Importance of Past Papers

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Written By Usman Awais

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When you are studying for O level, A level, and any other class, Your teacher may give you practice papers or any notes. These are papers similar to what you will be handed in your exam. Actually they will have example question in an exam format for you to practice answering. Past Papers are the ones used in the actual exams. Last year they had questions that student had to answer in the exam before you. Order, The qualification you study for and the exams set for them may change over time, but you are doing papers from the past are doing. Papers from the past are still a great way to create something real.

How Important are Past Paper

Are past paper questions always informative in formative assessment?

Teachers constantly refer to the importance of past paper question as an integral part of the resourcing of their teaching and learning. When I worked as teacher I was no deferent and decided that immersing student in exam question from the earliest opportunity must be a good thing. I created weekly home work sheets and end of topic tests using the OSR software and felt well prepared.

Discover useful areas of focus for revision

In witch areas of curriculum are you strong? In what areas would you like to improve? Past tense papers can help you realize your strengths and weaknesses. Knowing this can help you. Create your own review to make most of your study time.

Practice managing your time

Your exams have to be completed in a set time period. Doing a past papers in the same time you had be given for an actual exam can help you get a feel for how to give enough time for each section of the paper. You can also practice planning out your answer quickly for questions that require a longer answer, like essays.

Get familiar with the type of questions 

Past papers help you to spot certain type of question and recognize them. Understanding how question are structured and what they are asking makes life easier in exams then you are faced with lots of question to sort though.

Get familiar with the types of answers

Need help understanding how papers are marked? Doing the paperwork of the past help you to understand. What do they look for in an answer? That way, you can see which points are awarded. It can really help when you are really taking the exam and want to organize your answers well.

Practice staying focused

When doing exams you will aim to be completely focused on your exam paper, with no distraction. Doing past papers can give you a taste of that, which can help you to find it easier on the day.

How to use past papers

The key step for use them

If your teacher or a tutor give you past papers, use them. Do as many as you can, because doing multiple papers can teach you even more than doing just one, and they can go a long way to help you improve your exam technique, revision knowledge and ultimately, exam grades.

Do past papers early

Like revision, it can help and balance your exam stress levels of you do past paper fairly early. Try not to leave them until the last minute. You will find it helpful to get an initial idea of what to expect. And better yet, and you will leave yourself plenty of time to do more than one past paper.

Do them at least THREE time

They do say practice makes powerful perfection. If you find yourself struggling with a particular past paper, you may feel the benefit of doing the same paper again to see how you’re improving.

Use past papers to do small mock at home

See if you can do a past paper at home that’s as close to exam conditions as possible:

  • Aim to answer every question, not just the questions you have a stronger knowledge in.
  • Allocate the exam time limit to answer the question.
  • Answer the question in a quite environment you won’t be disturbed or distracted.
  • Aim not to look at any reference materials or notes other than the ones the exam allows.

Where to find past papers

Exam board websites

Exam boards such as AQA list your papers and additional resources for exam review. If you know your subject and exam board, visit the relevant exam board website.

Teachers and tutors

Teachers and tutors might be make a selection of past papers for you to use, potentially with answers and marking schemes. If you ask them, they may also be able to mark any essay-style questions you have answered as part of your past paper, just for practice.

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