Presentation on theme: "Exam technique John Mullen. Have you been told If you don’t attempt all the questions you won’t get the marks for the ones you have left. Start with the."— Presentation transcript:
Have you been told If you don’t attempt all the questions you won’t get the marks for the ones you have left. Start with the easy problems and complete them. Move on to the difficult questions and do what you can with them.
A different way! A better way? Difficult problems scream for the creative powers of the diffuse mode. To access the diffuse mode you need to be not focussing on what you badly need to solve. So start with the hardest question. Pull away as soon as you get stuck or think you are not on the right track.
Why? The question is loaded into the focused mode. Turning away from it kicks in the diffused mode
Then Turn to an easy question and do it. Next turn to another hard question and repeat the process. And again
Effect When you return to the more difficult problem you may be surprised to find that you can progress it considerably. You may not answer it all But when you hit the brick wall move on to another question and come back later.
Essentially Different parts of the brain are enabled to function simultaneously in the different modes. You also avoid “Einstellung” – getting stuck in the wrong approach.
Why didn’t I think of that? So often the diffuse mode only engages when you are going out of the door. “I knew that – why didn’t I include it in my answer?
Stress Stress is not necessarily a bad thing. How do you see stress? Shift your thinking from: “This exam has made me afraid.” to “This exam has got me excited to do my best.” and Do some deep breathing (singer’s approach. Practice it in the weeks before the exam.
Good worry and bad worry Good worry provides motivation and focus. Bad worry simply wastes energy.
Work hard but Stop the day before. Ask yourself “Would you run a 10 mile race the day before running a marathon?”
Finally If you finish early. Check your answers from as many perspectives as you can. If you’re in diffuse mode, there will always be something you can improve.
But remember If you haven’t prepared well for the exam…….
Relevant reading Oakley, Barbara (2014). A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra). New York, NY: Penguin-Random House. See in particular chapter 17.
More about Learning University of California San Diego: Learning how to learn MOOC available on Coursera