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September 18, 2019, 06:45:12 am

Author Topic: [45] Exam Revision Tips  (Read 2908 times)  Share 

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sdfg

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[45] Exam Revision Tips
« on: September 09, 2018, 07:44:33 pm »
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Sup ATARNotes. Seeing that the exam is around the corner and people are probably starting their revision soon, I thought Iíd share what worked for me during revision last year, and some tips on how to maximise your time and in turn hopefully chances at that 40+. Hope it helps! :)

Practice questions, practice questions, practice questions (and more practice questions)!!
This is what gets you the high score - knowing the content simply isnít enough but knowing how to apply the content in questions is what differentiates you from the average student. And the only way to get better at this is through practice. Structuring your answers logically, understanding mark allocation to know how much to write, and identifying and responding to questions with tricky wording - all of that comes from experience and practice.

Some pointers on doing practice questions:
- Don't worry about doing them to time at the start (~1 1/2 minutes per mark). Just focus on getting them right and speed should naturally come about as you get more comfortable with doing questions.
- Try and focus on doing the questions that the state has done poorly on in past exams (check out the examinerís report for this - located here). VCAA usually retest these questions in future exams, either the content or skill required to answer the question.
- Do heaps of questions involving research methods. The new study design is all about the science-y skills so it's very, very likely a sizeable hunk of the exam will require your research methods skills.
- Get feedback on them. This is the most important part Ė no point in doing them in the first place if you donít use them to figure out what you need to improve on and how you can improve. Ask your teacher to mark them, harshly mark them yourself (as if you were an examiner) or better yet, get a friend or classmate to mark each otherís work. Youíll see different approaches to the same question, help improve your cohortís exam performance, and possibly see stuff that you mightíve missed Ė win-win situation for everyone!
 
Practice questions > practice exams
Obviously, you do you and what best works for you, but I personally didnít find spamming practice exams the best revision tool. This was because: 1) exams have Ďeasyí and Ďhardí questions, and I found that I was just wasting my time doing the easy questions (that I was confident with), when instead I couldíve been focusing on the questions that I found difficult and needed to improve on. And 2) for me, doing practice exams in the first place anyways was to improve time management but I found that the 3 hours was more than generous, so as long as I didnít majorly stuff, I didnít really need practice exams for that. Of course, do a few full practice exams to get used to the exam day conditions and the feel for having both easy and hard questions, but I personally wouldnít go overboard with doing something like 20 full practice exams. Do practice questions that focus on your weak points instead. 

Clean up your notes
Having a good set of notes to refer to is essential to good exam prep. But by now, you probably have a yearís worth of notes, which was fine when you were revising for each SAC, but now itís exam time and you donít want to be flipping through page after page just to find one single thing. And plus, although youíre being test on anything youíve covered this year, youíre not going to use EVERYTHING youíve learnt this year in the 3-hour exam. Hereís how can polish off your notes:
- Arrange your notes under the study design key knowledge dot points (located here). VCAA cannot ask you anything that isnít there. Unit 1 and 2 isnít examinable or assumed knowledge; you just need to know stuff under Unit 3, Unit 4 and the cross-study specifications. Anything that doesnít fit under any of those dot points, you probably donít need to know.
- Have 2 examples at most for concepts that require them. You probably will only use 1 but remember 2 just to be on the safe side. VCAA has 120 marks to test an entire yearís worth of stuff and theyíre not going to waste it by asking you to give 3 examples of something.
- Be realistic about what theyíre going to ask you. You wonít need to know what the Ďmyoí part means in electromyograph, nor will you need to know what date the Baby Albert experiment ended Ė all of this is superfluous information.

Donít ROTE learn everything
Okay, this might seem like some pretty stupid advice for a subject like Psychology where thereís so much content to learn, but hear me out for a bit. Donít memorise the content by writing or reading out your notes over and over again. There will obviously be some exceptions where ROTE learning is necessary, but instead try and memorise the info in a way that will be like how youíll be using during the exam. For instance, by doing practice questions open book, and only looking at your notes when youíre about something. This way, recalling and applying the content will be way easier during the exam because thatís how youíve been doing it while preparing. If you ROTE learning everything, you will recall everything as ROTE-learned facts, but the problem with this is gone are the days when the exam was just a game of recall. The new study design was expressly made to move away from this and towards a more application-based understanding, so using ROTE learning as your main method of memorisation probably isn't the best.

Take care of yourself
Not VCE Psychology related but itís an important point worth mentioning. Sleep, breaks away from studying, and adequate food and drink are all equally important to exam preparation as studying - don't forget to take care of yourself!



