Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Another last-minute point about the Question 3 List

Students are making a hash of this question, probably over-thinking it.

They can also under-think it ... by not reading the question!

Almost every time, Question 3 on Paper 2 wants a list based off the insert that has been GENERALISED from the specific example in the insert.

Many years ago, candidates were asked to read the insert and pick out points about characteristics of fictional detectives. Another one was about difficulties and obstacles to building the Panama Canal. Another one was about declining bee populations, and still another about Houdini.

I've just been marking mock exams where the insert was about Buffalo Bill's Wild West show, but the question wanted to know what was the allure of Wild West shows in general.

So where students were saying who Buffalo Bill was, and that his show once played for Queen Victoria, they weren't answering the question about how these shows in general were capturing imaginations of the populace: details like theatrical stage hold-ups, races, re-enacted battles, huge entourages, shooting exhibitions, etc, were all the focus of the 15 points.

While we're talking about 15 points, remember that you can't put more than one point or detail on the same line - if you were to put races, hold-ups, and rodeos on the same line, guess what? You just wasted your line because you got no points while losing the chance to get three points had you separated them on a line each.

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