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Exam Preparation

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Exam Preparation Workshops

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Exam Preparation

  1. 1. Exam Preparation Workshop Welcome ! October, 2008 James Cook University, Brisbane Learning & Support Services (LSS)
  2. 2. 3 Workshop Objectives: <ul><li>To provide students with key exam techniques and skills necessary to successfully prepare for any type of the exam/and exam questions & </li></ul><ul><li>To provide students with a number of strategies necessary to manage stress associated with exam preparation and / or exam. </li></ul>
  3. 3. 3 Main Types of Exam <ul><li>CLOSED book: does not allow you access to any resource material. It forces you to rely on your memory; </li></ul><ul><li>OPEN book: allows you to consult your notes and/or any other appropriate reference material (e.g. textbooks); </li></ul><ul><li>TAKE HOME: allows you a number of days to respond to the question in your home setting. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Exam Preparation – Key steps <ul><li>Step – find out as much as possible about the exam: </li></ul><ul><li>What format the exam will take? </li></ul><ul><li>(e.g. essay, short answer and/or multiple choice format)? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the exam open book or closed book? </li></ul><ul><li>Knowing how the exam is marked and what proportion of your total mark it’s worth might also be helpful. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Exam Preparation – Key steps <ul><li>2. Step – Revision </li></ul><ul><li>Start it early! </li></ul><ul><li>At least 3 weeks before the exam , draw up an exam timetable and revision time and stick to it. </li></ul><ul><li>Decide about what areas to revise! </li></ul><ul><li>Key topics, concepts, arguments, technical terms, definitions summaries of key points, formulae, rules, diagrams and / or charts. </li></ul><ul><li>Revise & Learn (not just re-read) - sometimes reading through notes doesn't result in learning or understanding. </li></ul><ul><li>Remember – try to synthesize, not just memorize the information (e.g. try and explain the context to your own friend using your own words and understanding of the material). </li></ul>
  6. 6. 2. Step – Revision <ul><li>RE ORGANISE & summarize your notes so that you end with an outline of each topic laid out on one side of A4 paper. </li></ul><ul><li>Do NOT try to read new material from books at this stage. </li></ul><ul><li>Draw up a KEY Facts summary of important facts, terms definitions etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Try to memorize all facts that are not provided on the formula sheets . </li></ul><ul><li>However, bear in mind that the exam is to test your understanding far more than your memory . </li></ul>
  7. 7. Example 1 - Study Timetable Sat Sun Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri 9-11 Acctg 11- 12 Break 8-11 Acctg 9 -12 Acctg Exam 9-11 Econ 9 -12 Econ Exam 9-11 Mktg 11-1 Break 12-3 Acctg 11-1 Break 12-6 Break 11-12 Break 12-3 Break 11-1 Break 1-3 Acctg 3-6 Break 1-4 Acctg 6-8 Econ 12-3 Mktg 3-5 Mktg 1-4 Mktg Exam 3-5 Break 6-8 Econ 4-6 Break 8-9 Break 3-6 Break 5-8 Break Rest! Party! 5-7 Econ 6-9 Econ 9-10 Mktg 6-9 Econ 8-10 Mktg
  8. 8. 3 rd Step - A day before the exam <ul><li>Watch your favourite TV show or  go to the movies to take a break from studying. </li></ul><ul><li>Relax – try meditation, massage, deep breathing or yoga, walk, exercise .... </li></ul><ul><li>Sleep and eat well </li></ul><ul><li>Limit caffeine </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid alcohol </li></ul><ul><li>Check the day/time/place for your exam </li></ul><ul><li>Check transport, parking arrangement … </li></ul>
  9. 9. In the exam room – tips for success <ul><li>Come to the exam 15 minutes earlier ( at least) </li></ul><ul><li>Consider what you can bring – Check with your lecturer if you’re not sure. Pens (bring a spare!!!), pencils, erasers, liquid paper, ruler, calculator and any materials for open book exams, hard copy - dictionaries (not electronic)! </li></ul><ul><li>note that - an English language dictionary will be available. </li></ul>
