What to do:
How many times have you heard the question…
Sir/Miss is this the real exam?
Will this count towards our final mark?
Surely, students should know the answers to these questions! Surely, they should also know EXACTLY what their exam papers are asking them to do.
So, try this. Get an original past paper, preferably last years.
Annotate it. Do it live using a visualiser.
- What each part of the instructions/information means- be explicit/obvious
- Explain to them which questions are which assessment objective- repeat for ALL questions
- Highlight and circle the marks that the answers required
- Remove the usual misconceptions- by annotating where they usually occur
- Break down the times for them, work it out for them, is it a minute a mark, 25 minutes per section and so on, write this on
- Write the grade boundaries on the paper showing the difference between grades
- Explain/write/state what the examiners report felt was crucial to achieve a top mark
- Write important mark scheme references/page numbers for their revision guides next to questions
Then scan the paper and put it online, on a class blog– here is mine. www.cheneyre.edublogs.org If a student is absent then you could simply photocopy and give an annotated paper to them.
Or, then try a walking talking mock?
Get them to create their own examination papers, with typical/expected questions. Check they know the key details. Questioning structures, marks and so on?