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Multiple choice Short answer Essay questions Open book Laboratory exams Auditions The medical viva Practical exercises
Examinations are firmly entrenched in the academic system, much to the chagrin of most students. Regrettably, just about
Preparing for specific exams
every subject you will study will conclude with some kind of assessment. Visualise this end of year scene. You see yourself approaching the gathering of anxious students at the entrance to the examination venue. `Will X, Y or Z be covered on the exam?? What if a question is asked on topic X? I just dashed through that last night! Do I really understand it?? Not well enough. What if I fail? What an embarrassment!' That frantic, downwardly spiralling monologue is familiar to most students. As much as you would like to see some new, less anxietyprovoking process replace examinations, I regret to say that examinations are here to stay — at least for the near future. Given that reality, let me offer some encouraging words about how to deal with these assessments. Preparation is the key to a more confident and competent approach to these testing ordeals. The more you know about the type of exam you will be confronting, the better you will be able to prepare for it. As will become apparent from the sections of this chapter, different types of exams require different types of preparation. Let's look at some of the varieties of exams which you may well have to confront.
Multiple-choice exams have become increasingly popular with teaching staff, especially with the advent of very sophisticated computer technology. Optical scanning of answer sheets makes marking a very simple chore. The computer can individually analyse each student's performance and provide questionspecific information for follow-up learning. Given the popularity of multiple-choice examinations amongst examiners, it is best to be well