  10. 10. In the exam room – exam STEPS <ul><li>Quickly SKIM through the whole exam before you start, noting types of questions, what may take the most time and how you may allocate your time to different sections. </li></ul><ul><li>CHECK you have every page, including both sides! </li></ul><ul><li>READ every question properly (if possible twice) before answering it. </li></ul><ul><li>T ICK and order the questions you plan to answer </li></ul><ul><li>RE-READ the questions and underline key words and phrases. </li></ul><ul><li>WRITE notes/brief outline answers in your exam booklet </li></ul><ul><li>REMEMEBR to look at the amount of marks for each question and design your answer accordingly. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Identifying questions <ul><li>Knowledge: definitions, facts, or observations- e.g. What? ; Where? ; When? ; Why? (if cause is given) ; Define... </li></ul><ul><li>Comprehension: give a full and accurate description in correct sequence; state the main idea, explaining its significance, or clarify points of similarity and difference-for example : d escribe (what happened in our experiment); How are (these two systems) alike? How are they different? </li></ul><ul><li>Application : apply techniques and rules to solve problems that have a single correct answer- e.g. If X = 83, what does Y equal? ; What is (the latitude of Brisbane)? </li></ul>
  12. 12. Identifying questions <ul><li>4. Analysis: identify motive or cause, showing essential elements; making inferences on the basis of information, or finding evidence to support generalisations - e.g. w hy (does this trend occur)?; Now that we've studied this, what can we conclude about (x)? </li></ul><ul><li>5. Synthesis: solve problems and make predictions based on rules, procedures, or frameworks you know about-e.g. Can you think up (a method for solving x)? ; How can we solve (this dilemma)? </li></ul><ul><li>6. Evaluation: give your opinions about an issue, judging the validity of an idea, the merit of a solution, or the quality of a product- e.g. Do you agree (with X)? Do you believe (that this is the best way to proceed)? </li></ul>
  13. 13. Answering questions <ul><li>Number answers clearly and accurately. </li></ul><ul><li>Work thoroughly but rapidly. </li></ul><ul><li>Answer the hardest questions first particularly if they are worth the most marks. </li></ul><ul><li>Use other questions for clues. </li></ul><ul><li>Notice where words/figures are emphasised. </li></ul><ul><li>Find the themes, relate these to the course objectives. </li></ul><ul><li>Identify formulae and equations presented in words. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Answering the questions: essay and short answer questions <ul><li>Be aware OF THE TIME </li></ul><ul><li>Provide definitions where necessary. </li></ul><ul><li>Identify key concepts </li></ul><ul><li>Give examples </li></ul><ul><li>Write clearly and simply </li></ul><ul><li>Do not forget to look at the number of marks allocated to the question. </li></ul><ul><li>Short answer questions: it is helpful to identify the number of parts to the question and the steps required to answer those parts. Write your answers in point form or short sentences. </li></ul><ul><li>Essay answer questions: Analyse the question, Write a brief essay plan –include relevant content to answer the question -write a better intro and conclusion </li></ul>
  15. 15. Answering multiple choice questions <ul><li>Multiple-choice and true/false questions require you to identify the correct answer from a range of possible responses. </li></ul><ul><li>For multiple-choice questions, use a process of elimination. </li></ul><ul><li>For true/false questions, ask yourself &quot;Is it true that... ?&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Read the directions carefully. Know how much time is allowed for the test. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Answering multiple choice questions <ul><li>Examine the sequence of questions. Does that give you any clues? </li></ul><ul><li>Read all the alternatives before choosing the answer. </li></ul><ul><li>Make certain you are choosing the 'best' answer to the question. </li></ul><ul><li>Be aware of the wording: &quot; always &quot;, &quot; never &quot;, “ “ does-not ” </li></ul><ul><li>Remember that wrong options are often based on common misconceptions. </li></ul><ul><li>Make an educated guess for unknown answers unless you are penalised for wrong answers. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Before the exam finishes <ul><li>Re-attempt questions you found too difficult at first. </li></ul><ul><li>Check your answers. </li></ul><ul><li>Neve r leave the exam early. </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure – your name and student number are written on all papers </li></ul><ul><li>If you are running out of time- provide an outline/plan of your answer to the question </li></ul>
  18. 18. Summary - HOW to perform well in the exam <ul><li>1. Find about the exam as much as possible </li></ul><ul><li>2. Early Revision </li></ul><ul><li>3. Manage Exam Stress </li></ul><ul><li>Finally, ask for help & clarification : lecturers, tutors other students & LSS team. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Thank You & Good Luck

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