Presentation on theme: "Surviving the exam Exams"— Presentation transcript:
1Surviving the exam Exams Go to to download the slides for this session.Centre for Teaching and Learning (Manawatu), Massey University
2What to take in with youSix steps to surviving the examStrategies for answering different questions
3What to take in with you In a clear plastic bag or ziplock bag Student ID Card (or other photo ID if you do not have a student ID card)Several pens that work for examsHighlighterCalculator and other permitted equipmentClear plastic water bottleNo foodIf open book, text and permitted notesCentre for Teaching and Learning (Manawatu), Massey University
4What to take in with you Sense of calm Sense of confidence Think positiveRemind yourself of what you do knowAvoid panicFind the exam room ahead of time, check the timeIf you are feeling stressed, try breathing in and out slowly – it works!Centre for Teaching and Learning (Manawatu), Massey University
5What to Expect: The Exam Room You will be allowed in 15 minutes before the startTime to get settledListen to the instructions10 minutes reading timeDesks are allocated according to papers, not peopleLikely to be several different papers being examined at the same timeClock clearly visibleOn the deskExam paper/sAnswer booklet
6What if... What if I go blank? What if I get writer’s cramp? Distract yourself: take a sip of water, change positionRelax: take some deep breathsFree writing: brainstorm ideas on a blank piece of paperIf these techniques don’t help, move on to the next questionPractice writing before the examTry gripping your pen loosely (or using a fatter pen)Put your pen down and flex your hand in between questionsCentre for Teaching and Learning (Manawatu), Massey University
7Six steps to surviving the exam During the ten minute reading timeStep 1:Check the exam paperStep 2:Read and re-read the instructionsStep 3:Allocate your timeStep 4:Choose your question orderAt the start of the examStep 5:Memory dumpStep 6:Start writing
8During the 10 minute reading time Check the exam paperAre you in the right room?Does your exam have all the pages it should have?Can ask the invigilator for a blank piece of paperCentre for Teaching and Learning (Manawatu), Massey University
9During the 10 minute reading time Read the instructionsHow many questions do you have to answer?are all sections compulsory or do you get to choose from different options?check for words that indicate options (“either”, choose two”)Check for other specific instructions (“all working calculations must be shown, etc.)Centre for Teaching and Learning (Manawatu), Massey University
10During the 10 minute reading time Allocate your timeYou want to complete all the compulsory questionsYou don’t want to run out of timeAllocate your time for each question based on:how much it is worththe type of questionwhether the section is compulsoryCentre for Teaching and Learning (Manawatu), Massey University
11During the 10 minute reading time Allocate your timeOne way is to turn the marks the section is worth, into the percentage of time you’ll spend (e.g, a section worth 60 marks, spend 60% of your time)But remember that multiple choice often take less time (another option is to allocate 1 minute for each question).Remember too, that you might: plan, write, and check. (If you have 45 minutes to write an essay, you might: brainstorm points for five minutes, write for 35 minutes, and spend 5 minutes at the end checking what you’ve written).Allocate your time is so that you can move from question to question and get through the entire examCentre for Teaching and Learning (Manawatu), Massey University
12During the 10 minute reading time Choose your question orderIf you can, consider deciding what order you are going to complete your questionsIt’s a good idea to attempt the questions you feel most confident about firstCan also choose which sections to answer first – do you want to write your essays first or last?Centre for Teaching and Learning (Manawatu), Massey University
13At the start of the exam Memory dump Start writing Write down all the information you can remember for the questions you are answeringStart writingDon’t leave until you have checked your answers and attempted the right number of questionsCentre for Teaching and Learning (Manawatu), Massey University
14Strategies for answering questions EssaysMultiple-choiceShort answer questionsCentre for Teaching and Learning (Manawatu), Massey University
15Essays Choose the questions you will answer during reading time During the first 5 minutes write down the relevant points you can remember (if you haven’t done this during the memory dump)No need to provide referencesdo acknowledge theory and research using relevant names
16Essays Understand the question examine keywords and command wordsunderstand what aspect of the topic you’ve been asked to write aboutFor the structure of the essay, follow the structure of the questiondevelop a thesis statement from the question and include it in your introductionAs a general rule: one paragraph = one pointsupported by an example, explanation, evidenceCentre for Teaching and Learning (Manawatu), Massey University
17EssaysExample Question: In this essay, identify and describe both the institutional and the personal bases of the power of the New Zealand Prime Minister.“New Zealand’s Westminster system of government means there are core institutional bases of power for the Prime Minister, however, there are also crucial personal bases of power”.
18Multiple choice2. According to Cantor and Harlow, successful problem solving requires:1. self-regulation.2. clearly defined behavioural plans.3. a personal value system.4. constant feedback.
19Multiple choice Do not read through the test during reading time If the correct answer looks obvious, still check to make sureRead the questions carefully and highlight key wordsGo through and answer the easier questions first – come back to the tougher ones later
20Multiple choice Try and choose the most correct answer Top two tips: - Sometimes they all mostly right, but there is no “all of the above” choiceTop two tips:Cover the answers and try answer the question yourselfLook at the options and choose the one which most closely matches your answerTry eliminating answers you know are definitely wrongCentre for Teaching and Learning (Manawatu), Massey University
21Short answer questions Keep your answers shortUsually a paragraphSometimes only 2 or 3 sentences (7 lines max)Answer the question givenThink of what points, key words, phrases and ideas the examiner will be looking forDon’t fall into the trap of writing everything you knowBe aware that short answer questions are sometimes allocated different marksmarks ranging from 2 to 6, for example
22Short answer questions Sometimes can fit this pattern:Statement: answer to the question/definition/ descriptionSupport: evidence/explanation, the why, the becauseApply: provide examples or case studiesExample: Name the three countries that are said to have ‘unwritten’ constitutions.The three countries that are said to have unwritten constitutions are ***. This is because… For example…..
23Short answer questions Top three tipsLeave 1 or 2 lines after each answer in case you remember something else important later onStick to the time you have allocatedKeep your answers short, sharp and to the point
24Open book and seen exams For open book:check what information you can take in with youmake sure you are familiar with the book and the material before the examyou’ll need to be able to retrieve information quickly and efficiently.don’t just copy from the textbookFor seen exams:don’t try to memorise entire essayspractice writing a intro and conclusion, and leave the rest in plan formCentre for Teaching and Learning (Manawatu), Massey University
25As the exam proceeds… Check you are keeping to time If one question is taking too long – leave a gap and move onYou are likely to get more marks by starting another question than adding to one that you have already written some information onIf time is very short – write an answer in brief notes.
26Mini quiz What sort of question is it? How would you go about answering it?
27You would not expect covered in an exam seminar how to: Answer essay questionsB) Prepare for the examC) Cook dinnerD) Be strategic in your response to multiple choice questions
28Define the terms exam and panic, explaining how they can be differentiated (5 marks). The term exam can be defined as a method for assessing the level of knowledge a student has about a paper or course.The term panic can be defined as feelings of extreme anxiety often eliciting a “fight or flight” response.Exam and panic can be differentiated in that while sometimes people experience them together, with careful preparation and good study habits, “panic” can be reduced to “productive stress”.
29Why is calmness considered to be such a valuable commodity during an exam? Calmness is considered to be a valuable commodity during exams for four main reasons: it aids memory, helps with the writing process, being relatively calm helps get you through if you’ve got more than one exam, and it increases your overall enjoyment of life.