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Old Saturday, August 18, 2012
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Default How to write/give good answer:

CSS is all about define your idea/ thinking in better way that could be understandable for examiner/reader.
One common doubt that students have is with regard to the style of answering questions, whether to adopt the paragraph or the point style of answering questions. Though there is no set rule, it is wise to adopt a style depending on the question asked. If the question says to discuss, analyze or critically examine, it would be better to answer the question the paragraph format. On the other hand, if the question asks you to list the advantages or give reasons for/ against etc., it is better to go in for the point format of answering.

STYLE OF ANSWERING QUESTIONS:

For this it is very important to understand the question first. Depending on what the question is, whether one is asked to "discuss", "elucidate", "explain","critically Appreciate" or "give reasons for and against", the answer should be written Accordingly because it is only through the examiner's style of answering questions that one can assess his or her originality of thought and analytical abilities. The question should be read properly, in fact the question paper should be read thoroughly in the first five or ten minutes of the exam and then one should decide on the questions which are to be answered first. Time should also be given to frame the answer so that there is no confusion later on.

A good way to write effective and precise answers is to precise writing out answers. our answers should present the facts and concepts in an interesting way and should never read like a passage from a book. It is best to use simple English and avoid decorative language. which takes our attention away from the original facts and our opinions about a given topic. Making a practice of writing out answers is especially useful in managing the time limit set for the exam and to write the best possible answer in the allotted time It not only improves one's style of expression, but also one gets used to the time and word limits.

HOW TO WRITE A GOOD ANSWER:

It is just not enough to know all the facts and information but the most important thing to be kept in mind is to write an answer which has a clear and a logical frame, which presents information in a clear and concise manner, which does not contain any irrelevant or piling up of information, which is interesting and able to hold one's attention.

So the next logical step is to know how to write a good answer. The first step is to prepare the framework where one can list all ideas, thoughts and facts and write them down. It is important to adopt an answering style which is natural, original and to the point. Emphasis should be given to the kind of language used, one which is simple and clear without unnecessary use of nouns and verbs. Use of archaic and fancy words or language should be avoided at all costs. Care should be taken to avoid grammatical mistakes which will give a negative opinion however good the answer may be.

WHEN PAPER GIVEN TO YOU:

Read the instructions carefully – Before looking at the actual questions, read the instructions. Are there compulsory questions? Marks are often lost by nervous or over-confident students who overlook instructions to "Answer 1 question from Section A, and 2 from Section B" or tackle too few questions.

Work out the timing – Divide your time according to the number of questions to be answered. Split it proportionately if you have some questions (or parts of questions) which attract more marks than others. Allow some time for planning. An example might be: four essay questions each attracting 25% of the total marks in a three-hour exam = 45 minutes per question = 10 minutes planning, 35 minutes writing. Allow checking time for statistics or calculations.

Read the questions carefully. Read through the paper once and then re-read each question. You might think a topic you've revised hasn't come up, when it is there but the wording is unusual. Alternatively you have revised the topic, but the question is obtuse and you do not fully understand it.

Choose your best questions - Mark any questions you might answer, and then check that you fully understand it. Do you have some relevant knowledge, ideas and evidence for the ones you choose to answer? Do not answer a question that you do not understand.

Decide on question order. Some people like to start with the topic they know best to give them a good start. Others prefer to do their best question second, because with one question completed, they can relax and expand on their best ideas and gain extra marks.


What actually Maximizing your marks


Think about what the question is actually asking. What are you expected to include in your answer? What material will be relevant? The most common complaint from markers is that the student didn't answer the question.

Demonstrate that you are answering the question - In your introduction show how you understand the question and outline how you will answer it. Make one point or argument per paragraph and summarize to show how it answers the question. Shortish paragraphs with one or two pieces of evidence are sufficient. In your conclusion summarize the arguments to answer the question.

