Sunday, 14 March 2010


Totally unrelated to the exams.... but sick to the back teeth of my underpowered Orion I've splashed out on a 2.5 v6. It's in the UK so I don't get to play with the new car until then but.......vrooooooooom!

Think... and Blink

My Guys,

You've got until 20th March to sign up. I was looking at the list yesterday and many of you haven't. If you don't sign up now you'll have to wait until December. I'll warn you again in class this week.... it's your call.

On a similar subject...

I was working Saturday, invigilating the FCE exams and also being an Oral examiner. Some more points:
The Writing paper is to be written in pen. Not pencil. It says so on the front of the paper and I told the students but somehow the message did not get through. I can't see Cambridge docking marks because of this but it hardly shows you in a good light if you get simple instructions wrong. And again.... HANDWRITING! None of my guys took it yesterday. Which is good for me seeing such dreadfully formed letters dancing across the page.
The Listening Paper. You need to write your name on the question sheet as well as the answer sheet. I haven't mentioned this to you before (as I didn't know). I imagine it's so that if you appeal your mark it can be moderated.
The Use of English Paper. Some guys left this exam very early. Check, check and check again, but only change an answer if you are sure. Often your first answer is the best (read BLINK, by Malcolm Gladwell. It tells us that we know stuff when we have a hunch... we just don't know why we know stuff, and often we don't trust the stuff we know because we don't know the why... if you catch my drift).
The Reading Paper. I know the notes say 'please don't write on the exam paper'. But as there's no name on the question paper (unlike the Listening) I suggest you make notes, draw diagrams, use high-lighter pens. Anything that will help you get the answer right.
The Speaking. Fossilised errors really hurt marks. Nice vocab and good, appropriate fixed phrases saved a couple of students from lower marks. Exam technique and good preparation for the interview part of this exam will get weaker students through...
Good luck in May and June... and