Try and weave the question into the answer. Don’t waste time by repeating the question in the first line of your answer. This achieves nothing and receives nothing.
One idea, one sentence. Each paragraph should be covering a main point in the question. Paragraphs highlight your understanding of the content knowledge.
Large questions will need a brief plan. Here you will decide how your paragraphs will look. Where will you will be gaining your marks? Have you covered all the points required for maximum marks?
Look for the action word in the question. These can be words like describe, evaluate, to what extent, discuss, outline etc. Highlight these words – I use blue!
Practice answering some past exam questions from the VCAA website or your text. If you find that you need your text or notes as a reference for writing answers your content knowledge is still building. Keep reading as your content knowledge is of vital importance.
During Year 11 my English teacher commented that my handwriting was unreadable. After 11 years at school and countless notes and essays, my style was shocking. There was a simple solution. Keep trying for some type of improvement or change my style completely.
I thought about this over the summer break. Whilst on patrol at the beach over that summer for the SLSC I was a member of, I read Economics and Law texts. There looked like a lot of note taking was coming up if I was to summarise everything I needed for the exam. How could I adapt to this new situation?
I made a decision that was to change my academic and work life forever. If the teacher and examiner couldn’t read my best writing when answering SACs and Exams, I needed new handwriting that they could read.
In my Year 12 VCE year I mastered taking notes and answering SACs and the final exam by printing capital letters. My teacher was past caring. I’m sure the examiner was impressed they could read my work as I achieved an excellent result in Legal.
If your handwriting is bad, unreadable, messy or just plain aweful, now is the time to address the issue. My solution worked for me. It may appear to be slow however the examiner (assessor) could read my ideas and award the marks I deserved. Perhaps you can work on your own handwriting and improve it?
But the main reason this topic is here is because as an assessor in 2013 for Legal Studies, I was shocked at the poor quality of handwriting that I saw while marking papers. Here is a you tube on improving your handwriting, if anyone finds a better one, send me the link.
Notes and Summaries
This is an example of my own Legal notes from a Post Grad Unit of Law. These notebooks are available at most newsagents. Some students will no doubt use a laptop to make their summaries. My argument is this, you will still be handwriting your SACs and final exam so why not do that for your summaries?