Exams and Revision by tX3sBy


									Exams and Revision

Some hints and tips
Fear and loathing of exams
   How many of these do you agree with?
       I think I should have read everything on the course before
        sitting the exam
       I don't understand a lot about this course so it isn't worth
        taking the exam
       I'm going to be shown up as really stupid or a fraud
       If I fail these exams it's going to ruin my life
       The exams will show up all the holes in my education
       Exams are for people with good memories
       I don't understand what the exam questions are about
       People who can write quickly always do better in exams
       You've got to revise to the point of collapse before exams
Fear and loathing of exams

 The mythology of exams
Mythology of exams
   I think I should have read everything on the
      Most people devote a lot of their time to what
       interests them.
      How practical is it to read everything about
      There's a limit to what you can write in, say, a
       three hour exam.
      Work out how best you can use what you have
Mythology of exams
   I don't understand a lot about this course so it
    isn't worth taking the exam.
       Being clear about what you don't understand is the first
        step to understanding.
       Use the revision period to systematically review your
        learning and to
       seek the guidance and help of your friends and/or your
       Try to be positive, nobody understands everything,
       Everybody feels unprepared and confused at some time -
            You are not necessarily unprepared and confused about the
             same thing as your friends. Help each other.
Mythology of exams
   I'm going to be shown up as really stupid or a
       Tutors, by and large, don't want people to fail.
       They'll be looking for positive responses in the exams.
       Remember exams and other Sorts of assessments are
        partly there to help you and your tutor to identify areas
        where both you and others need extra help and guidance.
Mythology of exams
   The exams will show up all the holes in my
       Exams create an atmosphere of anxiety which it's
        difficult to pin down.
       University exams are usually testing something specific
        not looking to categorise your intellect in general sense.
       Concentrate on what you've learned during the course
        not before the course.
       Always ask yourself 'What is this exam seeking to
Mythology of exams
   Exams are for people with good memories.
       University tutors are likely to be more interested in
        what you understand rather than in the the amount of
        facts that you know.
       A good memory for facts helps, but it does not replace
        understanding of principles
       Memory can in any case be helped by appropriate revision
Mythology of exams
   I don't understand what the exam questions are
       Try not to panic when you look at past exam papers.
       In many cases the examiners will want to indicate
        important topics without answering the question for you.
       They'll also want to give you space to make your own
        arguments and judgements.
       Work on making the links between
            the exam questions and
            what's been signposted as significant during the course.
Mythology of exams
   People who can write quickly always do better in
   It's not quantity but quality that counts.
   Have your ideas and your exam Strategy planned.
   If you're particularly worried about your
    handwriting speed try practicing writing.
   If you've got a physical disability which may
    effect your handwriting speed, Seek help.
Mythology of exams
   You've got to revise to the point of collapse
    before exams.
       Most people spend some time revising before exams.
       It's important to manage revision time effectively by
        planning time, revision content etc and leaving some space
        for yourself.
       Don't turn your social and personal life off just because
        of exams.
       Giving yourself some personal, recreational reward can
        positively help your revision.
Revision Strategies
When Should I start?
   There's no easy answer to this : It's all
    tied into
       your personal preferences for Study,
       your other commitments and
       why you're studying.
   You'd be well advised, however, not to
    leave everything to the last minute or not
    to give any thought to a revision plan.
Should I use past exam papers?

   Yes, this is an excellent idea but don't
    panic at first Sight of them : look for
       The instructions telling you what to do
       The relationship between the questions and
        what you've studied on the course
       What sort of questions are asked
       The implications the structure of exam paper
        has for the way you approach the actual exam
Should I revise the entire course?
   Only if the course objectives suggest that you
    should do so.
   Many exams are designed so as to allow you to be
   If management of the course content is an issue
    be brutal in selecting those areas that you wish to
    revise for.
Should I have an exam timetable?

   Yes, to fail to plan is to plan to fail.
   An exam timetable should identify time for
       Studying the last part of your course
       The parts of the course you have decided to revise
       Practice time for exam questions
       Rewards e.g. recreation time/'time off'.
   You'll probably be unable to stick to the timetable
       but it will give some idea of the scale/nature of the tasks
        in front of you.
Should I have an exam timetable?

   Part of this planning exercise Should also involve
    you in sorting out your course materials.
   This will;
       help you to make your material more accessible
       Give some form and structure to the course,
       help you to identify themes, issues etc.
Should I try to identify key
questions, issues etc?

   This would be very, very helpful :
   Ask yourself what are the critical elements of the
   What's the point of Studying X or Y or Z?
   Refer to your notes and those topics identified in
    the study guides.
Is it worth writing new notes during

   Yes. In particular it's a good idea to reduce notes
    to simple summary sheets.
   The process could work like this
       Condensed notes (from articles, textbooks, lectures etc)
        for a particular topic
       Summary sheet for a particular topic
   Mind maps can be useful here for identifying links
   This process will also help you to memorise factual
    and other material.
Should I try answering past exam

   Very useful approach :
       You don't have to answer them in full, seek only to
        provide outline answers.
   Ask yourself
       What is the question actually asking?
       What evidence do I need from the course to answer it?
        Which course topics does it relate to?
       How Should I present my answer/argument?
Should I try answering past exam

   This will also give you practice in using the
    intellectual processes valued by university
   You could also consider trying to formulate your
    questions as a way of gaining insights into how
    examiners minds work,
   but remember many students have come to grief
    trying to spot questions!
Exam Technique
Exam Technique
   Start to write fairly quickly
   Take your best question first - or second
   Plan your answer to each question
   Draw up a time plan - and stick to it!
   Attempt all questions asked for
   Write legibly
   Do not cross out rough work
   Review
Examiners’ pet hates
 Failing to answer the question set
 Failing to follow instructions
 Poor Presentation
 Failing to check for obvious errors
Six helpful hints
   Read the rubric on the front of the exam paper
    and make sure you understand what you have to do
   Read all the questions through carefully before
   Answer the number of questions you were asked
    to; no more, no less
   If you are stuck on a question, move on to the next
    one. It is much easier to get 40% on a question
    than it is to improve your mark from 50% to 90%
   Write your plan in the answer book. If you run out
    of time, it is probably worth a few marks.
   It is much easier to get full marks for a calculation
    than for an essay
  And Finally: Remember

       Exams are a “game”
Play by the rules and you will win!

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