Rlove95
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I personally think we don't get enough time to complete our exams, especially for essay-based subjects like English Literature. Usually, my major exam problem is timing, I can never finish in time and I know so many other students who have the same problem - it doesn't feel like it's just me, especially in my Government and Politics class no one has ever been able to finish all the questions usually we have to skip the conclusion or just stop mid-sentence even if we had plenty more to write. I feel like the timing of exams is really unfair, exams are supposed to test what you know? what's the point of the test if you don't get given enough time to even write what you know. I think we should get extra time for our exams to make sure each student is given enough time to actually write a good, clear, thought-out and FINISHED answer. What's everyone else's views on this?
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Lottie_
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I agree with you here. I know for history (GCSE) everyone who does it (including myself) finds the timing really tough. The paper we do you get 75 minutes and god you have to write loads. Also I think that english is hard to keep up with. On the other hand, I manage to finish my science papers in around 35 minutes (get an hour) and the same with other subjects where I find I'm completed so early. I do agree that they should look at lengthening the times in some exams though although the government don't seem to like people getting good grades and insist that exams are too easy due to the rise in children getting the top grades.
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llys
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I don't feel very strongly about it, but I do think that you have to learn to structure your thoughts quickly and write them down concisely. Those are two very important skills.
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Munrot07
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Personally, never found timing a problem. Granted I do sciences and maths at A level but I have always had plenty of time to answer the questions and even at GCSE with the essay based subjects I found I had plenty of time too. With A levels the exams are roughly a mark per minute and I know that works for a lot of people. However much time we gave to an exam there would always be people who felt it was not enough and would want more time. I know in a 10 hour CA at GCSE people felt that wasn't long enough to write an essay (2000 words). The time limit ensures that people should have enough time to think and write their answers but also mean that they have to keep time. They can't spend ages waffling or ages thinking. In reality you can't spend a long time thinking, you have to come to the correct answer quickly and correctly but you also have to make sure that if you are answering something you answer the question effectively. The example I always think of is that of a teacher. If a pupil comes up to a teacher and asks a question they don't understand, the teacher must answer it in a certain number of ways, instantly (or very quickly), correctly, and making it easily understandable. If the teacher takes too long to think it wont help the pupil, if the answer is wrong it really wont help the pupil and if the answer is confusing or contains a lot of waffle it wont be straight to the point and could confuse the pupil.

While I agree that exams are testing how much a student knows and should provide enough time to show that, students also should learn how to answer questions effectively so that they can do it in a set time. Life rarely gives you the opportunity to have as long as you want. If someone runs out of time in an exam they should think about why they ran out of time. Did they not understand the material so spent a long time thinking, did they not plan effectively or perhaps it was due to a lack of practice. For example in my physics class, we came out of a hard paper (1 hour long) but we ended up all doing quite well. One person came out of the exam saying that he felt the timing was a joke and there was not enough of it. In the mock papers we had done he took hours to complete a paper because he struggled with the content. Is that a fault of the timing of the paper? no, it was the fact he didn't understand and hadn't learnt the subject matter well enough.

Of course everyone is different and there are people who the things I have been talking about do not apply to and just do generally require more time to work and I think perhaps exams could be lengthened but not by much, 15 minutes or so maximum because otherwise it defeats the point of having a timed exam and equally you will get some students going, I finished 30-45 minutes before the exam finished and was sitting around for ages doing nothing, why couldn't the exams be shorter.

Personally after that long winded answer :P I think exams are good as they are.
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justmyself
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(Original post by Lottie_)
I agree with you here. I know for history (GCSE) everyone who does it (including myself) finds the timing really tough. The paper we do you get 75 minutes and god you have to write loads. Also I think that english is hard to keep up with. On the other hand, I manage to finish my science papers in around 35 minutes (get an hour) and the same with other subjects where I find I'm completed so early. I do agree that they should look at lengthening the times in some exams though although the government don't seem to like people getting good grades and insist that exams are too easy due to the rise in children getting the top grades.
I can guarantee you that regarding the timing of History GCSE is all about practise.
Students tend to write a lot and most of the things they write are unneded and extra that do not get you a mark. I practised lots for History and finished few minutes before the end.

I practised a lot and never had an issue with timing, you get a time frame from your teacher on certain questions and you shoukd practise on how to reach that.

