First Year Exam Preparation Seminar Welcome Anna Trivedi ASB First Year Advisor Ginette Farcell Louise Fitzgerald EDU Learning Advisors
OUTLINE • WHY HAVE EXAMS • TYPES OF EXAM QUESTION • Multiple choice • Short answer • Essay • Case based • ANALYSING THE QUESTIONS • PLANNING THE ANSWER • WRITING THE ANSWER • CHECKING THE ANSWER • IF YOU RUN OUT OF TIME
The reasons for exams • Why have Exams ? • Exams are set to provide your lecturers with information about your knowledge and understanding of the course that may not be available through other forms of assessment. They can test your: • ability to recall and apply theory. • knowledge of the content area. • critical thinking and problem solving skills. • communication skills in the absence of aids like word. processors. • ability to work alone and under pressure. • work's authenticity. • There are advantages for you personally in learning how to perform well in exams. There will be situations in your personal and professional life when you'll need to perform an important task in a limited time, that is under pressure. Learning how to prepare for and perform well in exams can also prepare you for such occasions
Preparing for exams • Your course outline is your guide to the course. Although course outlines vary, usually they provide an outline of the • major themes to be covered.When exams come around, use your course outline to help you plan your review. Assign a specified amount of review time to each section of the course. • If you are as familiar as you need to be with the course outline, you should be able to recall this super-structure of major topics from memory. We are all familiar with the way in which texts are structured, into blocks of information, with each block having its own sub-heading. Good sub-headings will be descriptive or informative and reflect key ideas of the chapter.In multiple-choice questions, these subheadings frequently show up in the questions, either in the stem of the question or as one of the alternatives-quite commonly as the correct choice
Get to Know the Specific Language and Typical "Types" of Main Ideas in Your Discipline: In any discipline there is a core vocabulary that you need to know. Be on the look out for concept names in both texts and lectures. Know your key terms and their definitions, and be able to generate examplesto prove to yourself that you really understand the ideas they represent. Even where the emphasis in the multiple-choice questions is on application of ideas, rather than recall, you still need to know the key terms and their definitions in order to understand the elements involved in the application. "Key terms" and "definitions" are only two of the "types" of main ideas that you will come across in your courses and that tend to show up in multiple-choice questions. In each course that you take, there will be other "types" of main ideas that you will have to learn to recognize and track. Once you "tune in" to a course, you recognize the pattern of main ideas more readily. This is not an easy idea to come to grips with, but it is one of the most important when it comes to studying for multiple-choice tests.
Essay questions usually consist of three main components: Content words – Tell you what the focus of the topic is. Task words – words that tell you specifically what to do. Task words are usually verbs. Limiting words – These words limit the topic so that it is workable, and they help you to set and define your essay. Analysing the Essay Question
Task words What is meant by the term “demand”? Draw a carefully labelled demand curve and explain why it slopes downward from left to right.
Limiting words What is meant by the term “demand”? Draw a carefully labelled demand curve and explain why it slopes downward from left to right.
Content: information You need to illustrate knowledge and understanding of economics Define ‘demand’ Effective demand Draw a diagram Demand curve Accurately labeled Explain the direction of the curve Operation of income and substitution effects Effect of price changes on supply and demand
Structure and development of text – whole text level question Provides a structure for the response ‘What is meant by…..’ ‘Draw a diagram…’ ‘Explain why ….’ answer The structure of the response ‘the term demand … means …’ A diagram ‘the demand curve …slopes downward…illustrating … …. Because …
The Introduction Make sure you include: an Introduction clearly stating your answer and the organisation of the essay. For example:
Writing the body paragraphs The Body paragraphs of your essay should include supporting material. Make sure you structure the content body of the essay as you indicated you would in your introduction. . Use transitional phrases and connecting words to tie your ideas together. Make sure you reread your essay as your are writing so that you keep to your purpose and direction Develop your argument Begin each paragraph with a key point from the introduction Develop each point in a complete paragraph Use transitions, or enumerate, to connect your points Avoid padding
PARAGRAPH STRUCTURE Developing your IDEAS • Begin each paragraph with a key point from the introduction • Develop each point in a complete paragraph • Use transitions, or enumerate, to connect your points
The Conclusion Re-answer the question and briefly summarise the main points that are in the body of your essay. Explain what you have tried to achieve in your answer. For example: In conclusion, it is clear that HRM plays an important role in an organisation particularly in the selection, training and promotion of staff. An organisation that successfully develops strategies to develop these functions may benefit specifically from ...
