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Short answer questions in exams

Many exams and tests will have a section of short-answer questions.

The following  videos will take you through how to prepare for short-answer questions in exams. Answer the interactive questions as you watch the videos.

The videos identify seven key points:

1. Deconstruct the question. Identify three types of words: task words, topic words and limit words.
This list of task words will guide you on the meaning of common task words. Deconstructing a question.

2. Rephrase the question in your own words.

3. Plan the structure of your answer before starting to write.
Make sure you deconstruct the question and consider using the PEEL paragraph structure.  Writing Paragraphs.

4. Use examples to give evidence and help give your writing credibility.

5. Use plain language and keep your writing straight to the point. Use the words from the question in your answer to signpost your answer for the marker.

6. Use the mark allocation to plan how much time to spend on each question.  Managing time in exams.

7. Practice writing short answer responses.
Doing practice questions in exam conditions will improve your performance in the real exam.
Past exam papers are available on the Library and Learning Services website.

Deconstructing the question (1.12 mins)
PEEL paragraph structure (1.50)
Mark allocation (1.02 mins)