HSC Tutoring Parramatta

Exam Technique

HSC Tutoring Parramatta

Exams are a fact of life, at least when we are younger. Almost nobody enjoys exams, but we need do them if we are to progress to the next level, and graduate.

More than a few people underperform under exam conditions. This is most unfortunate for those who really have potential, or who have put in the time and effort to study. This is partly addressed today by education systems that include ongoing and alternative methods of assessment. But even then the exam is probably half of the final result, so we can never afford to underperform.

Exam Preparation – HSC Tutoring Parramatta

Eat and sleep in the most health manner possible. It is tempting to eat junk food when studying, but sugar and artificial additives have a negative effect. If you have trouble sleeping, you need to find a cure. Some people try to have a part time job, or heaven forbid shift work, when they sit their exams. Don’t be mistaken, this will have a negative impact.

Caffeine and other substances are fine in moderation; one cup of coffee is probably healthy. But avoid anything that has a strong effect, and don’t even think of using anything illegal. The prescription medication that helps people with attention deficit disorder should also be avoided; it only works for the people who have that particular disorder. Try some L-theanine (found in tea), creatine (body building supplement), Ginkgo Biloba, B vitamins, and Omega 3 in oily fish. Some people claim the chewing gum helps.

One benefit of continual assessment in education is that we are forced to spread out the learning over a whole semester, and not cram everything into the last few days. This learning over time is far more effective; we don’t do too much all at once, we come to see how the later information builds on what we have already learnt, and we have much less risk of making an early mistake that is never corrected.

The only mild downside to learning over time is that we can forget what we learnt six months ago. But if we make solid notes and continue to revise the earlier work, then we will overcome this small obstacle.

We highly recommend finding previous exam papers and doing these under exam conditions at home. This shows any weak areas, and helps us get use to exam situations. Make sure the syllabus has not changed since the last exam.

In the Exam – HSC Tutoring Parramatta

Exam technique mostly refers to how you deal with the exam on the day. Obviously, study and preparation are essential. But two people doing the same amount of preparation can get different grades. Why is this?

Carelessness is a bigger issue than most people realize. And it is only worse if we are nervous about the exam. So, we must take measures to prevent careless mistakes.

Read each exam questions carefully. A misread question will probably be a disaster. Sometimes there will be a trick question, but more often the examiner wants to give you chance to show your knowledge of the subject.

If possible, read the whole exam in advance. Do the easy questions first. It is often possible to at least pass with just the easy questions. Then tackle the harder questions, which you will have in the back of your mind having read them earlier. Even if you only get half marks on the difficult questions, you can still get a good overall grade if you got most of the easy questions right.

Avoid long quotes. A few solid, relevant quotes are useful, but you need to show that you can analyse the material and explain it, not just repeat it through memorization.

Be concise. It is tempting to over answer and show off the extra knowledge you have, but you need to stick to answering the question.

Avoid large words when a small word will do. Nobody worth impressing is impressed by big pretentious words. Use technical terms only when appropriate, and make sure you understand the concept behind these terms.

If you have trouble remembering something, then make a note of it and move onto another question. It is a quirk of the human mind that we often remember that thing on the tip of our tongue when we are concentrating on something else. Write it down as soon as you remember it.

Essay questions are often a large portion of the exam mark. And a large part of any essay is the introduction and conclusion. The difference between an average grade and a better than average grade can come down to a good introduction and conclusion.

The stress of exams is reduced with long term familiarity. If we do tests ever week then an exam just feels like another, slightly bigger, test.

HSC Tutoring Parramatta

We believe Education is about developing the individual to reach their potential and find their best possible vocation. Private tutoring and group study can make the best of the school education, and lead into better tertiary opportunities.

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