wisely, and don't get bogged down rambling past your deadline because it will diminish your effectiveness on the other sections of the exam.
Read the entire question and understand the requirements.
Stay calm, and take pauses to help you stay focused on the question. Read the entire question slowly and carefully, making sure to only answer to the questions asked. Avoid straying into tangential areas.
Underline the action words, such as "compare," "explain," "justify," or "define" in the question. Form a mental image of how your answer will take shape according to the instructions in the question.
Write and edit.
Follow your outline and write short, clear, uncomplicated sentences and paragraphs to communicate your message. Write on every other line and leave a blank space at the bottom of the page to allow enough room for inserting missing details after you have proofread. Check your punctuation, spelling, and grammar to ensure a well-presented answer.
Begin by scanning the question. Mentally note all the information you remember relevant to the topics. Jot down any thoughts that come to mind before you carefully read the question to avoid confusing the details of the facts given.