Points to Remember
- Effective examination technique starts with good preparation. Obviously, the best preparation is regular revision. Plan your revision schedule. Set specific targets to complete certain sections by certain time.
- Before you start in-depth reading, get hold of past examination papers and look at the type of questions asked.
- Identify where do your strengths and weaknesses lie in relation to the subject you will be tested. You will then know where are you going to make a special effort when answering examination questions.
- Your revision sessions should be focused. You will have (a) an overall view of the topic; (b) an overview of the particular bit of the topic you are revising; (c) a good understanding of the type of question you are likely to face, and (d) a good idea whether the topic is one of your strong points.
- If the topic you are revising is not one your strong points, then (a) read your note summaries, (b) read your lecture notes, handouts, and photocopies, (c) read the relevant part of the textbook, and (d) see me for help.
- Plan your time to arrive at the examination room/hall reasonably early. Have spare pens, pencils, etc. Chat is you like. Withdraw if you prefer solitude, but relax.
- Everyone feels a moment of blind panic when they get the exam paper! It is a 100% totally normal response! Scan the exam paper, then read it slowly and carefully, word by word, question by question.
- Do not plunge into the paper. Work out how much time you need to allow for each question, giving yourself 10 minutes at the end for final checking. If you finish one question early, go on to the next, and leave space at the end of each question so that if you have time at the end, you can go back and fill gaps.
- Plan your answer. Sketch out the scope of your answer, just as you would do for an essay, before your start writing.
- Do your best questions first to give you confidence, but do not get carried away and write and write beyond your deadline.
ANSWERING EXAMINATION QUESTIONS.
When answering examination questions, please note the following comments:
- Please underline your main points. I found it extremely difficult to locate your salient points and on several occasions had to read your scripts a several times to look for them.
- Your handwriting must be legible. Some students have poor penmanship and their answers were very difficult read. Do not write too small or too big. You must remember that I cannot give you any marks if I cannot read your answers.
- Please write to show that you know your material. Let me give you a sample of one of the scripts I graded. The following sample is the actual answer of a student without any correction. You will find many factual and grammatical errors. The answer given by the student shows that her grasp of the subject is very poor.
Question: What do office managers do? What do they actually manage? What are the 5 elements of management discussed in class? Why is it important for organizations to structure themselves?
Student Actual Answer: Office managers do to achieve the organizational goals. Office managers should know their main reason why they built their organization. They also must know their workers very well and give the right job to the person in charge. They must know the right way to achieve organizational goals. They actual manage the function of an office. With good knowledge in management they actually can organize the office. They also manage the workers who are work under him or her. If they can manage the worker well they can achieve their goals. Sometimes, they also have to manage themselve because they to be the worker benchmarking. 5 elements of management are organizational, structure, workers, goals and achievement. With these elements they can built good management. If one of them are missing the management will have difficult situation. It is important for organizations to structure themselves because the successful way can help them manage the organization structure. Good organization other company will believe with their performance.
- Please read and understand the question. . There are many students who wrote pages and pages of answers but did not get any marks. Why? Because what they had written has nothing to do with the question!
HELPING STUDENTS MANAGE THEIR LEARNING
- What do I need to be able to do to manage my learning?
- How can I use my strengths as a learner and expand my repertoire of learning strategies.
- How can I ensure that whatever time I give to learning, something results from it?
- How can I work out exactly where I want to go, what I want to achieve, and how I am going to get there?
- What thinking strategies do I need for effective learning?
- How do I remember more and forget less?
STUDY SKILLS AND HABITS
- Is there a recipe for instant success?
- How can I make sure that what goes in stays in?
- How do I cope with too much reading?
- How do I read faster?
- How do I go about find out for myself?
- How do I go about using libraries, catalogues, etc.?
- What do I do with all the information I find?
- How do I know what is important enough to remember, use?
- Hod do I organize my notes?
- How can I show what I know?
- How can I present it
- In writing essay, research reports, exams?
- Visually in charts, diagrams, etc.?
- Verbally in talks, tutorial presentations, etc.?
- Multi-media presentations?
