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Revision and Exam Techniques (including essay planning)
Transcript of Revision and Exam Techniques (including essay planning)
of exams Exam myths Failure would ruin your life The exam could expose you Exams will show up gaps in your education You should have read everything If you haven't understood everything it isn't worth doing Exams are for people with good memories Exam papers are unreadable Exams are for speed merchants You have to revise until you drop to take marks away you to write everything you know poor structure and answers
written in note form your unsubstantiated opinions A catalogue of examples illegible handwriting and poor presentation colloquial expressions/slang Allow time for How would you allocate your time if you had to answer two essay questions in a 2 hour exam Top Tips Sit close to the front if possible. Avoid sitting by people who you know have irritating habits, if possible Put your hand up before your run out of paper Stop writing at the end of the time you have allocated to a question Start all questions - two-thirds rule Don't cross through your plans Begin with the question that you find the easiest Don't write personal notes to the examiner When you've left the room, don't discuss your answers with anyone If you panic, stop writing, sit quietly and take some deep breaths. Have you considered all aspects of the exam? The day before the exam Details Be Prepared Final revision Good luck The day of the exam During the exam 1 2 1 2 3 4 Reading: 5 minutes
Planning: 20 minutes
Writing: 45 minutes x 2
Proofreading: 5 minutes What Examiners want you to answer the right number of questions you to answer all parts of a question ATQS Amswer the question set To give you marks What Examiners
don't want Overly complex sentences P.E.E. Point. Example/Evidence. Explanation/Expand. you to demonstrate what you understand Some commentators have recently suggested that racism is increasing in British Society. Using examples, discuss this proposition. The UK floods of 2007 were primarily a result of ineffective government policy. Discuss. Has the use of target costing in the car industry contributed to its collapse? Tennis racquets originally had wooden frames with strung sheep gut. Describe the requirements of materials for the frame and the strings for the current racquets. Suggest two alternatives for each section. Justify your choices, paying attention to cost, manufacture and the environment. A.T.Q.S. Answer the question that has been set Pay careful attention to the wording Check that you fully understand the meaning of key procedure words Key procedure words 1/3 Discuss Prove Relate Analyse Show Define Contrast State Justify Consider something by writing about its most important aspects from different points of view. Give arguments for and against, provide supporting evidence, and consider the implications of what you say. Draw a reasoned conclusion based upon the evidence you have presented. Demonstrate something is accurate, true or valid by using facts, evidence, documents and/or other information to build your case in a logical sequence of statements leading from evidence to conclusion. Establish how things are connected or associated in a cause and effect sense. Examine a topic or issue by dividing it into component parts. For each part you should: identify important points and key features; discuss each point and show how they interrelate; form judgements about each part and the whole i.e. strengths and weaknesses, pros and cons, research for and against, causes and effects. Draw a reasoned conclusion based upon the evidence you present. Explain something giving evidence or examples to establish a strong case. Explain the exact meaning of a word or phrase, giving sufficient detail to enable it to be distinguished from other similar words/phrases/ideas. Where relevant show that you understand why the definition may be problematic. Explore the differences between two things. You should probably emphasise points of similarity as well. Express the main points of an idea or topic clearly and concisely. Express valid reasons for accepting a particular interpretation, decision or conclusion, probably including the need to 'argue' a case through consideration of the objections others might make. Key procedure words 2/3 Key procedure words 3/3 Trace Summarise Describe Account for Illustrate Explain Interpret Criticise Compare Outline Assess/
evaluate Enumerate Argue List Identify Comment on Reconcile Review Planning the answer Practise devising plans for past questions Leave the plan visible Don't spend too long on each plan Consider different ways of planning Make 2 or more of your plans before starting to write your answers Allow time for planning, when calculating how much time you have Follow either the causes and effects of something, or the stages in development of something, over a period of time. Give a brief, concise account of the main points of an argument, leaving out superfluous details and side-issues. Give a full account or detailed representation of something. Spell out the main aspects of a topic or idea, or the sequence in which a series of events happened. Give a good explanation of something and evaluate (possible) causes/reasons. Give reasons for or account for something with the addition of examples, statistics or diagrams to provide 'illustrative' examples. Give reasons for or account for something. Similar to 'Describe'. Give the meaning to and explain the relevance of data or other material presented. Give your judgements about