Exam Workshop Revise and De-stress 4 May 2016 Helen Green Adam Sandelson Teaching and Learning LSE Student Counselling Service Centre 1 Todays session
Exam revision: the last few weeks Exam psychology 2 Exam revision: the last few weeks Plan your time Practice exam skills Take advantage of revision support Helen Amelia Green Teaching and Learning Centre Plan your time
Consider the exams you have, the number of days until your exams, then plan for a number of revision sessions per exam. Figure out what works for you. e.g. 1.5 hours x 4 or 5; 3 hours x 3 Work regularly, but take breaks / weekends. An example
Four exams, three in one week (8-18 June) Three half-unit courses, one full unit course Three sessions per day, from 12 May SO468 LL4BB GV4A5 HY436
Find the rhythm that works best for you. Vary each days work. Take breaks. Allot revision time for each exam. 23 sessions for SO468 19 sessions for LL4BB 20 sessions for GV4A5 19 sessions for HY436 Work your way up to the exam week 1 compile and review notes review past exam papers develop arguments in response to past questions week 2 practice timed outline answers (10-15 mins.)
review and upgrade your outlines (using notes) week 3 write timed outline answers (different perspective?) write 2 or 3 timed essays (outline + body) daily review and discuss essays upgrade using notes and course materials week 4 write timed essays (2 or 3 in a row) daily review, discuss, upgrade, and try again Practice exam skills
Write legibly. Answer the question in the time available. Organise your writing to flow logically. Demonstrate the skills / techniques / knowledge of the course and the discipline. GOOD NEWS: writing essays, making a point in seminar discussions, recognising arguments and evidence in texts are all part of exam skills! Qualitative topic exams & timing For one-hour essays Contains around 800-1000 words: an introduction, 4 or 5 paragraphs, and a conclusion (BUT, quality over quantity!). The introduction answers the question and outlines the
argument in support of this answer. Each paragraph begins with a clear statement that helps answer the question; and combines reference to the literature and other sources to justify and support the main idea of the paragraph in a detailed and convincing manner. The conclusion summarises the argument and discusses the so what (wider perspective). 12 9 3
6 Read all the questions on the exam paper. Eliminate those you do not wish to answer. Make a short list of possible questions. Review your short list, reading each question 9 again, carefully. Decide which questions you will answer, in which order.
12 3 6 12 9 3 6 Question the question
(around 10 minutes) Determine and make notes on What is the question asking you to do? What is the main point youd like to make? How can you justify9and support this point? What kind of examples would be relevant? Which texts or studies could be helpful to make the argument? 12
Based on the first 10 minutes work, write the introduction of the essay. 12 Present your interpretation of the question, with relevant 9 definitions of key terms. Concisely give your response to the question the point that youll make in the essay. Indicate how you will organise
the argument (the plan for the essay). 3 6 12 9 3 6
Write the main body of the essay (around 30 minutes) 12 Following the plan you gave in the introduction, develop the main parts of your argument. Refer back to your ideas that you noted and 3 developed in the first 10 minutes. 9 6
6 Restate the question you set out to answer; re-iterate your answer to the question the main point you wanted to make. Explain why this matters: what are 3the implications of your point? What might it mean for practice or for theory in your field? Practice exam skills
Practice developing and outlining arguments, and writing introductions (the first 20 minutes). Practice writing full essays (55 minutes). Practice writing 2 or 3 essays in a row, in 2 or 3 hours AT LEAST ONCE before your exam. Take advantage of revision support
Course revision sessions Understand the markers perspective, prepare specific questions. Office hours Seek feedback on ideas and essay plans (not on minute details). Study groups Read each others essays, try the same questions, discuss and debate approaches. other resources
one-to-one help with a study adviser, Royal Literary Fellow [email protected] TLC podcasts, Episode 11: Preparing and revising for exams lse.ac.uk/tlc/podcasts exam preparation series, 2016 LT8 LT9 LT10 ST1 Planning and preparing for exams: an overview Using past exam papers for revision Quantitative exam preparation
Final preparations and sitting the exam All of these sessions were recorded. Slides and video are available on MOODLE > Teaching and Learning Centre > Learning Development > Exams . In a nutshell Plan your revision time, allot time for each course. Practice what you will need to do during the exam answer questions or solve problems.
Practice under exam conditions, with a pen and paper, without notes, in the allotted time. Read your essays and review your problem sets, identify gaps or weaknesses, upgrade and improve using your notes and course materials. Exam Psychology
Practical techniques for revision and exams Common psychological issues Stress management skills Adam Sandelson LSE Student Counselling Service 27 Part 1 Techniques for dealing with revision and exams
28 Revising well Dont compare yourself to others
Work out your own schedule, be flexible if necessary Explore ways/ places to work Dont be obsessive! Talk to others, ask for 29 Time and Targets
Set realistic and achievable goals Break down huge tasks Short term targets and longer term strategies Recognise your achievements 30 Focussing on the task Concentrate on the task, not the outcome
Remember past successes Recognise you are likely to pass Be methodical, and allow time for breaks and space to breathe and think Use mind maps, scribble ideas
Go for a walk, talk out loud 31 On the day of the exam Dont cram, sleep
Relax, visualize it being OK Read the question Sketch out thoughts, mind map Plan answers Keep notes for later questions After avoid show-offs 32 Part 2 Psychological Issues in approaching
revision and exams Family Dynamics Procrastination Revision Blocks 33 Underlying dynamics
The family / historic context for your success, eg keeping the family together Trying to please others Wanting to be the best Setting yourself impossible targets Repeating past anxiety, fear of failure 34
Dynamics of study, work, life ... 35 Why do you procrastinate?
time management inability to prioritise anxiety boredom fear of failure perfectionism all-or-nothing thinking 36 Overcoming revision blocks Stop new reading if this is avoidance
make notes, summarize ideas, list key quotes Practice questions Practice drafting bullet points Take a break/sleep on it/talk to someone Talk to your mobile! 37
Challenge perfectionism Perfectionism can reduce achievement. Experiment with your standards for success Focus on the process not just the end result
try for 80% or even 60% evaluate success in terms of what you accomplished and whether you enjoyed the task Challenge all or nothing thinking 38 Part 3 Stress Management Skills
39 Stress Management Skills Regularly switch off - physical activity Good self care sleep, diet, caffeine, alcohol Allow yourself time off without guilt Challenge negative thoughts - are they
realistic? 40 Thinking errors 1. All or nothing thinking 2. Discounting the positive 3.
Emotional Reasoning If I feel it then it must be true 4. Overgeneralizing especially from a past bad experience 41 LSE Student Counselling Service
Free and confidential Short term counselling Appointments need to be booked in advance Drop in sessions each day at 3.00 Relaxation MP3s Links to self help resources on a wide range of student issues, including study related and personal difficulties 42
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