More on Exams40 - Conclusion - A Systematic Approach.
Thinking like a Professional
Better Technique gives Better Results
A Systematic Approach
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 lawyer goes through a series of steps when analyzing a client’s problem and proposing a solution.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 lawyer goes through a series of steps when analyzing a client’s problem and proposing a solution.
When you have exams coming up you need to go through a set of steps.
We recommend setting up a systematic approach to your exams and exam preparation. Write out all the steps you need to go through. For example:
In the weeks leading up to the exam.
1. Map out your subject.
- Write out which theories are used in each part of the subject.
- Which of these theories overlap? Here you need to decide which one makes the most sense to use for a particular topic.
2. Get those theories into your head.
Work out the best way for you to memorise them so that you can easily “Brain-Dump” in the exam.
3. Use your pen as you learn.
Don’t just read. Use mind-maps and the physical look of the models and frameworks to help you understand and memorise them.
4. Decide on your tactics well before you go into the exam.
Ask your teacher for hints on this. Also, glean as much as you can from your teacher about the exam.
During the Exam.
5. Use reading-time to work out your 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 you need to spend on each question and the actual time you should finish each question.
8. Work out which theories or frameworks you need to use to answer the different parts of the questions.
9. Throw down the theory first to ensure that you answer all its parts.
10. Once you have written 10% do a Crap Test to ensure you 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 you to use less words and time yet provide more information.
13. Have you put in enough pieces of evidence for each sub-question? Examiners are looking for detail here.
14. Use lots of white space throughout your answer. This makes it easier to find your information. It also allows you to add more detail later.
15. If you get some Brain-Freeze, doodle using the physical look of the theory or using mind-maps to help you remember.
16. If you finish early, dont just walk out.
- Double check that you have answered all the sub-questions.
- Can you add more examples of evidence to possibly get a better mark?
- Also check that you have used the right models or theories to answer the questions.
- Stay and doodle with the models and frameworks to see if you get any pop-in ideas that you can add to your answers.