Author: Ian McAllister
Trees to Beat the Examiner
Finally the details, only needed for a deep study of the book. Make separate trees for each chapter, indicating any points that you don’t understand, together with page numbers, then look through the difficult parts again in turn, again and again, till each clicks into place.
With a jigsaw puzzle you would not dream of asking for help with the difficult bits, but when studying a book you should ask your teacher and or your classmates. Your classmates who understand can probably explain better than the teacher, because they have just solved the problem for themselves.
You may even be able to cheat a little. Supposing you have to study “War and Peace”. Your first step is to see how big it is, and you give up!
If you are lucky the library will have books about the book. You might find an abridged version, or commentaries, or summaries, or “popular” versions.
You can’t possibly do justice in an exam to a book this size, even if you have memorized it. However fast you write, you can’t cover very much during a 40 minute answer. So make your tree from the summaries and commentaries, and you can probably give a better answer in the exam than those who really read the book.
|I’ve been showing you how to use trees for studying. But now the time has come to show you how to use them in your exams.If you want to read the rest of the book now, go to my exam mastery sales page|
Next we come to the tree when giving information, e.g. in an exam. When you are answering an essay you should first of all decide on your approach (see the first of my chapters about essays – chapter 9).
Then you should take about 5 minutes to make a tree on scrap paper. Number the branches to show which you will write about first. Your ideas will have come all jumbled up but the numbers on the tree will have organized them.
If you are writing a thesis or a book, make a tree for the whole book. Each branch will represent a chapter. Then make a tree for each Chapter.
You don’t have to do it all at once. As you research the subject you will add a bit here and a bit there to the relevant trees, just like in your jigsaw puzzle. Then write each chapter from the trees.
You might even choose to put your tree at the top of an essay in the exam. You will then have to think how to refer to the “Illustration” in the text so as to get marks for it in an essay.
(to be continued)