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Pros and Cons of Using All Your Exam Time

You might have been here before… your head’s down and you’re scrambling for time, but suddenly out of the corner of your eye someone stands up, hands in their papers and leaves the exam hall. How do they do it?! Are they a genius or just plain stupid?

To help work out if an early finish is a good tactic for you, here are our pros and cons of using all your time in an exam


  • Giving yourself the full allotted amount of time means that you can work at a comfortable pace, with no need to rush to finish.
  • Using left over time to check your work gives you the chance to spot errors, add depth to your answers, and maybe even gain yourself some extra marks.
  • We all know that upon finishing a question, moving straight onto the next can feel draining, but planning to use all the time available means you may even have time to have a quick breather and gather your thoughts between questions!


  • You may find that with a surplus of time, doubt starts to kick-in. Checking your work too much could leave you second-guessing and making some rash decisions last-minute.
  • You’re checking your work and think of a new point for one of the questions, but could adding to your answers compromise their structure and the flow of your response?


There will be some occasions where you finish early and if everything’s gone to plan that’s great. But never underestimate the power of checking!

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