- This topic has 2 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 8 years ago by Chris.
August 13, 2014 at 3:20 pm #189896Chris
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Dear All (including Mr Moffat too!!).
I was just wondering whether anyone had considered their strategy for the Dec 14 exam sitting. The part I’m querying is whether to go through the 20 x 2 mark questions first (72 mins) and try and gain some time on those to allow more time on the longer style questions. Or, whether to opt for the longer style first and leave the 72 mins to provide the time for 20 questions? Perhaps even use the 15 mins reading time to skim read all short and long questions and then start answering the short questions (on the question paper of course as I understand no answer books to be turned over until we’re told to etc)!
Anyone’s thoughts on this subject would be much appreciated.
ChrisAugust 14, 2014 at 7:20 am #190004John MoffatKeymaster
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Chris: There is not really a ‘best’ strategy with regard to which section to attempt first. The most important thing is to allocate your time and not fall into the trap of spending too long on either section (especially not to spend too long on just one multiple choice question that is causing difficulty, when it is only 2 marks and the time could be better spent elsewhere).
My own personal approach would be to do Section A first, but ignoring any questions that either required a lot of reading or were on topics that I know I always have problems with. Then I would move on to Section B, and afterwards go back to Section A and try to complete the questions that I ignored the first time round. (And, of course, as soon as there are only a few minutes left i the exam, I would guess any missing Section A answers – there are no ‘negative’ marks for getting one wrong, guessing one correctly just could make a vital difference 🙂 )
With regard to the 15 minute reading time, I would first read the requirements of the Section B questions (not the body of the questions, just the requirements) and underline key words. (For example, it is quite common for a requirement to ask you to calculate and comment on something. In the pressure of the exam it is very easy to calculate but then to forget to comment, which is just wasting marks. By underlining the key requirements you are less likely later to miss any)
Then I would do as you suggest and start to answer the Section A questions. You are correct in saying that you are not allowed to open to answer booklet until the 15 minutes reading time is finished, but you are allowed to write on the question paper.August 14, 2014 at 8:46 am #190032Chris
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Thanks for this detailed response John and think the above makes perfect sense. I particularly like the reference to underlining the requirements in the question – not something I’d really considered before. Also pleased you see some credentials in starting to “answer” the A section within the reading time too. I didn’t know if it was just impatience on my part so please to see some support for the idea!
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