Subjective exams are the most grueling exams one can ever give. You have to write and write and keep hoping that the examiner reads everything to give you those much needed marks. Here are some ways to ace subjective exams with a little bit of smart work.

If you’re a student who studies on the last day of his/her exams, try giving yourself a head start for a change. You’re free to go through the points below but they’ll be helpful only if you start your preparation at least a couple of days in advance.


It is nearly impossible to read and learn whatever is written in the textbooks. To memorize a lesson, keep a notebook ready, and skim the paragraphs that you need to memorize. By now, you have a rough idea about what the author is trying to explain. Give it another read; but this time, note the keywords of the paragraph. If the paragraph is small, combine 2-3 paragraphs and make a heading out of those keywords. Once you have a heading, memorize the headings only. It should give you the story behind it. For example, I have the following paragraph to memorize –
“Litmus solution is a purple dye, which is extracted from lichen, a plant belonging to the Thallophytic division, and is commonly used as an indicator. When the litmus solution is neither acidic nor basic, its color is purple.”
-  Source: NCERT Science for 10th class

After reading the above paragraphs, my keywords would be litmus solution, properties, lichen – a plant, indicator, acidic and basic. From these keywords, I can make a heading, let’s say, PROPERTIES OF LITMUS SOLUTION. As soon as this heading comes to my mind, I can recollect the keywords and eventually entire paragraph that I had earlier skimmed through.


After completing all your notes, just go through the headings that you made while preparing for the exam. Get your stationery in order – Pencils, eraser, sharpener, ruler, black and blue inked pens and other relevant stuff (like protractor/compass/divider or calculators) if it’s a mathematics exam.


With all the preparation in place, the only smart work you need during the exam is presentation. This is of utmost importance, even if your handwriting sucks. Keep the following tips in mind while writing your paper –
  • Go through the question paper before attempting it. Read it thoroughly and figure out the weight allotted to each question. You must answer accordingly.
  • Though you are free to answer the questions in any order you want, it is advisable that you follow the order in which they have been asked. The examiner is in the frame of mind where he/she expects uniformity while checking the answers.
  • Different questions carry different weights. If it is a 2 marks question, the examiner expects you to write at least 5-6 lines. Similarly, if the question is for 6-8 marks, the examiner wants to see at least one whole page (front and back) to be filled. And finally if the question is for 10 or more marks, you must write at least 6 whole pages on it.
  • Remember how you made headings while preparing for the exam? Use them in your answers. If you’re using a blue inked pen to write these answers, use a black inked pen to write the headings and continue to explain them with a blue inked pen.
  • Underline the keywords in your explanation with a black inked pen or pencil.
  • After you’re done attempting, draw a line after each answer (i.e. to demarcate two answers).


No examiner in this world has the time to read each and every word in your answer booklet. Then how do they check? Well, for one, they have a lot of experience in correcting papers so they can immediately find the keywords in your answers. Secondly, if they feel that you have explained the answer according to the weight of the question, they reward you with marks that they deem appropriate.

So how can I get more marks? The answer is simple. Everybody likes to finish their work as soon as possible, and teachers are no exception to that. The first thing that the examiner will notice is that you've given headings to your. Is it related to the question that is being asked? Maybe the heading is appropriate or maybe it isn't  Then they happen to look at the words that you've underlined. This confirms that your answer is to the point and you have given a complete explanation of what is being asked.

It is nearly impossible to fill 6 whole pages with headings and correct explanations that are to the point. If you have your keywords sorted out, you can write whatever you want in the rest of the explanation (yes, even about the trees outside or maybe the girl or guy you have a crush on... don’t make it too evident though). The examiner will not even bother to look at your explanation if the sentence containing the keyword is correct.

Drawing a line after each answer helps the teacher in identifying where the answer ends and a new one starts. It helps in reducing the examiner’s efforts thus saving his/her time. This is all a part of the presentation which makes your answer sheet look neat and tidy.

Follow these tips and I’m sure you’ll be able to get better grades or marks. If this post helped you in acing the subjective exams that you always dreaded, leave a comment; and don’t forget to subscribe to this blog. All the best and have a great day!

P.S. – All the students in India who are going to take their board exams in March, all the best, do well!

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  1. I'm terrible when it comes to studying lol

    1. I'm in the same boat as yours when it comes to studies, hence these tips. Haha