Sunday, November 30, 2008

Upper 10's and exam preparation

My upper tens have begun revision for their exam. I've pushed them over the last week, getting them to complete twice as much work as my normal expectation per class as a prelude to expectations in year 11. Next I wanted them to experience the expectation of exams and model how to study in year 11. I set aside four days for them to revise and they did the following:

Day 1: Identification of material that could be in the exam
Day 2: Finding of resources (where in texts, portfolios) and identification of areas of weakness
Day 3: Preparation of notes / judging detail required via marks allocated
Day 4: Review and identification of material to study over weekend

Key findings
Students tend not to use contents pages in texts very well. Even when given words to find (solve, substitute, trigonometry) they can't find where in the text to examine. Students also need to consider that higher order questions are more likely to be in the exam therefore they should make sure they can answer questions at the end of exercises.

It was interesting to note levels of anxiety from the beginning (a couple of students with high levels) and the anxiety decreasing as they realised that they had mastered most of the content already. I look forward to next year when I can show them the progress made from year 9 to 10 by showing them their own year 9 exams and comparing it to their year 10 exam.

Students can now produce notes quite well and after a year of reinforcement they can see how to both use and benefit from them.

Students are starting to see that exam hints can be used to improve marks and how necessary it is to follow up and fix any areas of weakness.

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