Since you are close to your exams I will keep this article short to not to waste much of your time.
I used to have problem in scoring in my 1st and 2nd semesters of economics honors
These bullets might help –
- Writing papers in higher education is unlike schools– You no longer can stick to writing objective answers. Try to write as if you are teaching somebody. So there, you might take help of diagrams and examples.
- Consider Marks as time– Think of it as how much time you got to explain the answer to somebody. Thus, more time means you can use more means to explain it to somebody ( by giving examples, diagrams etc. )
- Analyze the pattern your teacher/college follows to evaluate answers– because you cannot advocate any particular way to evaluate. e.g. – if I teach somebody and would like to evaluate him, I would like him to explain me everything I taught. On the other hand, different teacher might check him with core points only
Numerical’s and Proof’s
You cannot really increase or decrease the size of your answers on that. But yes you should explain every step during the solution. Mark your steps by assigning equation numbers. Steps should be complete, no direct calculation or omission of an intermediate step should be done. While answering, always think that if a person who is reading this numerical solution is able to understand the solution or not. In the end don’t forget to highlight the answer and writing Solved or answer beside it. At times there are teachers who will cut your mark just for that. They want you to mention that this is final figure which you have arrived at.
How to prepare for Numerical’s
Lots of practice is the only way. After solved ones if you are able to solve the exercised and unsolved questions then mate you have nailed it and you are ready for the exam.
How to prepare for Proof’s
Do it many a times and don’t ever forget to add up the diagrams if they are needed in a proof. Explain all assumptions and underlying logic. At times books miss certain steps, if you add them up then it impresses the examiner.
I will first explain the preparation part here –
Read, re-read, re-read, re-read, re-read. Yes, that is the only strategy to prepare for theoretical subjects. As many times you have read it, as many times you will be able to grasp the subject. You will start discovering new things and content when you do a re-read of subjects. Don’t try to understand the subject in first go and this stand for every kind of subject, be it numerical based or theoretical. First do an entire read and then in you subsequent re-reads you will start getting the gist. Refer different books for the same subject. Examiner is looking for something different to give you more marks. He doesn’t want the same clichéd answer written by 100 people like you. Your answer should stand apart from your peers.
Now it comes about how to write them –
Pouncing on the numbers which have been assigned to an answer. Also, at times there are so direct answers that you cannot just increase the answer length to please the hurried examiner who measures relevance of the answer by counting characters pounced instead of content.
So when less numbers are assigned, be short, crisp and direct towards them. Again if you have time then only elaborate but don’t keep blabbering the same points again and again. Examiner is not stupid.
Writing paragraphs but in a structured way coupled with points is definite eye-catchers. Somehow I don’t agree with having bull-sh*t in answers to just increase the length but different universities behave differently but still I won’t suggest that.
Strategies which I have used for writing other than the study approach and answering method are –
Use two pens and a pencil. Use a combination of ‘black and blue’ or a ‘blue and light blue’. Use pen of your choice for heading Make the heading it double underline using a pencil.
Now you have come to the answer, there are certain words and point which you want to emphasize on, underline those words using the pencil again.
A new answer should start from a new page. Always start on a new page and don’t forget to write PTO in the end. If the answers are too short then two answers in a page will be fine but then you should draw a separator line between the two answers using a pen. It looks good for examiner helps him in checking, and if you make examiner life easy, he/she will bless you with marks.
Always use the top to bottom approach while answering. Start from first question to the last one in your answer sheet. Don’t pick up the random sequence, this disturbs examiner a lot and at times messes with your marking too because of mistakes (they are prone to do mistakes). If you don’t know an answer or it will consume much time then leave the space in the answer sheet and come back later to answer it. If you cannot then don’t forget to write capitalized BIG PTO in between the answer sheet.
Try answering all the questions. Don’t leave any questions, now a slight paradox from my previous recommendation. I will recommend if you don’t know the answer then if needed do bull shit, but do answer it. At times you know the answer but you are short of time. Then put up the major points. Examiner will get that you were in hurry.
If there are two questions (same weight-age) in the end and you have time to finish one completely then finish only one question. If you have reasonable answer to both of them then using the ‘major points only approach’ and finish both of them.
At last, NEAT handwriting can never get replaced.
Best of Luck!
Simran Jindal – Miranda House – for DU Times