Tuesday, 7 February 2017

A New Series about Exam Tips -- Start at the End?

When I mark exams, I have to be honest that I like to start with the last question and work my way back to Question 1, whether it's the reading or the writing paper.

I'm not sure why I like to do this. I think it's because all the other questions are more cut-and-dried or enjoyable, while the Question 1s sometimes feel like nails on a chalkboard to me.

For the exam candidate, there are some good reasons for freeing yourself from the normal conventions. In the reading paper, for example, that Question 3 listing is something you can do in a fairly short time frame, and the subsequent summary should be churned out just as fast as you can write.

Free yourself from convention

Both these parts of Question 3 get easier and faster the more you practise them, so I just keeping thinking: why not grab some quick points in a short time frame, and leave yourself to ponder the more laborious Question 1 with some points already in the bag?

There are more complex and detailed reasons for starting back-to-front, and there are more timing tips and explanations I could heap upon you, but for the real nitty-gritty about why a backwards approach might be superior, I'm afraid you'll just have to sign up for one of my crammer courses and get the full picture in the Day Four webinar!

Just one final point: if you're going to work back-to-front in the exam, start doing it in your revisions, too.

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