--

Good luck revising for your exams! :D
« Last Edit: September 25, 2018, 03:00:53 pm by sdfg »
Psychology [45] | HHD [47]

lleeea

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Re: Exam Revision Tips
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2018, 10:47:26 pm »
0
Sup ATARNotes. Seeing that exam is around the corner and people are probably starting their revision soon, I thought Iíd share what worked for me during revision, and some tips on how to maximise your time and in turn chances at that 40+. Hope it helps! :)

Practice questions, practice questions, practice questions (and more practice questions)
In VCE Psychology, knowing the content simply isnít enough; being able to apply the content in questions is what gets you the high score. Only way to get better at this is through practice Ė stuff like knowing how to structure your answers logically, understanding mark allocation so you know how much to write, and identifying and responding to trickily worded questions, all of that comes from experience and practice.

When doing practice questions, donít worry about doing them to time (~1 Ĺ minutes per mark) at the start. Just focus on getting them right and speed should naturally come about as you get more comfortable. Moreover, try and focus on doing the questions that the state has done poorly on in past exams (check out the examinerís report for this - located here). VCAA usually retest these questions in future exams, either the content or skill required to answer the question. Also, do heaps of questions involving research methods. The new study design is all about the science-y skills so very, very likely a sizeable hunk of the exam will require your research methods skills.

After doing questions, get feedback on them. This is the most important part Ė no point in doing them in the first place if you donít use them to figure out what you need to improve on and how you can improve. Ask your teacher to mark them, harshly mark them yourself (as if you were an examiner) or better yet, get a friend or classmate to mark each otherís work. Youíll see different approaches to the same question, help improve your cohortís exam performance, and possibly see stuff that you mightíve missed Ė win-win situation for everyone!
 
Practice questions > practice exams
Obviously, you do you and what best works for you, but I personally didnít find spamming practice exams the best revision tool. This was because: 1) exams have Ďeasyí and Ďhardí questions, and I found that I was wasting my time doing the easy questions that I was confident with, when instead I couldíve been focusing on the questions that I found difficult and needed to improve on. And 2) for me, doing practice exams in the first place was to improve time management but I found that the 3 hours was more than generous, so as long as I didnít majorly stuff, I didnít really need practice exams for that. Of course, do a few full practice exams to get used to the exam day conditions and the feel for having both easy and hard questions, but I personally wouldnít go overboard with doing something like 20 full practice exams. Do practice questions that focus on your weak points instead (quality > quantity). 

Clean up your notes
Having a good set of notes to refer to is essential to good exam prep. But by now, you probably have a yearís worth of notes, which was fine when you were revising for each SAC, but now itís exam time and you donít want to be flipping through page after page just to find one single thing. And plus, although youíre being test on anything youíve covered this year, youíre not going to use EVERYTHING youíve learnt this year in the 3-hour exam. Hereís how can polish off your notes:
- Arrange your notes under the study design key knowledge dot points (located here). VCAA cannot ask you anything that isnít there. Unit 1 and 2 isnít examinable or assumed knowledge; you just need to know stuff under Unit 3, Unit 4 and the cross-study specifications. Anything that doesnít fit under any of those dot points, you probably donít need to know.
- Have 2 examples at most for concepts that require them. You probably will only use 1 but remember 2 just to be on the safe side. VCAA has 120 marks to test an entire yearís worth of stuff and theyíre not going to waste it by asking you to give 3 examples of something.
- Be realistic about what theyíre going to ask you. You wonít need to know what the Ďmyoí part means in electromyograph, nor will you need to know what date the Baby Albert experiment ended Ė all of this is superfluous information.

Donít ROTE learn everything
Okay, this might seem like pretty stupid advice for a subject like Psychology where thereís so much content to learn, but, hear me out for a bit. Donít memorise the content by writing or reading out your notes over and over again. There will obviously be some exceptions where ROTE learning is necessary, but instead try and memorise the info in a way that will be like how youíll be using during the exam. For instance, by doing practice questions open book, and only looking at your notes when youíre about something. This way, recalling and applying the content will be way easier during the exam because thatís how youíve been doing it while preparing. If you ROTE learning everything, you will recall everything as exactly that: ROTE-learned facts. But the problem with this is gone are the days when the exam was just a game of recall. The new study design was expressly made to move away from this and towards a more application-based understanding, so using ROTE learning as your main method of memorisation is probably not the best way to do things (and writing and saying the same thing over and over again is so boring anyways).

Take care of yourself
Not VCE Psychology related but itís an important point worth mentioning. Sleep, breaks away from studying, and adequate food and drink are all equally important to exam preparation as studying - don't forget to take care of yourself!



--

Good luck revising for your exams! :D
Thanks for taking your time to provide these very useful tips! I think I finally realized the importance of practice exams after reading this post lol!