In my last post I shocked a few people with my statement that you can ‘Get marks on your Science paper without knowing any Science!’. Well, did you check it out? Hopefully you did, and now you know that you can get some very useful marks from data handling questions.
The majority of questions will still require that you know your science, so here’s a few tips to enable you to extract the maximum number of marks.
How many marks are the questions worth? Use your time appropriately – the usual rule is ‘one mark per minute’. So, if you’ve got a question worth five marks you should spend about five minutes answering it.
Look for the command words and underline them. Command words tell you what to do. For example:
Calculate – complete a calculation
Describe – talk through a process or trend. (Imagine you are talking to a friend on your mobile phone – they can’t see the question you’re looking at, so your description needs to be clear and to the point.)
Explain – give reasons for something
Suggest – give possible causes for
As you work through the questions underline any key information. Don’t be put off by the space expected for your answer. There may be five lines and you use only three – that’s fine, so long as you’ve included all relevant information in your answer. You may find that you need more space – be careful, and don’t start writing in the margins or cramming words together. If needed, request another sheet of paper from one of the exam room supervisors.
Make sure you read through your responses really carefully – you can’t afford to throw marks away by not using the correct terminology or relevant scientific terms. Between each question chill for a moment – stay relaxed and focused.
In my next blog post we’ll be looking at ‘self-care’ and what you need to do to look after yourself during the busy exam season.