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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.

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Presentation on theme: "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."— Presentation transcript:

1 Exams and Revision Some hints and tips

2 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

3 Fear and loathing of exams The mythology of exams

4 Mythology of exams   I think I should have read everything on the course   Most people devote a lot of their time to what interests them.   How practical is it to read everything about everything?   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 done

5 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 tutors.   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.

6 Mythology of exams   I'm going to be shown up as really stupid or a fraud   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.

7 Mythology of exams   The exams will show up all the holes in my education.   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 assess’?

8 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 techniques.

9 Mythology of exams   I don't understand what the exam questions are about.   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.

10 Mythology of exams   People who can write quickly always do better in exams.   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.

11 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.

12 Revision Strategies

13 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.

14 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

15 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 selective.   If management of the course content is an issue be brutal in selecting those areas that you wish to revise for.

16 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.

17 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.

18 Should I try to identify key questions, issues etc?   This would be very, very helpful :   Ask yourself what are the critical elements of the course?   What's the point of Studying X or Y or Z?   Refer to your notes and those topics identified in the study guides.

19 Is it worth writing new notes during revision?   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.

20 Should I try answering past exam questions?   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?

21 Should I try answering past exam questions?   This will also give you practice in using the intellectual processes valued by university examiners.   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!

22 Exam Technique

23  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

24 Examiners’ pet hates  Failing to answer the question set  Failing to follow instructions  Poor Presentation  Failing to check for obvious errors

25 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 starting  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

26 And Finally: Remember Exams are a “game” Play by the rules and you will win!


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