My issue on exams is that sometimes the time is so long, I remember countless times I was sat 30 minutes looking around and doing nothing. They should let us go when we finish an exam( apparently that's possible for a-level?).



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College_Dropout
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(Original post by Lottie_)
I agree with you here. I know for history (GCSE) everyone who does it (including myself) finds the timing really tough. The paper we do you get 75 minutes and god you have to write loads. Also I think that english is hard to keep up with. On the other hand, I manage to finish my science papers in around 35 minutes (get an hour) and the same with other subjects where I find I'm completed so early. I do agree that they should look at lengthening the times in some exams though although the government don't seem to like people getting good grades and insist that exams are too easy due to the rise in children getting the top grades.
I found GCSE History fairly good time wise, I usually found myself sitting around waiting for the time to pass during GCSE's. Wait until A levels, you will get a shock then!
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Lottie_
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(Original post by College_Dropout)
I found GCSE History fairly good time wise, I usually found myself sitting around waiting for the time to pass during GCSE's. Wait until A levels, you will get a shock then!
haha I know, I'm mainly alright to be honest it's just history I struggle with and a bit with the english, everything else is fine thankfully.
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Abdullahi_3487
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(Original post by Lottie_)
I agree with you here. I know for history (GCSE) everyone who does it (including myself) finds the timing really tough. The paper we do you get 75 minutes and god you have to write loads. Also I think that english is hard to keep up with. On the other hand, I manage to finish my science papers in around 35 minutes (get an hour) and the same with other subjects where I find I'm completed so early. I do agree that they should look at lengthening the times in some exams though although the government don't seem to like people getting good grades and insist that exams are too easy due to the rise in children getting the top grades.
Yea i agree, the history papers take the micky, u need to write so much and the amount of time u get is ridiculous
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andrew2209
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Toughest papers for me at GCSE were History, English and RS, the latter being rushed for time.

On the flip side, the Maths GCSE papers seemed very long to me. Changing it to 90 minutes as opposed to the current 105 minutes may be a better idea, but I've always been good at Maths, so it's hard for me to judge how the timing affects others.
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jelly1000
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(Original post by justmyself)
I can guarantee you that regarding the timing of History GCSE is all about practise.
Students tend to write a lot and most of the things they write are unneded and extra that do not get you a mark. I practised lots for History and finished few minutes before the end.

I practised a lot and never had an issue with timing, you get a time frame from your teacher on certain questions and you shoukd practise on how to reach that.

My issue on exams is that sometimes the time is so long, I remember countless times I was sat 30 minutes looking around and doing nothing. They should let us go when we finish an exam( apparently that's possible for a-level?).



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depends on the school/college.
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jelly1000
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(Original post by Rlove95)
I personally think we don't get enough time to complete our exams, especially for essay-based subjects like English Literature. Usually, my major exam problem is timing, I can never finish in time and I know so many other students who have the same problem - it doesn't feel like it's just me, especially in my Government and Politics class no one has ever been able to finish all the questions usually we have to skip the conclusion or just stop mid-sentence even if we had plenty more to write. I feel like the timing of exams is really unfair, exams are supposed to test what you know? what's the point of the test if you don't get given enough time to even write what you know. I think we should get extra time for our exams to make sure each student is given enough time to actually write a good, clear, thought-out and FINISHED answer. What's everyone else's views on this?
I regularly have issues with timing but I'm afraid I disagree with you. If you allowed students as long as they wanted then some would write pages and pages rather than thinking 'well i've only got x amount of time, what do I NEED to put in.'
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Rlove95
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(Original post by jelly1000)
I regularly have issues with timing but I'm afraid I disagree with you. If you allowed students as long as they wanted then some would write pages and pages rather than thinking 'well i've only got x amount of time, what do I NEED to put in.'
Yeah I don't think they should have as much time as they want but I do think for some exams the timing is ridiculous. For example AS English literature you have to annotate and analyse a text you've never seen before then compare with three texts (from your memory) that links to it from the Victorian era, you have to think of a prose drama and poem and then write a good structured answer inc all that in an hour. You never get given enough time to plan your answer since you're working against time so you end up writing a waffled paper. I wish I they could give us atleast an extra 15mins for English literature. There are some subjects where timing isn't really an issue since you have to just think of multiple answers to straightforward questions whereas subjects where you have to think of one answer for one complex question or two/three complex question need a lot more time since there's a lot more to include in those answers and a lot more to plan/think about but they are given roughly the same time as the other subjects so it becomes a lot harder to actually show your abilities. Fair enough you need to have quick thinking so they should keep it times but I think they need to assess how much time they are actually giving people but doubt that will happen since the government are adamant on making life 10x harder than it needs to be for everyone.
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SilverstarDJ
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I was pressured by time even at university exams. Our lecturer's who write the papers said this was purposeful - if you have a student too much time they will tend to waffle, and it is a good skill to know how to write consisely (i.e. focus on your most important points rather than an essay being like verbal diarrhoea).

