Conclusion - A Systematic Approach.

A Systematic Approach.

An example I like to give students is as follows: When professionals do their work they generally have a rigid set of steps that they go through to do the job well. An airplane pilot goes through a set of steps before take-off. A plumber goes through a series of steps when analyzing a client’s problem and proposing a solution.

When we have exams coming up we need to go through a set of steps.

I recommend that students set up a systematic approach to their exams and exam preparation. Shudents should write out all the steps they need to go through. For example:

In the weeks leading up to the exam.

1. Map out the subject.

  • Write out which theories are used in each part of the subject.
  • Which of these theories overlap? Here we need to decide which one makes the most sense to use for a particular topic.
  • Make sure we are using the theories from this subject.

2. Get those theories into our head. Work out the best way to memorise them so that you can easily "Brain-Dump" in the exam.

3. Use a pen as they learn. Don't just read. Use mind-maps and the physical look of the models and frameworks to help us understand and memorise them.

4. Decide on our tactics well before we go into the exam. Students should ask their teacher for hints on this. Also, glean as much as they can from their teacher about the exam.

During the Exam.

5. Use reading-time to work out our attack on the questions.

6. Dissect the question to break it down into its sub-questions.

7. Work out the weighting of marks attached to each question and sub-question. Write down the number of minutes we need to spend on each question and the actual time we should finish each question.

8. Work out which theories or frameworks we need to use to answer the different parts of the questions.

9. Throw down the theory first to ensure that we answer all its parts.

10. Once we have written 10% do a Crap Test to ensure we are actually answering the right question.

11. Be careful to avoid using a high quantity of words instead of high quality words.

12. Use summary methods to enable us to use less words and time yet provide more information.

13. Have we put in enough pieces of evidence for each sub-question? Examiners are looking for detail here.

14. Use lots of white space throughout our answer. This makes it easier to find our information. It also allows us to add more detail later.

15. If students get some Brain-Freeze, I recommend that they doodle using the physical look of the theory or using mind-maps to help them remember.

16. If a student finishes early, dont just walk out.

  • Double check that they have answered all the sub-questions.
  • Can they add more examples of evidence to possibly get a better mark?
  • Also check that they have used the right models or theories to answer the questions.
  • Stay and doodle with the models and frameworks to see if they get any pop-in ideas that they can add to your answers.
  • We hope this helps.