Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Assuming Nothing

Teaching my FCE class this evening I was shocked to learn how little my students knew of the exam format. They are a good class, and all just passed a class test I set, which was effectively an FCE Use of English Paper. Fine you may say. But I then went on to talk about the mock exam they are due to take in preparation of the June exam. And the students responded with questions, the answers to which I had assumed they already knew. I was shocked. I had been through the exam before, talked about the individual papers, talked about the best technique for this and that part. All well and good. Yet it had still not gone in somehow. The fault is mine, and will, in part be rectified by the mock, a clone of the exam and excellent prep for them. But it goes to underline the old maxim, never assume (you make an 'ass' out of 'u' and 'me'). And because the level of technique in these exams reflects very strongly in their final grade, it is very worth familiarising students with each foible and idiosyncrasy of the exam.

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