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Exam Preparation

  1. 1. Exam Preparation Damian Gordon
  2. 2. The Purpose of Exams
  3. 3. The Purpose of Exams  Exams test: • The amount you can write in a given time • Whether you understand the exam question • Whether you can cope with exam pressure • Your ability to apply knowledge • Your understanding of key concepts and theories • Whether you can argue a point of view • Your ability to criticise and analyse
  4. 4. The Purpose of Exams  In addition, examinations provide lecturers with a guarantee that the work being assessed is entirely the student’s own work.  NB how well you do in exams is up to you!  Even when students have studied a course thoroughly they can fail to do themselves justice in the exam through: – inadequate/ inefficient revision – poor exam technique
  5. 5. Revision
  6. 6. Revision Plan  For each module, list the topics you need to cover  Estimate how much time you have left to revise  Assign topics as either topics you enjoy or do not enjoy  Divide out your remaining time better these topics  Alternating between topics you enjoy, and those you don’t  Create a master timetable – BE REALISTIC  Take into account all your other commitments e.g. employment, family etc.  Tick off the topics as you complete them  Pat yourself on the back frequently by looking back on what you have already covered.
  7. 7. Revision Tips  Reading stuff is NOT helpful  Try to be active in your revision  Vary the methods you use to revise, some examples ahead…
  8. 8. Revision Tips  SUMMARISE – A good starting point is to summarise the notes you have on each topic:  Try to reduce your notes to key words and phrases.  This will form the basis of your revision notes.  Reduce your notes further so that information fits on one side of A4 or an index card (portable).
  9. 9. Revision Tips  FLASH CARDS – Get a bunch of index cards (different colours) – Write down one key idea per card – On one side write down the TITLE – On the other write down the points associated with it – Use different colours for different themes
  10. 10. Revision Tips  COVER CARDS – As you are revising from your book, read what you are trying to memorise. Use the cover card to conceal what you’ve just read. Try reciting, or reading facts from memory. Check until you are sure you have mastered the facts.
  11. 11. Revision Tips  SONGS, RHYMES – Use songs, rhymes, mnemonics and acronyms. Making up catch phrases or rhymes can help you with crucial bits of information
  12. 12. Revision Tips  I remember normalisation as; – “the key, – the whole key, – and nothing but the key, – So help me Codd”
  13. 13. Revision Tips  I remember Which means normalisation as; 1NF: Identify primary key – “the key, 2NF: Identify partial – the whole key, dependencies – and nothing but the key, – So help me Codd” 3NF: Identify Non-key dependencies BCNF: Candidate key dependencies
  14. 14. Revision Tips  DIAGRAMS – Use diagrammatical notes if you memorise material more easily in a visual form. – Use colours, highlighting and/ or different coloured paper to make the notes distinctive.
  15. 15. Revision Tips  MINDMAPS
  16. 16. Revision Tips  CONCEPT MAPS
  17. 17. Revision Tips Mind Maps Concept Maps  Good for an overview of  Good for linking a topic information  Good to put key details  Good to apply details on one page and knowledge to exam  Highly visual aids questions memory  Visual easy to see how far you can apply your knowledge
  18. 18. Revision Tips  SQR3 – ACTIVE READING – Survey - Here you are attempting to gain an impression of the material.
  19. 19. Revision Tips  SQR3 – ACTIVE READING – Question - before you begin to read, draw up a mental list of questions to try to answer during reading
  20. 20. Revision Tips  SQR3 – ACTIVE READING – Read - at this point the aim is to understand what the text is saying. Try to assess the writer’s viewpoint, what the main idea is in each paragraph and how the content is structured. Keep making connections between the information in the text and what you have read in other texts or have heard about in lectures. Take note of all cross-references that you come across.
  21. 21. Revision Tips  SQR3 – ACTIVE READING – Recall - the next stage of the process is to close the text and try to remember what you have read and then note the key points. This is the longest stage.
  22. 22. Revision Tips  SQR3 – ACTIVE READING – Review - the final stage involves checking your notes against the text. Spend some time filling the gaps and correcting errors.
  23. 23. Revision Tips  QnA – Divide a page into two columns – Write down questions on one side and answers on the other
  24. 24. Revision Tips  RECORDERS – Consider using digital recorder or tape to help remember key facts.
  25. 25. Revision Tips  ACRONYM – Acronym is a word formed from the first letters or groups of letters in a name or phrase.  Example:  ROY G. BIV =  The colors of the rainbow, in order: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet.
