De-coding exam questions
BBA INSET DAY: LITERACY
Teachers working together
On Monday 8th April staff at BBA spent the afternoon in Literacy workshops designed to help deliver more thoughtful literacy provision across the school. A number of workshops were organised by the Literacy Working Party with staff opting to attend a workshop of their choice.
De-coding exam questions workshop
This workshop was aimed at identifying possible barriers that students face when attempting to answer exam questions.
Staff in the workshop came up with the following:
- Meaning of command words
- Meaning of subject specific words
- Meaning of 'examiner type' words
- Scanning the question rather then taking time to read and digest the question
Below are some strategies that teachers felt needed to be taught to students:
- Definitions of key command words - what does 'describe', 'explain' & 'analyse' actually mean. This should be embedded earlier in KS3.
- Model answers using writing frames.
- Encouraging students to 'ask questions of the question' - break long answer questions down into smaller chunks.
- Spend time reading through a question identifying what it is actually asking.
- Highlighting of key words.
- Peer assessment / marking so students get experience of seeing a mark scheme and begin to understand what examiners are looking for.
- Identify number of marks available for a question how that may influence the answer.
- Conceptualising key command words to help students understand their meaning.