Lecturers won't check over my past paper answers Watch

GeolPhysics
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I'm not going to post this at my university forum in case they know it's me. But I've been having this issue lately. Some of the lecturers are kind enough to check it over. But the ones who aren't have left me at a lost for the exam day. My grades are mediocre and I really want to improve them but without the lecturers input, I don't seem to be getting anywhere. It's not like in high school where the teachers would look over past papers if you did them. It seems like we don't get enough support from university lecturers if we aren't naturally talented at said course. At exam day, I still don't know if I'd get full marks for a question because the answers I have written have not been checked over previously. In high school, I'd pretty much know how I did after the exam. And we also aren't allowed to get our exams back after we did them. That means I learn nothing from my mistakes.
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MrMusician95
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Yeah, it's annoying but unfortunately they don't have to. I had one lecturer that said no when I asked him for example exam questions.
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gutenberg
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As others have said, lecturers are not obliged to do this. The ones that do, do it as a personal choice but it would be unreasonable to expect it as the rule. Imagine if everyone on your course wanted the same thing - lecturers would be inundated, with barely any time for anything else. Some courses have 100+ students on them, so it's simply impossible.
I would try to learn as much as you can from those who are happy to provide informal feedback. Read any feedback you get on actual assessments, and be sure to ask about anything you're not sure of. And look at your university's marking criteria, which should be available to you.
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Mr Wednesday
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(Original post by gutenberg)
As others have said, lecturers are not obliged to do this. The ones that do, do it as a personal choice but it would be unreasonable to expect it as the rule. Imagine if everyone on your course wanted the same thing - lecturers would be inundated, with barely any time for anything else. Some courses have 100+ students on them, so it's simply impossible.ilable to you.
This !


I hear this kind of complaint occasionally, students want lecturers to do something "above and beyond" as a special favour just for them, but don't seem to have any concept of the workload involved or the possibility of being accused of favouritism and bias if you give extra help to a few students.

Let's say you do want that "check my practice exam" to be formally part of the course. Ok, lets do the maths, 100 students x 2 hours per paper = 200 hours of lecturer time burnt up. What part of your course would you like that 200 hours deleted from, seminars, tutorials, lab supervision ?
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Reality Check
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(Original post by GeolPhysics)
I'm not going to post this at my university forum in case they know it's me. But I've been having this issue lately. Some of the lecturers are kind enough to check it over. But the ones who aren't have left me at a lost for the exam day. My grades are mediocre and I really want to improve them but without the lecturers input, I don't seem to be getting anywhere. It's not like in high school where the teachers would look over past papers if you did them. It seems like we don't get enough support from university lecturers if we aren't naturally talented at said course. At exam day, I still don't know if I'd get full marks for a question because the answers I have written have not been checked over previously. In high school, I'd pretty much know how I did after the exam. And we also aren't allowed to get our exams back after we did them. That means I learn nothing from my mistakes.
I think you're making unsustainable comparisons between secondary school and university. Your A level school or college teachers probably had a class of 10-15 to teach. Though busy, this allows the teacher to give detailed feedback on individual pieces of work fairly regularly. Compare this to the uni lecturer, with several teaching modules of possibly hundreds of students, all of whom will produce at least one piece of coursework that needs marking - in addition to his research responsibilities and other duties. It's simply not realistic to expect a university lecturer to give you the same detailed level of feedback that you might expect in school.

If you really would like feedback on a certain piece of work, then email the marker/lecturer concerned and ask politely if you can discuss it. I'm sure they will be happy to help if they can. But it's not realistic to expect this to be a regular thing, or something which automatically happens, for the reasons I've given above.
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GeolPhysics
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(Original post by Reality Check)
I think you're making unsustainable comparisons between secondary school and university. Your A level school or college teachers probably had a class of 10-15 to teach. Though busy, this allows the teacher to give detailed feedback on individual pieces of work fairly regularly. Compare this to the uni lecturer, with several teaching modules of possibly hundreds of students, all of whom will produce at least one piece of coursework that needs marking - in addition to his research responsibilities and other duties. It's simply not realistic to expect a university lecturer to give you the same detailed level of feedback that you might expect in school.