  26. 26. Revision Tips  ACROSTIC – Acrostic is a series of lines from which particular letters (such as the first letters of all lines) from a word or phrase. Richard of York gave battle in Vain = Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet
  27. 27. Revision Tips  ACROSTIC – Acrostic is a series of lines from which particular letters (such as the first letters of all lines) from a word or phrase. My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas = Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto
  28. 28. Revision Tips  ACROSTIC King Phillip called out fifty good soldiers. i h l r a e p n y a d m n e g l s e i u c d u s r l s i o m y e m s
  29. 29. Revision Tips  IMAGERY – Imagery is used to memorize pairs of words. An image is formed as a result of each word given, and then two images are joined through mental visualization. – Example:  Piggy bank = + =
  30. 30. Revision Tips  KEYWORD METHOD Spanish word: patio (pronounced pot-o) patio pot duck (meaning of patio)
  31. 31. Revision Tips  KEYWORD METHOD Spanish word: lapiz trapeze (keyword) pencil (meaning of lapiz)
  32. 32. Revision Tips  RHYMES – A rhyme is a saying that has similar distinctive sounds at the end of each line. – Studies have shown that rhyming makes things easier to remember because it can be stored with acoustic encoding.  Example: – In fourteen hundred and ninety-two Columbus sailed the Ocean Blue. – 30 Days has September, April, June, and November. All the rest have 31, except February. – "i" before "e," except after "c," or in sounding like "ay" as in "neighbor" or "weigh."
  33. 33. Revision Tips  THE METHOD OF LOCI – The Method of Loci is a mnemonic device that dates back to Ancient Greek times. They would use this to assist them when memorizing a speech. – Example:  You have to imagine a place that you are very familiar with. Then you imagine all the possible locations in that place, or all possible situations. It could help if you put everything in a specific order. – Say you were telling someone about a house. You would have to be very familiar with that house and everything in it. And in order to make telling someone about this house easier you would have to think about it in some kind of order. You could start at the basement, then move up to the main floor, and then move to the second floor.
  34. 34. Revision Tips
  35. 35. Revision Tips Tatooine Death Star Alderaan Yavin IV Hoth Dagobah Besbin
  36. 36. Revision Tips Tatooine Death Star Alderaan Yavin IV Hoth Dagobah Besbin
  37. 37. Revision Tips
  38. 38. Revision Tips
  39. 39. Revision Tips
  40. 40. Revision Tips
  41. 41. Revision Tips
  42. 42. Revision Tips
  43. 43. Revision Tips
  44. 44. Revision Tips  PEG-WORD SYSTEM – The Peg-Word System can be used for memorizing an ordered list of words or the specific numbers associated with the words. – Example:  1.bun  2.shoe  3.tree  4.door  5.hive  6.sticks  7.heaven  8.gate  9.line or shine or vine  10.hen
  45. 45. Revision Tips  NUMBER-LETTER SYSTEM – The Number-Letter System is very similar to the Peg- Word System, because it, too, is a method of association. The only difference is that this method allows you to remember things by associating them with similarities of the number it is at. – Example:  1.= t (there is one downstroke in the letter t)  2.= n (there are two downstrokes in the letter n)  3.= m (there are three downstrokes in the letter m)  4.= r (the last letter in four is r)  5.= l (the Roman number 50 is L)  6.= sh (the word six has begins with an x)  7.= k (the number seven can be turned around to look like part of the letter k)  8.= f (a cursive f looks like an 8)  9.= p (a p flipped looks like a 9)  10.= z, s (think of zero)
  46. 46. Revision Tips  CORNELL NOTEMAKING
  47. 47. Revision Tips  CHUNKING – Breaks down information into smaller bits so that it is easier to remember – Can you remember this number? 1066007200601642
  48. 48. Revision Tips  CHUNKING – Breaks down information into smaller bits so that it is easier to remember – Can you remember this number? 1066007200601642 – What about now? 1066 007 2006 01642
  49. 49. Revision Tips  MOCK EXAMS – Set yourself questions from your revision notes to answer . – Check your answers by using the original notes. – Fill in forgotten facts with another colour pen. – Repeat the process until all the gaps have disappeared.
