Exam & study skills

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Exam and study skills for university students

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Exam & study skills

  1. 1. Exam Skills<br />orna.farrell@dbs.ie<br />
  2. 2. Practical information<br />Exam timetable   <br />http://www.dbs-students.com/Timetables/Exams.aspx<br /> <br />Exam regulations <br />http://www.dbs-students.com/Exams/Default.aspx<br /> <br />Past exam papers (on moodle)<br /> http://student.dbs.edu/course/category.php?id=50<br /> <br /> <br /> <br />
  3. 3. Common questions about exams ?????<br />How long are the exams? <br /> <br />How many questions do you have to answer? <br /> <br /> <br />How are the marks divided? <br />Can you repeat the exam? <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br />
  4. 4. Common questions about exams ?????<br />Do you have to pass the exam to pass the module? <br /> <br /> <br />What format are the exam questions? <br /> <br /> <br />Do you have to reference in an exam?<br />Other questions?????????????????????<br /> <br /> <br /> <br />
  5. 5. What affects exam success?<br /> <br /><ul><li>Subject knowledge
  6. 6. Your exam history 
  7. 7. Exam preparation
  8. 8. Exam practice
  9. 9. Experience of the subject
  10. 10. Writing skills
  11. 11. Use of time
  12. 12. Attitude and approach </li></ul> <br />
  13. 13. Knowing your subject well......<br />The better you know your subject the easier it is to:<br /><ul><li>Recognize what is significant....therefore understanding what must be included and what can be left out 
  14. 14. Identify links and connections between different aspects of the subject</li></ul> <br /><ul><li> Recognize which schools of thought are relevant to which exam questions</li></ul> <br /><ul><li>Background reading is key. Your reading will be evident in the examples and details in your answers</li></ul> <br /> <br />
  15. 15. Exam preparation<br />&quot; It is extremely unlikely that you can go into an exam and do well without preparation, even if you have worked hard during the course&quot; (Cottrell 2007)<br /> <br />Why?<br />because exams are not just about understanding information but about showing & presenting:<br /><ul><li>Specific aspects of what you know
  16. 16. In particular ways such as essay or short answer
  17. 17. At speed
  18. 18. From memory</li></ul> <br /> <br /> <br />
  19. 19. Exam Practice<br />&quot;One of the best ways of preparing for any event is to practice in conditions as near to the real event as possible&quot;<br /><ul><li>Practice old exam questions
  20. 20. Work under time pressure
  21. 21. Check your answers after
  22. 22. Learn to work quickly in planning, writing and checking answers
  23. 23. Set up your own mock exam conditions</li></li></ul><li>Writing skills......yes they matter!<br />For all written exams, exam success is affected by:<br />Style: clear, easy to read writing style<br /> <br />Vocabulary: demonstrate your knowledge of subject specific vocabulary in your answers<br /> <br />Organization:   Well structured answers that have an introduction, paragraphs and a conclusion<br />Evidence: Support your points with definitions, examples, theory and quotes<br /> <br />
  24. 24. Use of time<br />Before<br /><ul><li>timetable your study
  25. 25. take breaks</li></ul> <br />In the exam<br /><ul><li>2 hours.....120 minutes</li></ul> <br /><ul><li>3 questions</li></ul> <br /><ul><li> 35 minutes per question </li></ul> <br /><ul><li>15 minutes to check your answers </li></li></ul><li>Attitude and approach<br />Our cognitive activity to think clearly and logically, is affected by factors such as:<br /><ul><li>how calm we are feeling
  26. 26. level of interest in material
  27. 27. Distractions
  28. 28. Self understanding</li></li></ul><li>Take Control<br />Set exam and study goals<br />Specific<br />Measurable<br />Attainable<br />Realistic<br />Timely<br />
  29. 29. Study Techniques A 5 Step Approach<br />Step 1<br /> Review lecture notes<br />Theory + attending fact/example<br />Examine course outline <br />
  30. 30. Study Techniques<br />Step 2 <br /> Highlight additional key points from core text <br />choose 2/3 critical arguments from authors: ‘flesh out’ lecture notes into an argument based on knowledge and critical awareness<br />Step 3<br />Store composite notes in a systematic manner<br />
  31. 31. Study Techniques<br />Step 4<br /> Use text reduction methods to simplify material<br />mind-maps<br />Spicy nodes<br />
  32. 32. Study Techniques<br />Step 5<br />Familiarise yourself with all aspects of the exam papers<br />Format, marking scheme, language, terminology, question styles<br />
  33. 33. Characteristics of good exam essays<br />Answers the precise question set<br />Clear argument/perspective<br />Critical and analytical<br />Structured with good paragraphing<br />Provides reasons based on evidence<br />Refers to theories<br />Is selective<br />Clear and to the point writing style<br />Has been proof-read<br />
  34. 34. Common irritations for examiners<br />Answers wrongly numbered<br />Unclear which question student is answering<br />Poor handwriting<br />Long waffley paragraphs<br />Unclear & disorganised layout<br />
  35. 35. Further reading<br />Northedge, A. (2008) The Good Study Guide. OU Press.<br />Buzan, T. (2007) The Buzan Study Skills Handbook. BBC<br />Cottrell, S.(2007) The Exam Skills Handbook. Palgrave.<br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlabrWv25qQ<br />www.skills4study.com<br />
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