Taking AMIE Exams Effectively

Look over the test and pace yourself

When you first get the exam, don't just jump into answering test items. Instead, thumb through the pages and get the lay of the land. How many questions are there? How many different sections? Are some questions worth more points than others?

Some of the worst problems occur when students enter a time warp and forget to check the clock, or when they spend too much time on one or two difficult items. To prevent this from happening, one trick you can use is to scribble the desired "finish time" time for each section right on the test booklet. That way, you'll be prompted to check the clock after completing each part of the exam.

Take Short Breaks

Try taking a few breaks during the exam by stopping for a moment, shutting your eyes, and taking some deep breaths. Periodically clearing your head in this way can help you stay fresh during the exam session. Remember, you get no points for being the first person to finish the exam, so don't feel like you have to race through all the items.

Do Not Skip Around

Skipping around the exam can waste valuable time because at some point you will have to spend time searching for the skipped questions and re-reading them. A better approach is to answer each question in order. If you are truly baffled by a question, mark the answer you believe to be right, place a question mark next to the question, and come back to it later if you have time. Try to keep these flagged questions to a bare minimum (e.g., fewer than 10% of all items).

First Answers Are Usually Correct

Don't speed through the items with the idea of going back to change answers you are unsure of. If you take the time to think through each question, your initial answer will usually be the correct one. Although there are always exceptions to this rule, the best approach in most cases is to carefully answer each question the first time you go through the exam, and change only those answers that have clearly mistakes.

(Author is associated with www.amiestudycircle.com)

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