Director of Studies Update – May 16, 2019

May 16, 2019

Exam preparation

With just a few weeks until the end of semester exams begin, on Tuesday June 4 for Years 10 and 11 students, all boys should now be actively preparing for these important assessment tasks.

Teachers are currently preparing information specific to each exam -“ the format, length, specific areas to be examined, equipment and materials that can be brought into the exam etc. This information will be available to the boys and parents through Learning Areas. Teachers will also be discussing exam technique specific to their subject to support students in their preparation in the coming days.

To further support your son in his preparation these exams, teachers will be emphasising two keys aspects of exam preparation -“ revision for the exam and exam technique.

Exam revision:

  • Research has shown that regular revision, which builds cumulatively on increased levels of knowledge and understanding, is the most effective method of preparing for an exam. Developing a revision or study plan based on this is an important step to successful exam revision.

  • Having a detailed key word list or glossary is another important revision tool. Exam questions typically assess a student’s ability to synthesise, analyse, interpret etc. However, this can only be done if the student has a clear and explicit understanding of the words or terms being referred to in the question.

  • Attempting as many past exams or trial exams under conditions which simulate the end-of-semester exam is also important (particularly for students completing Senior School exams). Having these papers corrected by the subject teacher and getting performance feedback helps the students set their revision plan.

  • The subject teacher is an important resource at this time of the year. Students should be making every effort to contact and meet with their subject teachers as often as they can over the coming weeks.

    Exam technique:

    Much has been written and published about exam technique and students will have access to a range of techniques particular to each subject. However, there are several keys techniques relevant to all subjects.

  • Students must be familiar with the conditions for each of their exams. They must know the time and room for each exam, if they are permitted to use any other resources, and what equipment they are allowed to take into each exam.

  • The reading time allocated to all exams is important. Reading the paper thoroughly will allow students to work out which questions can be answered easily and quickly and which will require greater attention and take more time.

  • Planning exam time is important. Students should factor in an appropriate amount of time and the end of each exam to read through and amend responses. Minor errors or misunderstanding can often be quickly amended during this part of the exam.

  • Written responses need to be clear and legible. Teachers are required to correct many papers in a short period of time and appreciate students who take the little bit of extra time and care with their presentation.

  • No student is allowed to leave an exam early. Teachers have constructed the exams under the assumption that students would be working throughout the entire time allocated. Students should be making the most of every allocated minute and be working through to end of the writing time.

Students with any concerns about the end of semester exams should see the relevant subject teacher or the Pastoral Group Tutor as soon as possible