the good and/or bad qualities of theories/opinions. Support your decisions with reasons & evidence indicating the criteria on which you base your judgement. Cite specific instances of how the criteria apply in this case. Identify the characteristics or qualities two or more things have in common. You should probably emphasise points of difference as well. Indicate the main features, facts, or general idea of a topic and place in a clear structure or framework to show how they interrelate. Judge the significance, value or importance of something. Pay due attention to positive, negative and disputable aspects, and refer to the special knowledge and judgements of experts as well as your own. Draw a reasoned conclusion based upon the evidence you have presented. List and mention items separately in number order. Make a case, based on appropriate evidence for and / or against something, making sure that your case is logically structured. Mention items separately in order. Pick out what you regard as the key features of something. You should make clear the criteria you use in doing so. Rather vague. Usually means something more than giving your own opinion about something and more likely implies 'analyse' or 'assess'. At the very least, what you say should be supported by reasons and evidence. Show how apparently conflicting ideas or propositions can be seen to be similar in important respects. Involves the need to 'analyse' and 'justify'. Survey a topic and assess it critically. Who are the commentators? What definitions of racism are available? What is the evidence FOR and AGAINST the proposition? What is meant by British Society? Consider something by writing about its most important aspects from different points of view. Give arguments for and against, provide supporting evidence, and consider the implications of what you say. Draw a reasoned conclusion based upon the evidence you have presented. Tennis racquets originally had wooden frames with strung sheep gut. Describe the requirements of materials for the frame and the strings for the current racquets. Suggest two alternatives for each section. Justify your choices, paying attention to cost, manufacture and the environment. Give a full account or detailed representation of something. Spell out the main aspects of a topic or idea, or the sequence in which a series of events happened. Express valid reasons for accepting a particular interpretation, decision or conclusion, probably including the need to 'argue' a case through consideration of the objections others might make. The nature and role of the Magistrates Court, Crown Court, County Court and High Court are clearly distinguishable. Select TWO of these courts, explain their nature and role, and distinguish their key features. What do you know about the UK floods of 2007? Where exactly is the question asking about? Why was 2007 a significant year? What is the evidence FOR and AGAINST the proposition? What other reasons for the floods were there? Consider something by writing about its most important aspects from different points of view. Give arguments for and against, provide supporting evidence, and consider the implications of what you say. Draw a reasoned conclusion based upon the evidence you have presented. Which policy/policies are being referred to? Yes or no?
Do you agree? What is target costing? Is it used in the car industry? What else has caused the collapse of the car industry? How serious are problems in the car industry? Is it fair to say there is a collapse in the car industry? Index cards, mind maps and notes
Use to record key points
Incorporate pictures, colour and highlighting
Simplify information – skeleton notes Where to revise? Bedroom Lounge What is revision? Finding out what you know and understand Building on it Working on ways of retaining info Practising answers/planning Revision and Exam
(including essay planning) Constructing a revision plan Privacy Past exam papers Layout Themes Content Plans Checking Learning Outcomes Consolidating understanding Being selective Being active, not just reading! 6 weeks Create a page for each week and write on it: submission dates of assignments date(s) of your exam(s) Calculate the time available
Leave the week before your exams free.
Bite-size chunks - no more than 2 hours at a time
Match up what you need to revise with the available time.
Put your revision timetable somewhere visible Revision environment Identifying revision topics Some lecturers will be able to tell you what won’t be on the exam paper even if they cannot be specific about what will be on the paper What order? Equal marks?
More than one section?
How many questions must you answer?
In what format are answers required e.g. essay, etc? Which topic areas are regularly/seldom covered?
Which type of questions are usually compulsory? Are there topics which you know little about?
Will you need to supplement your notes with extra reading? This will increase your breadth of knowledge Avoiding ineffective
revision techniques What problems have you encountered when revising? How can you tackle these problems? Leaving revision
until the last minute: Start to learn names, dates and key details from index cards at odd moments early in the term. Even if you forget them they will be easier to learn a second time round. Reading notes over
and over again: Plan/write some essays without looking at your notes. This shows you which areas need more work. Writing notes out over and over: Interferes with the visual recall of your original notes.
Develop a good complete set of notes, plus a series of index cards.
