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Upcoming Nab


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#1 Edsterr

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 08:42 PM

I'm currently in 3rd year with my first NAB is scheduled for mid-January, and like most I'm quite nervous. The topic is 'immigrants and exiles' (Scottish & Irish emigration) and I've already sat my class test (getting 18/22).

My main problem however is time management. I simply just taking to long to answer all the questions fully. I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions, or if I should just study and practice more?

#2 Mr. D. Bryant

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 09:28 PM

I'm currently in 3rd year with my first NAB is scheduled for mid-January, and like most I'm quite nervous. The topic is 'immigrants and exiles' (Scottish & Irish emigration) and I've already sat my class test (getting 18/22).

My main problem however is time management. I simply just taking to long to answer all the questions fully. I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions, or if I should just study and practice more?


Welcome to the Forum.

I must admit that I am not at all familiar with this examination's requirements: Mr. Clare may no more. It would be helpful (for me at least) if you could tell us what year you are in and any other relevant information about the exam. However, I can give you some general advice.

Firstly, try doing a forum search on 'timing' as I know we have had similar questions before. Some of this advice may be helpful.

Secondly, more practice would certainly help as the best way to really get your timing sorted out is to practice under exam conditions. Does your teacher have any other practice questions you could have a go at, if necessary at home, under timed conditions?

You also ask whether you should study more. Obviously I don't know how hard you have been working so far (although you're keen enough to ask for help here); often candidates 'know their stuff' but they don't understand how to apply it to their particular exam. In other words, it's a question of the dreaded 'exam technique'. You need to be very clear what the examiner would class as a 'good answer'. Often it's not a question of length, so much as focusing on the question. Of course, for the higher (small 'c') examinations require longer answers than at GCSE or the equivalent.

So, I think the most important thing you should do, if you haven't already, is talk to your teacher and ask them to talk through what is expected of you, using the mark scheme. Examiners' reports may also help with useful advice. Once you are clear about what makes a good answer, then it should be easier to produce better answers by more practice questions under exam conditions.

This is all a bit vague, I know. I hope you find some of it helpful. Please get back to us if you need to and we will see what more we can do. Best of luck for January.

#3 Edsterr

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 04:55 PM

Welcome to the Forum.

I must admit that I am not at all familiar with this examination's requirements: Mr. Clare may no more. It would be helpful (for me at least) if you could tell us what year you are in and any other relevant information about the exam. However, I can give you some general advice.

Firstly, try doing a forum search on 'timing' as I know we have had similar questions before. Some of this advice may be helpful.

Secondly, more practice would certainly help as the best way to really get your timing sorted out is to practice under exam conditions. Does your teacher have any other practice questions you could have a go at, if necessary at home, under timed conditions?

You also ask whether you should study more. Obviously I don't know how hard you have been working so far (although you're keen enough to ask for help here); often candidates 'know their stuff' but they don't understand how to apply it to their particular exam. In other words, it's a question of the dreaded 'exam technique'. You need to be very clear what the examiner would class as a 'good answer'. Often it's not a question of length, so much as focusing on the question. Of course, for the higher (small 'c') examinations require longer answers than at GCSE or the equivalent.

So, I think the most important thing you should do, if you haven't already, is talk to your teacher and ask them to talk through what is expected of you, using the mark scheme. Examiners' reports may also help with useful advice. Once you are clear about what makes a good answer, then it should be easier to produce better answers by more practice questions under exam conditions.

This is all a bit vague, I know. I hope you find some of it helpful. Please get back to us if you need to and we will see what more we can do. Best of luck for January.


I suppose I just have to keep practicing. I guess I already knew that, but I was hoping there might have been some sort of technique that could have helped.

As for your questions, I am in 3rd year of secondary (if your in America then I am unsure on what grade I would be in).
The topic 'immigrants and exiles' is about; the Irish immigrating to Scotland after 1830 (mostly due to the potato famine), and when Scots emigrated to places like Australia, Canada, USA, for a number of different reasons.
The NAB will continue 3 questions - a source and recall question, a describe question, and a how useful question - plus an 8-mark essay.

#4 MrJohnDClare

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 11:55 PM

Hi.
I'm afraid Mr Bryant and myself are worse than from America - we are both from England!
Yeah - I know - many apologies
:D
However, iut does mean that we are both unfamiliar with the NAB.
As Mr Bryant says, there are a few relevant threads on the forum - worth a forum search.

On timing an exam specifically, this article contains some good common sense.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask.

#5 Edsterr

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 08:38 PM

Hi.
I'm afraid Mr Bryant and myself are worse than from America - we are both from England!
Yeah - I know - many apologies
:D
However, iut does mean that we are both unfamiliar with the NAB.
As Mr Bryant says, there are a few relevant threads on the forum - worth a forum search.

On timing an exam specifically, this article contains some good common sense.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask.


Thanks, I'll just need to keep practicing.
A NAB, by the way, is an end of unit test which you must pass to sit your exams. It stands for National Assessment Bank. If you fail it you are allowed one resit, which if you fail aswell, you are unable to sit your end of year exams.
I'm not sure if it's just an SQA thing, or if it's up to the individual schools to decide. Perhaps it's linked in with intermediate 1/2 (and onwards) instead of with standard grade (and onwards).

P.S. I was unsure whether by saying that you were unfamiliar with NABs that you didn't know anything about them, or that you were not used to seeing them.

#6 MrJohnDClare

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 08:41 PM

I'm afraid I know very little about the NAB.

#7 littlemissy

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 03:30 PM

Another late reply, but just in case anyone's interested ...

There are two separate SQA certified courses that can be studied at equivalent levels in Scotland - 'Standard Grades' and 'Intermediates'. Standard Grade courses(in History) are graded purely on the final exam. Some sunjects such as English have coursework submissions etc. All Intermediate courses have ongoing official but internal assessments called NABs plus a final external exam. The result of your NABs are shown on your SQA certificate. It is up to each school (and to some extent departments within schools) whether they choose to go for Standard Grades or Intermediates.

In response to the student's original question - yes, timing in NABs is just like any other exam where it's practise makes perfect. Read the questions carefully and ask your teacher if you're giving too much irrelevant information. Good luck!




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