How To Use Exam Papers Correctly
- 11th September 2016
- Posted by: Elizabeth
- Category: Tips
A lot of students ask me this question. How can we study exam papers? There are no answers given, unless you decide that you are going to work with the marking schemes.
Even with the help of the marking scheme, how does an average student mark the written section by themselves? The truth is that it is impossible for a student to grade their own written pieces. However, you can write a sample opinion piece, and bring it to school for correction by your teacher. I will be writing a post on what you need to watch out for when attempting to write flawless French!
There are hundreds of useful documents available to subscribed members of our Junior and Leaving cert plans. A teacher plan will give you access to both.
In order to really well in the written section, your answer, according to the State Examinations Commission, must show evidence of the following:
- Stimulus material well exploited
- High level of textual coherence
- Clarity in argumentation
- Communicative intention fulfilled
- Little or no irrelevant material
- Few mistakes in register
Luckily there is a whole lot that you can be doing on your own, that will help you with the papers. There is no reason in the world why you can’t log on www.examinations.ie, and download the sound file of the listening section. I suggest that you do one section every evening. By limiting yourself to one, you can then work this into your study routine. A lot of teachers have multiple CDs of past exams, so why not ask for a loan of one, and bring it home for the week. Most of the sections run for about 5 minutes. The answers are provided within the Examination Material Archive under Marking Schemes.
For sample revision notes for both Junior and Leaving cert, please click on the following links
As well as doing the actual listening, I would encourage students to make a list of new words from the section, as the past aural tests provide rich vocabulary, and expressions à la française!
I really think that a huge opportunity is being missed by students, when they just take the reading comprehension and try to answer the questions, without getting to grips with the text. I love getting students to read the comprehension out loud in class and then dissect the text within an inch! Reading Comprehensions are generally packed full of verbs, nouns, pronouns, adjectives, prepositions, conjunctions, adverbs etc…etc… Reading is the only way to really understanding the intricacies of a language.
When you are at home, try and pick out the verbs used in the text, and make a list of them. You will be surprised at how many you will find. Then go to the nouns, adjectives and so on. It is time consuming, and apart from learning them, what can you do to actually improve your command of the French language?
TOPIC-BASED LEARNING METHOD
I will go back to my “Topic-based” learning method. Imagine that you decided to read the 1st comprehension from 2016. The title is: STAGE D’ÉTÉ À LONDRES : INDISPENSABLE MAIS COÛTEUX What topic could this be put into? It could be put into a few different ones. Economy/ Travel/ Work/ Importance of Language/ Europe… to name a few…
FRENCH LEAVING CERT REVISION COURSES
If you would be interested in attending one of our French Leaving Cert Revision courses, please follow the link below for more information. All of our monthly courses take place from September to May and are held in Mary Immaculate College, Limerick. Our Courses begin at 1pm and ends at 5pm. The cost is €60 and includes a 30 page booklet with exclusive French Notes content. During our revision courses, students learn how to write opinion pieces, Diary entries and/or the narrative (récit), learn active listening methodology, practice speaking and reading French comprehensions. They also do Translation exercises and study a specific area of grammar.
It is really up to the individual student how they see where a text belongs. After deciding on the overall topic of the piece, the student then takes relevant vocabulary, and puts it under the various headings. If a word can go into several, then put it in to several.
The important thing to remember is that you are building your words, which you can then use in a myriad of ways.
After finding specific words that will be of use to you, take your highlighter and highlight some interesting phrases or verbs that can be used in a lot of different contexts. I have pulled three just to illustrate the point:
En effet – In fact – this is used to give emphasis to a point you are trying to make.
Profiter de – to take advantage of
C’est hallucinant – It is incredible.
I will be coming back to study methodology in future posts, but I do recommend that you start learning how to become an active participant in your learning. Please go to the Leaving Cert Resources section of www.frenchnotes.ie where we have a verb drill section, as well as sections on French expressions and key grammatical constructions.