  50. 50. Revision Tips  STUDY BUDDY – Teaching and learning from (and with) someone else can be very effective
  51. 51. Ten General Keys for Memorising 1. Try to understand it first 6. Engage as many senses as 2. Create a hook (picture, possible pattern, rhyme, story) 7. Smell the roses (absorbing your environment helps 3. Link it to something you with later recall) already know 8. Sleep on it (review before 4. Don’t bite off more than you bed and when first awake) can chew (don’t overload your 9. Use it or lose it (access it, brain) think about it, apply it – 5. Get emotionally involved soon and often) (personalise it) 10. Quiz yourself periodically (like excercising a muscle) •No right or wrong way – only general rules and tips •Work at it and develop personal strategies
  52. 52. Before the Exam
  53. 53. The Night before the Exam  Get to bed on time  Try not to get in any fights with family and friends
  54. 54. The Night before the Exam  Pack – Some pencils, – Some different coloured pens – Pencil pairers and erasers – Rulers – Food and drink
  55. 55. The morning of the Exam  Start you day as always  Eat a good breakfast  Think of what reward you will give yourself after the exams are over  BE POSITIVE
  56. 56. The Exam itself
  57. 57. The Exam  BREATH – Take a deep breath – Relax – Remain calm – If you are getting nervous, picture a shaft of warm, blue light coming down from the sky and warming you
  58. 58. The Exam  VITAL – Carefully read all instructions on the exam paper, especially when given options of questions to answer.
  59. 59. The Exam  VITAL – Carefully read all instructions on the exam paper, especially when given options of questions to answer. – Now read them again
  60. 60. The Exam  TIME MANAGEMENT – Read all of the questions on the paper – Choose the questions you wish to answer carefully
  61. 61. The Exam  BE CLEAR – Write in clear, concise legible English and give all necessary details.
  62. 62. The Exam  DIAGRAMS – Make it large – Label it clearly – Draw in pencil first – And then rub out and redraw in pen – Use many colours
  63. 63. The Exam  CROSSING-OUT  Do not cross-out work unless you are sure it is wrong, since crossed-out work is not marked.
  64. 64. The Exam  EXAM NUMBER – Do not put your name on any part of the paper, only your exam number.
  65. 65. The Exam  “EXPLAIN” questions – Provide a definition or simple explanation – Draw a diagram if possible – Provide an example – Discuss all you can – PMI or 6Hats
  66. 66. The Exam  WHICH QUESTION FIRST? – When choosing which question from two choices to do first. – You should do the one you are more confident of answering first. – This gets you started working immediately, steadies the nerves and gives you confidence. – Starting with a harder one first may increase the amount of time spent on the first essay, causing you to panic and rush the second.
  67. 67. The Exam  PLANNING YOUR ANSWER – When faced with an exam question a good staring point is to gather ideas. – Write these down on paper in any order. – The more ideas you have, the more can select when you start to write. – Ideas should occur to as you write and these can be accepted or rejected according to your answer plan
  68. 68. The Exam  PLANNING YOUR ANSWER – The next stage is the rough plan, reorganise your ideas into a logical order that will answer the question. – Delete irrelevant initial ideas that will not contribute to answering the question. – At this stage don’t worry about a conclusion, you should be able to do this after you have written the answer.
  69. 69. The Exam  PLANNING YOUR ANSWER – Three parts  Introduction  MainBody (PMI?)  Conclusion
  70. 70. The Exam  THE ANSWER – The answer should be as legible as possible and written in a clear fashion, the meanings of words should be easily understood. – There should be a coherence of structure and development of ideas. – Attention should be paid to grammar, punctuation and spelling.
  71. 71. The Exam  WHITESPACE – You have paid for the exam booklets, use as many as you want. – Each part of each question on a separate page – Leave a blank page between each question – Leave two blank lies between each paragraph
  72. 72. The Exam  SUGGESTION – Give each paragraph a heading, and then underline that heading in red. This means that the examiner can read very, very quickly what you are doing and how the answer is being structured. These efforts towards clarity will help the examiner to follow the thrust of your argument more clearly.
  73. 73. The Exam  COMMON ERRORS – Answering the wrong number of questions – Answering the wrong question – Badly presented answers
  74. 74. The Exam  MARKERS COMMENTS – This gets pretty repetitive towards the end – Manages to avoid contact with the question altogether. – Wanders around - gets the point here and there but then veers off it. – Not clear what the point is. The essay has no structure or organisation. No relevant literature is cited nor is the question addressed. – Has very slight acquaintance with the subject, but completely fails to address the question or develop an argument . – Too general. No readings are mentioned. – Doesn't really examine the views of the different schools of thought on this, but has some ideas. – Specific names should have been mentioned. Very simplistic – Repetitive, fractured answer. - Largely missed the point. – This makes some good points about [...] but really does not attempt to answer the question. – Not being able to copy Verba's name correctly doesn't inspire confidence.
  75. 75. After the Exam
  76. 76. Après Match  Reward yourself.