If you really would like feedback on a certain piece of work, then email the marker/lecturer concerned and ask politely if you can discuss it. I'm sure they will be happy to help if they can. But it's not realistic to expect this to be a regular thing, or something which automatically happens, for the reasons I've given above.
I guess you're right. I did email him a question to mark but he hasn't replied back in a few days. I guess I'll continue to have struggling grades. I worked with friends on past papers but still unsure if they're right. I also use study help on TSR but it's unreasonable to post all my past paper answers on there for someone to check.
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Mr Wednesday
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(Original post by GeolPhysics)
I worked with friends on past papers but still unsure if they're right.
That's exactly the way to do this, many universities will release a portfolio of papers and working through them is key to exam success.

Does your course have problem sheets and worked example handouts ? That's where the lecturer will be giving you the detailed "do x, y, and z to nail this question" guidance. A sensible lecturer will also be using that process to say (typically not too subtly) "this is what the exam is going to look like".
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Reality Check
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(Original post by GeolPhysics)
I guess you're right. I did email him a question to mark but he hasn't replied back in a few days. I guess I'll continue to have struggling grades. I worked with friends on past papers but still unsure if they're right. I also use study help on TSR but it's unreasonable to post all my past paper answers on there for someone to check.
It needs to be a balance. It's not unreasonable for you to expect feedback on your work, and neither is it unreasonable to enquire as to your work with university lecturers. By the same token, lecturers expect you to be much more self-starting and self-reliant when you are studying at university, and not to expect the same level of support (which includes marking feedback) that you might have received at school.
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GeolPhysics
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(Original post by Mr Wednesday)
That's exactly the way to do this, many universities will release a portfolio of papers and working through them is key to exam success.

Does your course have problem sheets and worked example handouts ? That's where the lecturer will be giving you the detailed "do x, y, and z to nail this question" guidance. A sensible lecturer will also be using that process to say (typically not too subtly) "this is what the exam is going to look like."
We have answers for tutorial sheets but not past papers. I have actually turned to private tutoring recently to see if anyone can help me/check my answers. Found a few local people who studied something similar to me and now they're going to help me. The only problem is that I won't have anyone to check over what they've written. I guess I'll have to trust what they've written is right.
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by GeolPhysics)
.................
As well as the time factor, well described above, you are mistaking the nature of university exams.

School exams have become (to their detriment, hence employers complaints etc) purely transactional. Apart from not knowing the precise question, the exam boards give so much detail on standardised answer structures, marking schemes etc, that the 'skill' involved in passing school exams is not one of creativity - putting different facts together and building something new, but of regurgitating structures and language in very precise, pre-learnt ways.

University exams do not work like that. There are not (or should not be) model answers, endless past papers to practice with. University level learning is about being given a framework of knowledge, and then building a body of knowledge yourself around that framework, and then creating arguments, justified opinions, approaches, perspectives etc under exam conditions.

So apart from honing the core academic skills of evidencing, referencing, constructing an argument, countering opinions, judgement, analysis, research etc, the end product is individual.

If you looked at A* A level papers, chances are you would see very similar patterns of language, structure and facts. If you looked at a series of university exam papers awarded a 1st in the same subject, you would probably see a much more eclectic array of answers, from different perspectives, all much more individual. That is the purpose of university education.
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GeolPhysics
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(Original post by threeportdrift)
As well as the time factor, well described above, you are mistaking the nature of university exams.

School exams have become (to their detriment, hence employers complaints etc) purely transactional. Apart from not knowing the precise question, the exam boards give so much detail on standardised answer structures, marking schemes etc, that the 'skill' involved in passing school exams is not one of creativity - putting different facts together and building something new, but of regurgitating structures and language in very precise, pre-learnt ways.

University exams do not work like that. There are not (or should not be) model answers, endless past papers to practice with. University level learning is about being given a framework of knowledge, and then building a body of knowledge yourself around that framework, and then creating arguments, justified opinions, approaches, perspectives etc under exam conditions.

So apart from honing the core academic skills of evidencing, referencing, constructing an argument, countering opinions, judgement, analysis, research etc, the end product is individual.

If you looked at A* A level papers, chances are you would see very similar patterns of language, structure and facts. If you looked at a series of university exam papers awarded a 1st in the same subject, you would probably see a much more eclectic array of answers, from different perspectives, all much more individual. That is the purpose of university education.
I see now. I think I've been approaching university education all wrong then. I'm used to doing it the school way. Kind of rubbish with the creative way needed at university level. I've already completed three years of uni, just one more year to go because I go to a Scottish uni.
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