Exam short answer question
Short answer questions usually take the form of a brief question or prompt that requires a written answer normally no more than a few sentences. Sometimes a full paragraph is required. What is required will depend on the marks available for each question and the time available for that section.
Short answer questions are usually based on key terms and concepts.
- Learn specific pieces of information in detail but not word-for-word.
- Collect relevant examples and supporting evidence for each concept.
- Learn the points of difference between similar terms and concepts.
- Practise interpreting short answer questions using previous exam papers.
- Practise writing full answers under the conditions you will face in the exam (try and match the physical conditions, equipment, and timing as closely as possible).
Strategies for answering questions
- Give a direct answer to the question in the first sentence, which explains the point you are making in the paragraph.
- Use the same structure as for a short answer question in an assignment.
- Keep your answers to one paragraph and include key words or phrases. How long your answer is will depend on marks allocation for the question.
- Organise your ideas logically, briefly, and concisely.
- Focus on the points, keywords, ideas, or phrases the examiner was be looking for when the question was designed.
- Answer the specific questions given. Do not just write about what you know about the topic in general.
- For hand-written exams, leave 1 or 2 lines after each answer in case you remember something important later.
- Stick closely to the allocated time for each question - you will gain more marks if all the questions are attempted.