Plan before you write – The stress of working under time constraints in the exam room can make all your good study intentions disappear. However, this is when it's more important than ever to get your ideas across clearly and concisely. Take a few minutes to think and plan:
Underline the key words in the question;
Identify the main topic and discussion areas..
Choose a few points/arguments about which you can write
.
Make a mini-plan which puts them in order before you start writing. You can cross it through afterwards.

Referencing in exams – You should be able to refer by name (spell correctly!) to the main theorists/researchers in your topic, giving the year of their major works. You do not need to give page numbers or lengthy quotes.

General Problems

What to do if your mind goes blank – most students fear this happening. If it does – put your pen down, take a deep breath, sit back and relax for a moment. If you're in the middle of an answer, read through what you have written so far – what happens next? If you have to remember formula, try associating them with pictures or music while revising. If you really can't progress with this answer, leave a gap. It will probably come back to you once you are less anxious.

If you are running out of time – don't panic. Look at the questions you have left to answer and divide up your remaining time to cover them all. Be very economical – make one point support it with evidence and then move on to the next point. If you really can't finish in time, briefly list the points you wanted to make – they could pick you up a few marks.


MCQs, short answer

Multiple Choice Question tests should be approached differently to exams that ask for essay-type answers. The answers required are usually more concerned with terms and definitions.Read the directions very carefully before you start.
When looking at the questions, always try to work out what the answer is before you look at the possibilities.
Use a ruler to make it easier to see where to enter each answer.
Answer the questions you know first, mark the ones you are fairly sure of and go back to them - leave the difficult ones till last.
Remember that with MCQ exams you could get 100% - pretty much impossible in an essay-type exam! So don't dwell on a question – move on and come back to it if you have time.
If you finish before the time is up, go back over your questions and answers to check for reading errors.


Short answer questions usually require a briefer and more descriptive answer than essay questions, which ask you to discuss and expand on a topic.If your questions all ask for short answers with an equal number of marks for each, divide your time up equally for the total number of questions. Otherwise allocate your time according to the proportion of marks each question attracts.
If you have questions which are a mix of short and essay answers, check the rubric carefully so you don't miss answering part of the question.
Each part of the question should show the maximum marks you can get for answering it. Don't waste a lot of time worrying about a part of the question that only attracts a very few marks.

Use parts of questions that ask for definitions or explanations to inform the longer, more discursive part of your answer. Don't repeat the information you give in one part of the question in the other.
If a question asks you to "briefly comment", treat it as a mini-essay - have a sentence or two to introduce your topic; select a few points to discuss with a sentence or two about each; add a concluding sentence that sums up your overall view.
If you have trouble working out how to start answering a question that asks you to "explain", imagine you are telling a friend about the topic.

Oral exam/ Group discussion

Oral or group discussions exams for languages provoke similar anxieties to giving presentations. In both cases, the more prepared you feel, the less anxious you will be.
Act confident even if you aren't. Smile when you enter the room and shake hands with the examiner. Make eye contact during the exam. Ask questions as well as responding to them. Thank the examiner when you leave.
Breathe deeply and regularly to calm nerves. Take a bottle of water in case your mouth is dry - slightly warm is better than ice-cold.
Take your time! Don't rush into giving an answer before you've thought about what you want to say - you will get confused and make mistakes. Take a breath and think before you speak.
Listen to the whole question carefully before you start constructing your answer.It's tempting to latch on to one word that you recognize and start thinking of your answer, but don't- you may miss an important part of the question.
Know how to say "Could you repeat that please?" in the language you are being examined in. If you missed part of a question or didn't understand it, ask for it to be repeated.
Some people deal with public speaking best by putting on a 'disguise' - dressing more smartly than usual, or wearing glasses if you usually wear contact lenses, for instance. Others feel better if they are more casual and can pretend it's an ordinary situation. Think about how you would deal with this best.


What not to write...


Don't try to shoehorn in something interesting just because you have revised it. If it isn't relevant to the question it can lose you marks.

Don't repeat a memorized essay just because it seems to be on the right topic. The question may be asking for a different approach.

Don't use text speak or colloquialisms.

Don't say "I think" or "in my opinion". Instead have ideas that are supported or opposed by your evidence.



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