Wednesday, 27 January 2016

November OCS - Key points from the examiner's report

Reading the examiner's report can help by giving you an understanding of what the examiner will be looking out for in your own exam.

This way you can build a better structure to your revision, ensuring that the key points are covered by the time the exam comes along next week.

1. Application to the pre-seen = Good

The examiner seemed happy to see that the majority of students were able to apply their knowledge of the theory well to the pre-seen case study itself. This is an important thing to get right, as it shows that you can apply a theory within a worked example, something that will eventually be an everyday part of most of your careers. The examiner also emphasised that there was a good knowledge of the pre-seen company, meaning that students had put in the right amount of time and effort into developing an overall understanding of the pre-seen company, the industry and the potential threats and opportunities that the company may face.

2. Time management = Generally Good

Time management is often something that can be developed through lots of practice, as well as knowledge of the exam style. The November report highlighted time management as an area in which the majority of students had done well in, with very few students having unanswered questions or unfinished answers. However, one aspect that was also picked up on, was the misuse of time in some instances. The examiner reported that a large number of exam scripts had shown evidence of time being wasted on more trivial matters, such as formatting. For example, students might be spending too much time on creating a letter/email that is formal or chatty enough for the fictional situation of the exam questions. An example of this is provided in the main report. The basic lesson from this is to ensure that you do not waste time on things in the exam that will not impact upon your overall grade, you are after-all being tested on your knowledge of the theory and the application of that theory in practice, not your grammatical expertise.

3. Explaining "Why" = Poor

One area that the examiner felt could have been better in the November exam, was the use of the words "because" or "therefore". The report expressed that students had been making good and valid arguments, but were not fully explaining the reason for their decisions/arguments. Ensuring that you can explain "why" allows the examiner to fully understand that your answer is justified, giving you a greater chance of getting the top marks.

4. Skills

In terms of the overall skills demonstrated in the exam, the examiner highlighted that students generally performed well in both Business skills and People skills. Knowledge of E1 therefore was very good. P1 and F1 on the other hand "appeared to be more challenging".

For full analysis of the different exam variants within the November OCS exam, you'll find the examiner's report here: OCS November 2015 Examiner's Report

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