As for GCSE days, yes I was pressured by time but with practise (and lots of it) you do get better!
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discomposure
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I know what you mean, though I suppose one of the things being tested is your ability to work under pressure and to be concise in your answers.

I used to find I was always seriously pushed for time in essay subjects but had juuust the enough time in maths/science to quickly check my answers. I'm doing a biology degree now and so far I haven't ran out of time in an exam, it's been a close call a couple of times and there have been other times when I've had a good 20 minutes to go through my answers :dontknow:

It's not too much of an issue since everyones in the same boat really.
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Amarpreet Kaur
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ABSOLUTELY TRUE! With my Law exam, we're expected to write a lot in just 25 minutes and my un timed essay was an A*, my timed one was a B! You wouldn't suddenly stop a real life case without saying if someone's guilty or not! Why here? I hate it! And what makes it worse is that for the same amount to write, in History we get double!/
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doodle_333
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at the end of the day they're also testing your ability to think quickly and write concisely, at uni you will never get a 'long enough' word count for an essay either as they don't want 50 pages of rambling... everyone is assessed by the same measure so I don't think it's too unfair, and I also find in exams I will write 10-15 pages in a 2 hour paper and other people are moaning they couldn't write enough in the time and only got 5-6, most of the time you CAN write more/faster if you know the stuff better/practice your essays, they need to put some difficulty in them or everyone would get 100%

exams aren't realistic to essay based subjects at all anyway, when will you be expected to memorise that stuff in real life, never... but thye have to assess it some way
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by SilverstarDJ)
I was pressured by time even at university exams. Our lecturer's who write the papers said this was purposeful - if you have a student too much time they will tend to waffle, and it is a good skill to know how to write consisely (i.e. focus on your most important points rather than an essay being like verbal diarrhoea).
The way to test whether someone is able to write concisely and not waffle is not to deprive them of the opportunity to waffle. Tight time limits protect natural wafflers.

In the 19th century there certainly were exams where you wrote until you said all you had to say.
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Ndella
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I understand that exams are somewhat a test of time management, how are you expected to create a well-thought out argument if you have no time to sit and think about how you're going to structure your argument? I had my A2 History mock on Tuesday and gave myself 5 minutes to create a plan for the two essays I needed to write. I personally don't think u had enough planning time since there was so much content to consider in the argument that both my essays were unfinished. I'm actually expecting to get a bad grade
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SilverstarDJ
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(Original post by nulli tertius)
Tight time limits protect natural wafflers.
I don't understand how? If you have a time limit then you are forced to be more concise or else you would lose too many marks.


In the 19th century there certainly were exams where you wrote until you said all you had to say.
But we are not in the 19th century. Giving unlimited times means students just regurgitate anything and everything they know on a certain topic. We need to teach students to selectively choose what information is most important.

Of course if you are really disadvantaged e.g. medical problems that affect your writing, then you will get more time which make things fairer.

When you are doing school exams, they are all standardised anyway. So if the whole country found the timing too tight, and everyone did poorly on average, they will bump up results for everyone. The same thing doesn't happen at uni exams, however.
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llys
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(Original post by SilverstarDJ)
I don't understand how? If you have a time limit then you are forced to be more concise or else you would lose too many marks.
I think he means that if you don't have a time limit, the people who are naturally concise will shine, while the wafflers will waffle and obviously fail to be concise. That makes it easy to distinguish them. In reverse, people who are naturally concise do not need a time limit, whereas a time limit helps natural wafflers to be more concise than they would normally be.

I still think it is good to have a time limit to allow people to demonstrate that they can be concise when it counts, even if their natural inclination is to waffle.
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