How do I stop waffling in Exams

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HadiY
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I'm moving from Year 12 into Year 13 next year. In the exams I do (A level Physics and Btech IT), I end up writing on and on about a point which I just can't explain properly, but have the ideas in my head about. My teachers say I've got the right understanding but not the correct wording that the examiners are looking for, and they say this is the defining factor that prevents me from jumping up multiple grades.

My teachers have told me to work on this, yet I'm still unsure of how to stop this and just write what the examiners are looking for. Any help appreciated thanks!
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username5737602
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Idk about IT but in physics I find that it's okay to waffle to some extent. I usually write more than necessary in exams to make sure than I cover all points and it works. They can't really mark you down for writing too much. As long as your points aren't contradictory of course.
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nousername01
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I always struggle with the same thing haha. Maybe try reading a load of mark schemes to get familiar with what they want as most of the time its pretty generic??
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HadiY
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(Original post by tej3141)
Idk about IT but in physics I find that it's okay to waffle to some extent. I usually write more than necessary in exams to make sure than I cover all points and it works. They can't really mark you down for writing too much. As long as your points aren't contradictory of course.
thats the problem though haha. I know they dont mark you down for it, but I waffle too much and end up wasting time and rushing at the end. I get extra time, but I still run the buffers.
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HadiY
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(Original post by nousername01)
I always struggle with the same thing haha. Maybe try reading a load of mark schemes to get familiar with what they want as most of the time its pretty generic??
I tried that, but i just get bored looking at them for too long.
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nousername01
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(Original post by HadiY)
I tried that, but i just get bored looking at them for too long.
maybe try doing a few a day or just doing the long answer questions or the ones that you know require certain language. Like ignore the 1 and 2 markers because they normally dont require specifics?
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Baleroc
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From my experience, I used to waffle a lot because I didn't understand what I should have been writing, so I used to write about everything I could think of, because I wasn't sure which of that would get me the most marks. When I finally discovered what the examiner was looking for, then the waffling decreased significantly.

I would advise looking at, for example, CGP revision books for different descriptions/answers to the same question. CGP often condense their answers into a concise sentence that accurately describes the point. Alternative solutions would be looking at how others would answer that question, perhaps looking at alternative answers.

You could also ask your teacher to see a model answer to the question. Sometimes exam boards have a mark scheme for past papers where they discuss the answers candidates provide, and the answers they are looking for in a question, and what is expected, typically breaking down the points/marks for each answer.

I would definitely recommend:
a) Go on the exam board's website, find the mark scheme and examiner notes and see how the distribution of marks for each question occurs
b) Look at alternative answers to questions and see how other people answer it, particularly revision guides or other tutors, like CGP.
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HadiY
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(Original post by Baleroc)
I would advise looking at, for example, CGP revision books for different descriptions/answers to the same question. CGP often condense their answers into a concise sentence that accurately describes the point. Alternative solutions would be looking at how others would answer that question, perhaps looking at alternative answers.
Thanks! Where can I find these?
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HadiY
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(Original post by nousername01)
maybe try doing a few a day or just doing the long answer questions or the ones that you know require certain language. Like ignore the 1 and 2 markers because they normally dont require specifics?
Good point, ill try those thanks.
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mnot
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waffle normally comes from a lose understanding, you know roughly what you want to talk about but don’t have an intricate enough understanding to hit the nail on the head, hence you waffle on in desperation to put down what the mark scheme wants.

In other words, you probably need to sharpen up your understanding of the syllabus & practice more.
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Baleroc
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(Original post by HadiY)
Thanks! Where can I find these?
On their website:
https://www.cgpbooks.co.uk/secondary-books/science?sort=best_selling&quantity=36&page=1&view=grid&currentFilter=Subject_9&filter_key%20stage=KeyStage_270&filter_subject=Subject_38%2CSubject_865%2CSubject_42%2CSubject_655

These are all the Physics books for A-level, including Revision Guide and Textbook. Textbooks are the long text-based books, designed for comprehensive understanding and completeness; covering the physics syllabus and beyond. They discuss topics beyond the Physics A-level, while the revision guides are short and straight to the point, focusing on the syllabus of Physics, but covers less comprehension compared to a textbook. They are best for understanding the physics syllabus.
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Baleroc
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(Original post by Baleroc)
On their website:
https://www.cgpbooks.co.uk/secondary-books/science?sort=best_selling&quantity=36&page=1&view=grid&currentFilter=Subject_9&filter_key%20stage=KeyStage_270&filter_subject=Subject_38%2CSubject_865%2CSubject_42%2CSubject_655

These are all the Physics books for A-level, including Revision Guide and Textbook. Textbooks are the long text-based books, while the revision guides are short and straight to the point.
Also, if you are looking primarily for questions and answers, perhaps you might want to look at their Workbooks.
The workbook has lots of questions in Physics, with the answers on the last page. You can compare your answers to their answers, to help formulate and reduce your waffle.
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HadiY
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(Original post by mnot)
waffle normally comes from a lose understanding, you know roughly what you want to talk about but don’t have an intricate enough understanding to hit the nail on the head, hence you waffle on in desperation to put down what the mark scheme wants.

In other words, you probably need to sharpen up your understanding of the syllabus & practice more.
Not really like that with me. I do know what i'm talking about, but I just can't explain it properly without spending ages making sure the person reading it understands. I do that even verbally. I will however take your ideas on board, thank you.
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HadiY
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(Original post by Baleroc)
Also, if you are looking primarily for questions and answers, perhaps you might want to look at their Workbooks.
The workbook has lots of questions in Physics, with the answers on the last page. You can compare your answers to their answers, to help formulate and reduce your waffle.
Cheers very helpful. I'll take a look at these! I do have a CGP a level physics textbook, but the questions I attempt on there do not have answers to them unless you buy a separate book which puts me off doing work on it...
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mnot
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(Original post by HadiY)
Not really like that with me. I do know what i'm talking about, but I just can't explain it properly without spending ages making sure the person reading it understands. I do that even verbally. I will however take your ideas on board, thank you.
I suspect im right, if you had a stronger understanding you could be more concise & get your thoughts out without the waffle.

Nevertheless this is for you to decide. Perhaps im wrong.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by tej3141)
Idk about IT but in physics I find that it's okay to waffle to some extent. I usually write more than necessary in exams to make sure than I cover all points and it works. They can't really mark you down for writing too much. As long as your points aren't contradictory of course.
Whilst I appreciate you say this 'worked for you' it's not good examination technique or advice to follow. Writing tersely, accurately and covering the marking points clearly is essential to do well in GCE examinations. Whilst examiners do not 'mark you down' for writing too much, the problem is that the marking point can get buried in a wall of waffle, and can be difficult to tease out, match to the correct command word and award the mark. You are also more likely to inadvertently contradict yourself, ending up in a mark of zero due to the list principle.

I have marked GCSE and A level biology papers, and the common theme of those who do well is a lack of waffle and over-writing. You would be amazed at how little you need to write to get maximum marks on each question.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by mnot)
waffle normally comes from a lose understanding, you know roughly what you want to talk about but don’t have an intricate enough understanding to hit the nail on the head, hence you waffle on in desperation to put down what the mark scheme wants.

In other words, you probably need to sharpen up your understanding of the syllabus & practice more.
PRSOM - exactly.
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