Exam season – do your best!

Hi Students

Exam season is upon us.

You only get one chance at school, and you don’t want to repeat papers at university. How you do now will determine your future career, your future life. Do your very best!

Taekwon-Do doesn’t have a time limit. If you don’t grade this term, you can aim for next term. We’ll be here. Focus on your exams.

I always found it was great to come to Taekwon-Do training during the exam period. Physical training helped me re-focus, and gave me a chance to take a break from studying. Training, however, became a diversion from my studies, and not my focus, for a few weeks.

Good luck, and study well.

In addition, here are my three tips for exams. These are generic tips, and won’t work in all cases. For example, many don’t apply if you have an exam booklet with space to write each answer.

  1. Plan your time. If a question is worth 10%, give it 10% of the exam time and no more. You will get more marks in your first two minutes on the next question than you will in your last two minutes on the previous question. If you do not attempt a question, those are marks that you cannot get. (This is less possible if the exam is full of short questions. It is useful if there are questions worth 10% or more.)
  2. Kill trees. In many exams you write on blank paper. Use space to ensure that the marker can read what you wrote. If the marker cannot read your work, he or she cannot give you marks.
    1. What you write in an exam is irrelevant. The only thing that matters is what the marker reads and understands.
    2. If you press heavily or use a liquid ink pen, only write on one side of the paper if you can. Otherwise it is difficult to read when what is on the other side shows through.
    3. If you have large writing, write on every second line. If your writing overlaps, it is difficult to read. 
    4. After you write a paragraph, leave space before you start the next paragraph. That way if you need to return and insert more information, you have room to do it. This is much clearer than an arrow or asterisk to another section you write at the bottom of the page.
    5. Use subheadings for each major point. Underline them with your pen. (Changing to a highlighter or different coloured pen is a waste of time.) Subheadings make it very easy for the marker to find your points and give you marks for them.
    6. Plan your answers – and don’t write your plans in a part of your exam book that won’t be marked. Often a marker can give you marks for things you write in your plan. Put a heading, “plan”, and write your ideas. Then number them to arrange them. Underneath this, write, “answer” and then write your answer.
  3. Answer the ^&%# question! Having many years teaching and marking university papers, it is very frustrating when a student doesn’t answer the question. Zero marks. Read the question carefully and answer the question they ask. Vomiting everything you know about a topic is not answering the question. Underline the verbs in the question – outline and evaluate are very different questions.

Good luck!

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