Exam Skills Revision Summary

Exam Skills Revision Summary

Some of the tips here are similar to things you have seen in other sections but some are new...

  1. Read the question and make sure you understand it. It sounds obvious, but you can't answer the question unless you know what you've been asked - for example, is it when or where did the accident take place? Is it why did they protest or how did they protest? You won't get any marks for details that don't relate to the question, even if they're right!
  2. Time. You have to remember the time; there's no point spending ten minutes on a question that carries three marks and then not have time to do a later section that carries ten marks. You have to force yourself to limit time on sections. You can always come back afterwards if you have time spare.
  3. Vocabulary. What if you don't know a key word? Think your way around it. Do you know any other words that mean the same? Could you rephrase it or define it? For example, 'global warming ' becomes 'the earth is becoming warmer' and so on. What about 'quelque chose pour...' for example, 'a bottle opener' becomes 'quelque chose pour ouvrir une bouteille'.
  4. Accuracy. You will not get every answer right or know every single word you want for a particular question. Nobody expects you to - not even for a grade 'A'. But don't let problems in a section that you can't do distract you from another section that you can do perfectly well. Accept that there are a few things you can't do and write them off. You'll probably be surprised at what you can do - concentrate on this and pick up as many marks as possible on these parts.
  5. Marks. Read the question and the number of marks allocated to each question. You need to know how much is allocated for content and how much is accuracy. Does four marks mean four details or two details with two marks awarded for accuracy? Make sure you are clear on this. You could be trying to write too much or wasting time on a section where you've already got full marks.
  6. Word limit. The word limit is there for a purpose. Some exam boards have very strict rules about going over word limits, especially on coursework where you have time to plan, draft and re-write. You could be penalised very heavily. What's more, not only is it a waste of time but you may be making more mistakes and actually dragging your grade down. The content and quality are far more important than the number of words.