How to draw good diagrams and score better?

Meritnation|Jul 20th, 2015 05:35pm

Sometimes words aren’t the most effective way to represent everything that you are trying to communicate. In such cases, visual diagrams, graphs and charts play a very important role as they perfectly complement the written text and provide the reader a clearly summarised view of the information.

This becomes most important in exam papers where students are trying to present the most relevant and comprehensive information to the checker/examiner. In subjects like biology, geometry, physics and at times in others, the diagrams are very critical to support the textual answers.

Consider a situation where a students is taking an exam and is running out of time. He has just 5 mins to answer a question. The student does not have the time to write a complete answer and just draws a diagram quickly with all the main points highlighted. What do you think happens? The checker is most likely to give atleast 50% of the marks. Why?
Because the diagram reflects that the student does know the correct answer or does understand the concept.

Although most students are already aware of this fact but still many of them end up scoring less because their diagrams are not up to the mark.

Why Diagrams Help?

1) They provide a summary of the information enabling the reader to view the big picture & the connections between sub topics.
2) They highlight important data and numbers
3) Being a visual representation, they make information easy to register


There are some tips that experts and teachers suggest for better looking diagrams that can help you score higher.

1. Know which diagram to use where

There are so many types of diagrams so a student needs to take a call on what is the most relevant diagram required in a specific answer. here are the most common types of diagrams:

Tables are best used where you need to show lots of numerical data in an organised format.
table - types of diagrams for students
Bar graphs are used to compare things between different groups or to track changes over time.
bar chart example
These are best for showing trends within data over a period of time and relationships between variables.
line chart  diagrams for student
These are the best to show different parts as a proportion of the whole. The different colors help differentiate different elements.
pie chart for cbse students
Mindmaps are best used to represent entire concepts in a diagram, for example, water cycle or nitrogen cycle.
mindmaps for cbse students
These can be used to reinforce or supplement textual information, or where something is more clearly shown in a diagrammatic form.
biology diagram example for cbse students


2. Pay maximum attention to labelling and referencing

– All the diagrams you create including graphs, charts, drawings, diagrams and maps should be numbered according to their placement in the text (For example: Figure 1, Figure 2, Figure 3 etc).  Also, number all tables using a different sequence (For example: Table 1, Table 2 etc).
– Ensure that the diagrams is neatly and correctly labelled, specially with respect to the variables you have charted.
– You can also make attempts to highlight the labelling in the diagram so that the prominent names and words get noticed. For this effect, try using underlines or labelling in different colors. Once the labelled parts of the diagram come into notice, it becomes easier to mark them.

3. Understand the size of the diagram

One of the most important things to remember is that you have limited space while drawing a diagram and you can not start big and end up messing up its dimensions. So when you start drawing the diagram, make sure you have a set size in mind. Make all the parts of a diagram, with corresponding size.

4. Leave margins for labelling

Whenever drawing a large diagram, make sure you have left enough space for notes or labelling. Since there is a lot of importance of labelling in the diagrams, one should always make space for it. Also, one would need to remember all the words exactly so that no labels are missed out.

5. Rub out extra lines

Just the way you revise written stuff, make sure you go through the diagram once more too. There are chances that you missed out on a labelling or part of the drawing. Make sure you always double check on this.

6. Use good stationery

You may not have noticed, but the difference in your diagrams made with good pencils and colors and the ones made with pencils that have blunt edges and bad colors is vast. The right kind of pencils and colors will help your diagrams look neat and clear.

7. Use the stationery well

Once you have the right kind of pencils and colors for the drawing part, you need to pay attention to the way you use your pencils. Too much pressure on the sheet of paper being used can make the impression look ugly. Also, when drawing with pencils, we use erasers a lot. The pressure on the pencil leaves marks on the sheet. Always avoid these!

Meritnation brings to you exhaustive study material and online Ask & Answer to put an end to that exam stress & help you score more. If you liked what your read spare a moment to share your feedbacks and ideas in the comments below.

All the best!

Team Meritnation


Add Comment Total Comments (213)

  • 1. MAZNA  |  January 14th, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    Its really helpful..Thanks a lot for sharing..

  • 2. shreya  |  January 25th, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    thnx meritnation

  • 3. Zeebran  |  January 24th, 2016 at 11:26 am

    good its really Very usefull

  • 4. VIDHI S. KOTHARI  |  January 15th, 2016 at 6:45 pm


  • 5. nada falak  |  December 16th, 2015 at 9:03 pm

    tnx u so much it helped me a lot

  • 6. dfgnm,.  |  December 12th, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    faltu bekar

  • 7. lekha  |  December 6th, 2015 at 9:15 am

    still to improve a lot

  • 8. Prarthana Chandak  |  November 18th, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    Thanks a lot meritnation

  • 9. Tarit Bhattacharjee  |  November 3rd, 2015 at 7:48 am

    very true and nice tip

  • 10. Ishita  |  October 30th, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    thanks meritnation.
    your tips really helped us avoid some of the most common mistakes we used to make while drawing diagrams.

  • 11. rishita  |  October 28th, 2015 at 7:45 pm

    thanks meritnation. there is a lot of difference in my marks which i scored last year and the one i scored this month.where i would get 89/100
    but now i am scoring 96/100

  • 12. shankar  |  October 27th, 2015 at 8:26 pm

    thank you meritnation

  • 13. Moses  |  October 22nd, 2015 at 11:49 am

    Really very helpful… ☺
    Thanx MeritN..(^̮^)


Some HTML allowed:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>