Mr. Damon's guide to preparing for and taking the compositions groupées:


In the Last Few Minutes Before the Exam:

When you sit down for the exam:

  • Being good at taking an exam is a real art. You have to master your knowledge of the subject, your ability to express yourself clearly and your mental anxiety all in the restricted time frame you are given. It is something which takes practice.
  • Before you receive the exam paper, sit down and take out anything you might need for the exam. It will be difficult to convince the teacher later that you need to open your bag in the middle of the exam to get your ruler or calculator or pencil.
  • Put your bag at the front of the room.  You will not have access to it during the exam.

When you receive the exam paper:

  • Put your name on it but then put down your pen for the first 5 minutes.
  • Carefully read the instructions for each part of the exam.
  • Quickly read over the entire exam from start to finish so you have an idea of what the questions are asking and you know what to expect.
  • Plan your time. Look at the parts of the exam which you will probably spend the most time on (essays or maps or graphs) and figure out how many minutes you will spend making an outline or rough draft and then how much time you will spend actually doing the final copy.

This student is running out of time because he did not plan ahead. 

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A.W. Damon 2011

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All rights reserved.  Used with permission.

Last modification: 2011-03-01