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Concourse 2

Delta Examination tips and pointers


As a teacher, you are probably quite good at advising your students about examination techniques.  Don't forget to tell yourself the same things.

  1. Keep an eye on the marking scheme.  There is little to be gained by spending 20% of the allowed time gathering 6% of the marks.
    • Fix the mark scheme in your mind and ignore the advice on the question paper (which has suggested time allocations).
      In Paper 1, the scheme is:
      Task 1: 6 marks Task 2: 12 marks Task 3: 12 marks Task 4: 20 marks Task 5: 50 marks
      In Paper 2, the scheme is:
      Task 1: 18 marks Task 2: 42 marks Task 3: 40 marks
    • Ration your time according to the marks available per minute.
      Each paper is marked out of 100 so the marks represent the percentage of 90 minutes you should be spending on the task.  So, for every 10 marks available, you should allocate 9 minutes.  Here's a rough guide:
      6-mark question 12-mark question 18-mark question 20-mark question 40-mark question 50-mark question
      5 minutes 11 minutes 16 minutes 18 minutes 36 minutes 45 minutes
      In other words, 1 minute per mark less 10%.
  2. Don't write more than you have to.  There is a maximum which the marker is allowed to award for each item (and it is strictly adhered to).  You will get no credit for writing more than you have been asked to write, no matter how good it is.
    • In Paper 1:
      Task 1 asks for 4 terms to match the definitions.  Supply them and no more.  You will get no credit at all for giving examples.
      Task 2 asks for a definition and an example.  You will get 2 marks for each correct definition up to a maximum of 8 marks and 1 mark for each example up to a maximum of 4 marks.
      If you provide 2 examples for one item, one is wasted.  You cannot provide 2 examples for one item and none for another in the hope that they will be balanced.  They won't.  You have wasted one example and lost a mark.
      Task 3 is similar: 2 marks for each feature and 2 marks for each example.  Extra examples are a waste of your time.
      Task 4 asks for 4 strengths and weaknesses (i.e., you should have at least one in each category).  You get three marks for each one and 2 more for one example of each.  Identifying more than 4 is a waste of time.  Providing more than one example of each is a waste of time.
      You get no marks for justifying your choice, so don't.
      You get no marks for prioritising the areas, so don't.
      Task 5 allows one mark for each correct point you make but you will get no marks for repeating yourself.  Make sure you respond to all the demands of the task and tick them off as you go along.
    • In Paper 2:
      Task 1: You get 2 marks for each positive or negative comment up to a maximum of 12 marks (so include both sorts).  You will get no credit at all for a seventh comment which will simply be ignored as will everything else over the 6 you have been asked for.
      You also get 1 mark for applying your comment to the learner for each idea so make sure you do that.
      Task 2:
      You will get 2 marks for recognising the purposes of the exercises up to a maximum of 12 so you need to identify 6 purposes (not more).
      You will get 2 marks for saying how the exercises combine up to a maximum of 12 marks so you need to say 6 things (not more).
      You get one mark for each of the writer's assumptions you identify.  You are asked for 6 so give 6.  Only the first 6 you state will be marked so make the first 6 your best 6.
      You get 1 mark for explaining the assumption (so refer to learning theory).
      You get one mark for referring to an exercise which illustrates the assumption.
      Task 3:
      In response to the questions, you get 2 marks for each correct point you make up to a maximum of 15 points (i.e. 30 marks).
      The more detail and background theory with correct terminology use etc. you can give, the better.  There are 10 marks available for the depth of your response.
  3. Read the rubric and make sure you have responded to all parts of the task.
    Later questions in both papers (the ones that carry the most marks) usually consist of more than one sub-task.  Make sure you attend to all of them and tick them off as you go along.
  4. Keep it simple.
    If you have forgotten a piece of terminology to describe something, don't leave the area out altogether.  You will get credit for identifying something even if you don't use the techno-term for it.
  5. Be sure of what you say.
    Do not use terminology you aren't sure about.  It is better to supply a non-technical description with an example of what you mean than describe something wrongly.
  6. Be prepared.
    Do thorough revision and you will feel confident and assured.
    Make sure you do the mock examinations on this site conscientiously.


Preparing for the Module One Delta examination

These links may be helpful.

a Module One preparation course a free Delta Module One preparation course
a Module One revision course do this after you have taken a face-to-face or online course
Delta Paper 1 task by task taking you through the examination papers, task by task
Delta Paper 2 task by task
Paper 1 revision exercises exercises to test yourself: are you ready?
Paper 2 revision exercises
Delta mock examination + key do this when you feel you are ready
go to the Delta index