|The Place to find Exam Skills at work|
I hope that your exams have not been as traumatic as mine were at school. In this blog, I take a look at the reasons behind exam success and failure. If you are coming to this blog having faced disappointment, do not despair. Help is at hand. There is a lot that you can learn in order to improve your performance. This blog will help you to start that journey
I will be sharing my pesonal experiences, but you will also find that the research is informed by professional experience, rather than irrelevant educational theories.
In my experience of 30 years of teaching English and the Arts, in Schools and in the University sector, these are the most common reasons for poor results:
1. Anxiety based on lack of confidence, poor planning and fear of the unknown
2. Lack of familiarity with past exam questions
3. Poor memory skills
4. Failure to produce model answers in exam conditions
5. Revision that does not edit and select key points
6. Revision that does not tailor knowledge to the exam
7. Answers which are too short, or too long.
8. Poor awareness of what the examiners are looking for
9. Not answering the question
10. Not explaining your thinking processes
11. Poor range of evidence
12. Weak communication skills
13. Not understanding how to plan and structure your answer effectively
14. Too much time wasted on opening and closing paragraphs.
15. Running out of sufficient time to complete the required number of well-rounded answers.
The good news is that each of these issues can be addressed.
By reflecting on them and by taking action you will significantly improve your exam performance.
You might even learn to enjoy the experience, and become an advocate for examinations.
If you would like to receive further examination tips and advice please drop me a line.
Let the journey begin!
Dr Ian McCormick is the author of The Art of Connection: the Social Life of Sentences
(Quibble Academic, 2013)