I hope that your exams have not been as traumatic as mine were at school. In this blog, I have taken a long hard look at exam success and failure.
Obviously my research is based on real experiences, rather than irrelevant and dodgy theories.
In my experience of 30 years of teaching in English, and in the Arts, in Schools, and in the University sector, these are the most common reasons for poor results:
1. Anxiety based on lack of confidence, poor planning and fear of the unknown
2. Lack of familiarity with past exam questions
3. Poor memory skills
4. Failure to produce model answers in exam conditions
5. Revision that does not edit and select key points
6. Revision that does not tailor knowledge to the exam
7. Answers which are too short, or too long.
8. Poor awareness of what the examiners are looking for
9. Not answering the question
10. Not explaining your thinking processes
11. Poor range of evidence
12. Weak communication skills
13. Not understanding how to plan and structure your answer effectively
14. Too much time wasted on opening and closing paragraphs.
15. Running out of sufficient time to complete the required number of well-rounded answers.
The good news is that each of these issues can be addressed.
By reflecting on them and taking action you will significantly improve your exam performance.
You might even learn to enjoy the experience, and become an advocate for examinations.
If you would like to receive further examination tips and advice please drop me a line.
Dr Ian McCormick