Советы были для экзамена П2, но хороши для всех экзаменов.

Советы могут казаться банальными и очевидными, но мы все об этих вещах часто забываем.

Here is some very basic exam advice that despite its simplicity is often the difference between a pass and a fail:

Really try to answer the requirements. A nice simple answer directly answering the question will always score higher than irrelevant technical wizardry.

Write clearly
The new online marking has many advantages, but one definite disadvantage is the quality of the image. Don’t worry, image quality is not bad. But it’s very definitely not the same as looking at the original scripts. This has no negative impact on clear scripts, but makes scribbled chaotic scrawl even harder to mark.

Write big
Another down side of online marking is the default image size. It’s about A5. That is, the scripts appear on the markers screens at half the original size that you see when you write the script on exam day. Markers can zoom in, but the functionality of this is jerky and so many markers like, where possible, to view a virtual page in its entirety. If you can make this possible for them, they will really appreciate it. You make this possible by writing big (and clear). Writing does not have to be enormous, but the classic 8 words per line looks just great on screen.

Alternate lines
This advice only applies to those who know they have a tendency to write small. If you are that student, then force yourself to write bigger by skipping every alternate line during your narrative answers.

Number circles
At the top of every page are the number circles. They are for you to communicate the question you are doing. Use the circles. Markers don’t want to guess which question you are answering.

Question per page
When starting a new question always start a new page. You can do this for each part of each question. I think this helps with clarity, but this is not vital. But every time you start a new question, you must start a new page.

Blank pages
The online system copes fine with blank pages. Try to keep them minimal, but use them if you find them useful.

Once you start a question, try to finish it. Do the individual parts in any order. So for example, answering q3b followed by q3a followed by q3d followed by q3c is perfectly acceptable. But don’t throw q4a in the middle of that lot!

Write as much as you feel comfortable writing. Just make sure you answer all the questions in full and give the markers sufficient ideas to give you marks. Some students are unbelievably concise and score good marks in half a booklet (12 pages). Others need three booklets (24+6+6 pages). But if I can be so bold, I suggest you are looking to fill one booklet (24 pages).

Try to balance the effort to the number of marks. It is shocking to see the number of students who write twice as much for their 4 mark answer as they do for their 8 mark answer.

Question selection
This is a tricky but important subject. The hardest question in the B section in recent past has been the mix question (also known as the industry question or the analysis question). So try and prepare yourself for all styles of question. Students during class tend to shy away from the current issues question because of its narrative content. But try to overcome this as this question is often the easiest on the paper.

Reading time
Use this to decide which questions to do and in which order. Then allocate your time on the question paper, so that you know to the very minute when your time is up on each question.

Perhaps the most important advice of all is stick to the timings of questions. The examiner actively encourages markers to be very generous with weak answers and hard on excellent answers. This means if you have 8 out of 10, you are unlikely to persuade the marker to give away another mark. But in the first few lines of the next answer, the marker will be keen to give you marks.

Closely related to the above is completeness. Make sure you answer 100 marks, especially those parts of the exam where you feel weak and know you are guessing. This leads to the next point.

Write anything
Obviously it is always best to write the correct answer. But if you really have no clue, write something anyway. Not only might you strike lucky and get the answer correct, you will also find markers are generous even when you are wrong.