Reduce information to memory triggers. Writing out essays and learning them off by heart: Practise a range of answers, so that you learn the material. Finding ways to put off revision: If you miss company, try revising with other students, or involve others in your revision. Facing revision panic: Work with positive minded people
Work steadily, and to small goals
Seek counsellor advice to get you through the rough patches
Have a look at the section on 'Relaxation techniques' in the Academic Skills Community Facing revision boredom: Work for lots of shorter spells
Add variety into your revision to keep you interested
Invent an essay or a test for yourself Learning posters and visual material Reinforce your memory Dealing with exam stress Fill in gaps in your knowledge 4 stages of
revision 1 2 3 4 Finding out about the exam paper Get past papers if possible (look in myBU)
Check with lecturers what will/will not be included Gathering materials Textbooks Course guide/handbook myBU Your notes Doing the revision Rehearsing for the exam Plan exam answers When? unit guide/handbook Topics you know best (confidence) Topics you are least sure of
(maximum amount of time/opportunities to revisit it) Write possible essay titles on blank pages and jot brief notes or page references under each title during the unit. Make your notes readable, attractive and visually compelling as you go through the course. Read in order to find out - look for material related to possible exam answers. Discuss past exam questions to make the process more interesting Make a revision timetable which leaves empty spaces to cater for emergencies Do some revision before each ‘task’ Use watching television or other distractions as a reward, and put them into your timetable. What creative/interactive strategies could you use? Working to different essay plans develops your thinking about the subject Attend
revision sessions! Teach someone Summary tables or grids Record yourself reading out notes Work through past papers Look after yourself What revision techniques can I use? Condense your notes - aiming to get key points onto index cards Key words, phrases or concepts Organise your revision Make all your plans before you start writing Allow time for planning in the exam Study key words Read the question and then answer it Practise devising plans for past paper questions Be as well prepared as possible to minimise your nerves Use pattern, colour, symbols and drawing
Cover key points and topics
Pin them up where you’ll see them often Compare or evaluate competing theories or key people Use 2/3 sentences to define
Stick key facts on post-its around the house Fill in gaps as you identify them
Test each other Naps improve your memory Review key points at end of session and regularly after that What is revision? How to construct a revision plan How to identify revision topics How to avoid ineffective revision techniques How to deal with exam/revision stress Consider the definition of recently. “ ... for a commercial company, success will normally mean long-term increase in value, but the company’s constitution and decisions made under it may also lay down the appropriate success model for the company ... It is essentially for the members of a company to define the objectives they wish to achieve. The normal way for that to be done – the traditional way – is that the members do it at the time the company is established. In the old style, it would have been set down in the company’s memorandum. That is changing ... but the principle does not change that those who establish the company will start off by setting out what they hope to achieve ...”
(Lord Goldsmith, Lords Grand Committee, 6 February 2006, Hansard, col. 258)
What options are open to those setting up a company to establish the company’s objectives through constitutional/ contractual means and what legal difficulties have these traditionally posed? To what extent is the position changed by the Companies Act 2006? Mindmapping There are books on mind mapping in The Sir Michael Cobham Library and Bournemouth House Library:
The Buzan Study Skills handbook – Tony Buzan
How to mind map – Tony Buzan Identify what information is required
Lay out the grid before placing any information into it.
Do additional research to fill in the gaps. Create grid Academic Skills Community – Problem Solving – Problem Solving for Law Students
Identify the area of law to be applied when answering a question
Define the relevant law (i.e. state the definition if there is one) e.g. contract is a legally binding agreement between 2 parties or more
Expand the relevant law (then and only then commence answering the question) e.g. contract – offer and acceptance. State case and rule that case out.
Apply the scenario to the law as stated in your expansion. IDEA – Law students What is the purpose of an introductory paragraph?
What should it contain?
Work out how long each section of your essay should be e.g. 3000 words –
Introduction = 10-15% (300 - 450 words);
Main body = 70-80% (2100 - 2400 words);
Conclusion = 10-15% (300 - 450 words) Remember to use paragraphs with topic sentences.
EXpand What is the purpose of a conclusion?
Do not include new ideas in the conclusion. Set aside for a couple of days if possible
Check for SPAG errors:
Spelling (don’t rely on your spell-checker!)
Check that your referencing is correct Introduction Main body Conclusion Proof read For further information, visit the Academic Skills Community in myBU For regular updates and information about forthcoming workshops, 'like' the Bournemouth University Academic Skills facebook page