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  1. Exams Playing the Game!

  2. Disclaimer • I do not know the exact motivations, rationales etc. for every exam question by every examiner, I can only pass on my opinions and thoughts. • There are ways you can ‘play the game’, and hopefully be better prepared than in the video!

  3. Outline • Why Exams? • Pyramid to Wisdom • Revision / Reviewing • Study Notes • In the Exam

  4. Why Exams? • Why do we study? • To get the best grades we can! • Why do we need the best grades we can? • To get the best job we can! • Why do we need the best job? • To get more money, more options… • Boo! That’s not much motivation… • We study because the world is fascinating, and we want to know more about it. • But, getting good grades can help us out.

  5. So, Why Exams? • Society demands a means to gauge someone level of understanding of competency in a subject. • Future Employers, Parents, etc. • We need a structured means to evaluate students abilities • Exams give us that means (along with assignments, essays etc.) • Exams also allow the examiners to be tested • We also get examined on our exams, and external bodies check that we are teaching to an acceptable level and teaching the right things.

  6. What is knowledge? • So, assuming our motivation as students is our fascination for the world… • …What is knowledge?

  7. Ackoff’s Framework • Pyramid to Wisdom • Data • Information • Knowledge • Understanding • Wisdom

  8. Data • Raw Facts • Symbols • Data holds no meaning. • E.g. • 20

  9. Information • Processed Data • Information is useful • It lets us answer questions like; • Who? • What? • Where? • When? • E.g. • Dr. Ken is talking about Exams on Friday at PDS.

  10. Knowledge • Processed Information • It can represent rules or patterns, that generally provide a high level of predictability. • It lets us answer questions such as: • How? • It allows us apply what we’ve learnt • Eg • If the aluminium smelter temperature is set at 1000 degrees Celsius, then the aluminium in the smelter will be smelted in 30 minutes.

  11. Understanding • Processed Knowledge • An Appreciation of ‘Why?’ • True understanding allows us to synthesize new knowledge based on previously held knowledge. • Understanding can’t be memorised, while knowledge can be. • Eg. • Some authors such as Bellinger disagree with Ackoff and I can understand and analyse their differences of opinion

  12. Wisdom • Processed Understanding • The way we judge between right and wrong, good and bad. • It calls on all previous levels of consciousness including morals, values, ethics, etc. • The essence of philosophical probing • Over time we can become wise about certain topics.

  13. Exams? • So, what has that got to do with exams? • Well, we expect you to reach certain levels of the ‘pyramid to wisdom’. • We expect you to retain information. • We expect you to amass knowledge. • We expect you to gain an understanding. • We don’t necessarily expect you to be wise, perhaps not until postgraduate studies! • Different types of questions will test different aspects of your ‘wisdom’.

  14. Retaining Information • Can be tested by: • Multiple Choice Questions • Short Answer Questions • Questions which ask for definitions • i.e. Can you memorise stuff?

  15. Amassing Knowledge • Can be tested by: • Case Studies • Exercises • Application Style Questions • i.e. can you take the knowledge you learnt about a certain example and use it in a new situation? Do you understand ‘how’ it works?

  16. Gaining an Understanding • Can by tested by: • Essay type questions • Can you think about important ideas? Can you evaluate different perspectives? Can you present your results comprehensively?

  17. So, What is Exam Preparation? • Studying? • Revision? • Reviewing?

  18. So, What is Exam Preparation? • Studying? • Revision? • Reviewing? • You should know it by the time you are preparing for the exam, now you just need to review it.

  19. Schedule your Review Time • Plan in advance. • Decide when you are going to review • What topics are you going to review and when? • Short Periods • Take Breaks

  20. Make Good Notes • Make them in advance • While you are studying the material • Then you have notes ready for review time. • Lets look at some Review Notes

  21. Before the Exam • Eat Something! • Get a Watch, in case there is no clock. • Arrive in plenty of time. • Visit the Bathroom.

  22. In the Exam • Read the Instructions • How many questions from each section do you need to answer? • Are some compulsory? • What type of questions are there? • How many marks is each section worth? • And so how much time should you spend on each?

  23. Plan your time • You receive 0 marks for questions you haven’t attempted • It’s easier to get the first 5 marks on a question than the last 5… (e.g. essays)

  24. Answer the Question • Read the question carefully. • Make sure you are answering the right question. • Underline keywords • Make a plan for essay questions

  25. Consider • 1) List the levels in the pyramid to wisdom. (5 Marks) • 2) Discuss the levels in the pyramid to wisdom.(10 Marks) • 3) Contrast and Compare the levels in the pyramid to wisdom.(10 Marks) • 4) Evaluate the pyramid to wisdom as a knowledge model.(20 Marks)

  26. Devise your Strategy • Do you answer the easy questions first? • To relax and get off to a good start. • Do you answer the hard questions first? • To get them out the way while you are fresh. • Come up with the strategy that works best for you.

  27. Read the questions first • ALL the questions. • Then you can implement your strategy.

  28. Final Comment • Exams are NOT games… • There are tricks & tips that can help you improve your grade, • BUT • It still takes academic rigour to prove yourself.