Short and Long Exam Answers • Short answer exams • Just as the name suggests, this type of exam consists of a series of questions that only require concise answers, usually in the form of a definition. For example: • What is ascorbic acid? (The answer might be worth 1-5 marks and involve 1-3 lines). • Type of learning required • You need recall rather than recognition. • Rote learning of key definitions is essential You must also understand the underlying basis for these definitions.
Study strategies for short answer exams • What to do • When studying, make a list of key terms in your subject area, and write definitions of each in your own words, while referring back to definitions given in class or in discipline dictionaries or text books. Then learn those definitions off by heart. Test your memory by writing those definitions out under exam conditions. • What NOT to do • Don't try to learn so many definitions that you can't remember any! Pick out the key ones instead (past exam papers might give you a clue). Don't write more than you need to. If there are only three lines available, that's all your examiners want you to write. Don't squish your writing up or scribble in the margins. This is annoying to markers, and takes your time away from other questions.
During the exam • As soon as you are allowed to, make notes on scrap paper, jotting down key words for short answer questions. Do as many as you can while things are still fresh in you memory. You can write them into sentences during the exam. Alternatively, if allowed, you can write your answers in point form (check with your lecturer prior to the exam). It is easier to cram more information in if you don't have to worry about sentence structure. • If you get stuck • Just write a couple of key facts or concepts that might get you a couple of marks.
Long answer exams • Long answer exams • Similar to a short answer exam, but requires more detail about the topic. You still need to learn key definitions, but must also read further to be able to expand on the topic. This may require the provision of further associated facts, examples or applications. For example: • Define ascorbic acid and describe its function in the human body. • You may be provided with a word length limit or a limited amount of space - usually half aType of learning required • You need recall rather than recognition. • Rote learning of key definitions is essential You must also understand the underlying basis for these definitions. Half a page to a page in length. Pay attention to these limits.
During the exam • Multiple-choice exams involve questions with three parts. Firstly, a statement or stem; secondly, the question; and thirdly, a set of possible answers - only one of which is correct, while the others are distracters. The candidate is asked to circle or tick the correct answer to the que • In some cases you will be required to mark your responses on the question sheet, while other times you may have a separate answer sheet .
Type of learning required • Type of learning required • Multiple-choice exams usually rely on recognition rather than recall. • This means that you need to know your subject matter well enough to recognise the right answer when you see it, which is an easier form of memory than having to recall something when given no clue to start with. . • This doesn't mean that studying for a multiple-choice exam is easy. Because each question is quick to answer, a lot of questions can be asked, meaning a subject can be covered in great breadth
Study strategies for multiple-choice exams • You need to achieve maximum breadth, but not too much depth. • What to do • Read all your lecture notes and summarise them. Also summarise relevant chapters from your textbook and/or prescribed readings. Work through past papers if available. • What NOT to do • Don't do extra reading into one topic area that interests you. • Study strategies for multiple-choice exams • You need to achieve maximum breadth, but not too much depth.
REMEMBER Special cases: Testing recall and negative marking Answer Sheets allow exams to be scanned & marked automatically. Common mistakes to avoid: Remember to record your name & student number on the actual answer sheet. Use pencil so you can correct mistakes. Do not cross-out a mistake & mark another answer - the scanner will read this as 'two' responses & record it as incorrect. Always check your answers with the right question. Consider marking your answers first on the exam paper, then transferring them to the answer sheet.
Contact details • GINETTE FARCELL • TEACHING and LEARNING ADVISOR • EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT UNIT • AUSTRALIAN SCHOOL OF BUSINESS • UNIVERSITY OF NEW SOUTH WALES • CONTACT • ROOM GO8 ASB • firstname.lastname@example.org • 93855584 • email@example.com
After the Exam • Relax and debrief with your friends • So, how did you go? • Move on
Results and Reflection • It is expected that final grades for Semester 2 will be emailed to students’ z-mail accounts on December 2. • How do your results compare with your expectations? • If you fail, it is not the end of the world. It doesn’t mean that you can’t go on to be a good student and one day graduate. Instead, use it as a learning experience. Think about what you’ll do differently next semester. • Review of grades.