Re: Advice from a graduated HSC student on how to excel in senior year studies(yr 11/
Below are some more tips for acing science exams
My top tips in maximising marks for multiple choice questions:
1)Make sure you read the question carefully-some multiple choice can be quite hard-don't presume every question is easy.
2)Make sure that you eliminate the choices that are definitely not the answer, and decide on the MOST APPROPRIATE and ACCURATE choice that answers the question
3)It is always advisable that if you have considered a multiple choice answer for an appropriate amount of time, that near the end of the exam, unless you are absolutely confident, don't change your answer.
My top tips to maximise your marks in short and long responses:
1)Make sure you allocate a sufficient amount of time to answer the question according to the marks given and the time you have to do the exam. You may choose to use a pencil to make a rough plan on the points you need to include in the margins before you start writing your answers in pen.
2)Make sure you read the question as least TWICE. DO NOT INCLUDE ANYTHING THAT IS NOT DIRECTLY RELEVANT TO THE QUESTION. Only information directly answering the question will be awarded marks.
3)Make sure you write legibly in the exam, teachers cannot award marks to what they can't read.
4)Include relevant BALANCED chemical equations and clearly labelled diagrams when appropriate to support your answer. Make sure you explain the relevance of the equation and or/diagram you are including qualitatively in your answer
5)Make sure you don't write an excessive amount, the lines allocated to a question is usually a good indication of the expected length. When you keep writing excessively, you risk REPEATING YOUR POINTS as well as possibly CONTRADICTING yourself which results in no marks awarded.
6)Use a table format where appropriate to answer the question-use the clearest format possible to present RELEVANT INFORMATION to get your marks.
7)The most IMPORTANT tip is to make sure you are answering what the exam verb requires you, for example in an EVALUATE question, you will not be able to get full marks if you don't make a final, personal judgment based on the issues you have evaluated for the question. Go to board of studies website and make sure you REMEMBER and know how to apply the definitions of the exam verbs commonly used.
My top tips for answering CALCULATION QUESTIONS:
1)Make sure you read the question several times.
2)Record down all the quantities known and the quantities that needs to be find/determined
3)Make sure you include relevant BALANCED chemical equations where appropriate. This also comes from the need to remember general reactions, for example, a complete combustion reaction often has carbon dioxide and water as the products of the reaction, acid-base (neutralisation reaction) yields the product of a salt and water etc.
4)MAKE SURE YOU DO YOUR FULL WORKING OUT, depending on the marks of the question, you may not get full marks just for an answer, you need to show the PROCESS of reaching your answer in a coherent fashion. MAKE SURE YOU WRITE DOWN THE CHEMICAL FORMULA you are using and the substitution of the given quantities into the formula.
5)Make sure that the decimal places in your answer does not exceed the smallest number of decimal places in the question. Also make sure you retain exact values throughout your calculation-can use the memory button in your calculator, only round off at the end.
6)Again, it is important that you don't use too many arrows to direct the continuation of your answer in various places. Try to work from top to down, and if a qualitative conclusion needs to be drawn from quantitative calculations, make sure you do that. Make sure your writing is legible so that teachers can award marks for the knowledge you have shown.
7)Make sure you use SI units in all your calculations. If the units in the question is not SI, make sure you convert it into SI units, and you should include relevant units in your answer when appropriate.