1. How do I get my responses to an A range?
Look at the marking criteria. Teachers give this out for a reason. Look at the requirements for a high level response. It’ll take a good deal of patience and time until you master it because this sort of thing isn’t easy. You have to shake your old habits and form new ones all while answering a given question or writing a response to a given statement.
Think about what you want to say. Think about how you will say it. Think about quotes, techniques or the like that support what you are saying. Placing a quote in your essay that has nothing to do with your central point will bring your mark down. Many students make this mistake so avoid it at all costs.
2. How can I do better in exams?
Pick up your pen and start practising your handwriting. It sounds like something you’d expect a primary school student to do. But given that more and more students now type their notes and assignments up on computer, handwriting is slowly becoming a lost art. The amount of time it takes to handwrite a sentence could take as long as it does to type out an entire paragraph! Despite this, your exams are still handwritten.
Practicing under “exam conditions” is the best solution. You need to recall as much information as possible in an exam under a timed scenario. Time is either your worst enemy or your best friend in an exam. As the old saying goes, “practise makes perfect”.
3. How do I express my ideas in a concise manner?
Students who have great ideas and insights will want to express them in the best way possible. Some fall into the trap of expressing a complex idea in an all too complex way. Ever had the experience of reading something you wrote and it make sense to you, only to be told it “makes no sense” by your friend or tutor? Fear not. Keep remembering that English isn’t just about ideas. How you express them is just as important.
Always express complex ideas simply. This will beat simple ideas expressed in a more complex way all the time. Once you’ve nailed that concept then you can start looking at “jazzing it up”. This is the trick to keeping your writing concise. Remember the difference between passive voice and active voice as well.
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