- How do I overcome the "Theyre out to get me!" phobia?
- How do I learn to make the best of what I know?
- How can I produce the goods under pressure?
- How can I improve if I cannot tell how and where I need to improve?
- I have really bad problems with study: What can I do?
HELPING STUDENTS MANAGE THEIR LEARNING
Students will find that learning to manage themselves as learners may feel unnatural and uncomfortable in the short term. The essence of self-management in learning is to make students assess their own performance by asking themselves objective questions and responding to the answers without making excuses or blaming anyone or anything.
There are seven useful strategies for students to manage their learning. These seven strategies are needed to help students manage learning effectively, feel that they are in control of their learning, and to develop an organizational framework into which they harness their learning strengths.
SELF-ASSESSMENT. There is only one way for students to get total control over their learning. That is to use ways of seeing themselves objectively as learners, charting and evaluating their own progress. To start managing their own learning, students need to be honest with themselves and specific about their shortcomings. The following are common learning problems that students might have:
- Inability to remember enough.
- Unable to get the main points.
- Problem in focusing minds are full of irrelevant information and they cannot seem to focus for exams, or essays, or anything.
- Spending hours reading and studying but nothing seems to stick.
- They read and read and it all ends up as sludge inside their head.
- Difficulty to find information.
- Difficulty to sift through too much information and know what is important.
- It is all in their heads but cannot seem to get it down on paper.
- Starting something with good intentions but end up doing it all at the last moment.
- Having tons of notes and photocopies that take almost as much time to sort through as the original.
- Studying but still did poorly in examinations.
- Feeling that some people are just academically superior, and they are not one of them.
The point of self-assessment is for students not to deny what they feel, but to get it under control. The essence is making students to judge themselves. Students will only learn to manage their learning to full effect if they can see themselves clearly as a person.
TIME MANAGEMENT. Students need to be able to manage their time. This means doing as little studying/reading/writing as they can to achieve what they need. It means employing conscious time management techniques and being honest with themselves in using the results to improve their own performance. The key concept is minimum input (of time) for maximum output (in terms of results and achievements)!
PLANNING. Students need to be able to plan to set their own targets that are realistic and achievable. There is no point in having a big beautiful dream (like getting an A, finishing a thesis, getting a first-class pass) unless they can set themselves directions for getting there. They also need more precise week-by-week and day-by-day ways and means for getting there.
THINKING SKILL. Students need to sharpen the blades of their mind as a tool training their memory, training themselves to use lateral thinking techniques and other thinking skill equivalents of muscle stretching! They need to do their daily dozen mental toe touches and knee bends if they want to develop mental suppleness and stamina. It does not happen automatically any more than it does with physical fitness.
COMMUNICATION. Students need to learn the trick of seeing study and research as communication a conversation, a dialogue with others. They need to constantly ask "Why?", "Why am I doing this?", "For whom?", "What do they expect/need? They need to build up a portfolio of examples of good essays, papers, exam questions or reports.
PERFORMING. Students need to treat examinations as opportunities. Everyone hates examinations, but anyone can learn to use them as a platform for showing off what they know. Everyone enjoys showing off something they can do well! The secret of exams is to see them not as alien and hostile forces "out there" ready to expose and humiliate, but as a well-disposed audience ready to applaud a skilled performance. And if students apply their learning and revision skills systematically and consciously, their performance will be skilled.
SELF-EVALUATION. Students need to get into the habit of being their own judge. They should not leave it to examiners to judge themselves. They need to take time to ask themselves:
- "How well am I doing? What have I actually achieved?"
- "From the main points Ive listed, could I rough out an exam answer?"
- "Am I using my visual strengths by concentrating on seeing it as a story?"
- "Were my targets realistic? Did I leave myself enough time to rewrite it?"
Self-assessment, problem solving, self-evaluation, and performance appraisal are closely related. Self-assessments will show students where they are weak and will help them identify problems they face precisely for solutions to be generated. Through self-evaluation they will regularly monitor progress and continuously improve themselves. Appraising the results of their efforts can certainly reinforce the effectiveness of their endeavor to become better students.