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How to Tackle Exams

TUTOR:
HOWARD JACKSON

Most common reasons


for failing exams are:

Bad time management


Not reading instructions
Not answering the questions asked
Lack of technical knowledge

Common examination
problems: Examiners want
an answer to the specific question posed
They often get
highly general answers that fail to tackle the
specifics of the question and instead, tell us
everything that the student can vaguely remember.
The solution
read the questions and write an answer that
addresses the specific question posed . Avoid
putting down everything that you know in a general
and indiscriminatory manner.
CIM Workbook

Common examination problems


(cont.): Examiners want
a clear and distinct structure
They often get
inadequate or non-existent structures and a
series of generalised ramblings based on
unrealistic and unsustainable assumptions.
The solution
a strong and obvious structure with sub
headings and key points that have been
highlighted.
CIM Workbook

Common examination problems


(cont.): Examiners want
examples to illustrate the points being made
They often get
a total absence of examples
The solution
several brief, carefully chosen and appropriate
examples

CIM Workbook

Common examination problems


(cont.): Examiners want
reference to the appropriate literature and/or
research findings.
They often get
a lack of awareness of what is happening in the
world of marketing.
The solution
evidence that you are aware of what has been
written in the area and what is happening
currently.
CIM Workbook

Common examination problems


(cont.): Examiners want
a firm conclusion and, where asked for, an
evaluation of the issue that is at the heart of
the question.
They often get
answers that tail off or stop abruptly midsentence.
The solution
answers that conclude with a summary or
evaluation of the key issues raised.
CIM Workbook

Common examination problems


(cont.): Examiners want
answers that illustrate that the candidate has a
clear and detailed understanding of marketing
and the marketing process.
They often get
answers that show far too little understanding
of the subject.
The solution
read, practice on past papers, and THINK!
CIM Workbook

Common examination problems


(cont.): Examiners want

answers that are written in the format that is


specifically asked for, be it a report, memo,
briefing paper, essay or marketing plan.
They often get
either a general essay or a series of bullet
points which lack any elaboration or sense of
perspective.
The solution
an answer that adopts the format asked for. If
no format is specified make sure your style is
easy to read.
Adapted from the CIM
Workbook

When you are told You now have


two hours to complete the exam.
Make sure you
read the instructions first
then read the questions carefully
plan your answers to questions, identifying and
highlighting those issues which are particularly
relevant to the questions posed.
re-read the questions and cases note the split
of marks and divide your time pro rata to the
marks available for each question.
Write clearly!

And Finally: