It’s almost that time of the year where you might be thinking, I’ve got this exam under control, or...how on earth am I meant to answer that extended response question???
When you see that 8-10 mark question staring right into your soul, your stomach might churn, your jaw might drop, your head might spin, and you might go pale...no I’m kidding! It definitely doesn’t have to be like that. Yes, while extended response questions are quite challenging and a lot of people struggle to answer them, there is always a systematic approach to these questions, just like every other HHD question. So what should you really be thinking when you see these questions?
Break it down
The question may appear wordy and it will be accompanied by resources including graphs, scenarios and charts and you will be required to link all this information together to answer the question. Firstly, you shouldn’t be overwhelmed by all this information, and it shouldn’t send your mind into a frenzy. Take a step back and study the material carefully. Ask yourself:
What are these graphs really telling me?
What is the trend in each of these graphs?
According to this graph, which groups receive most support from the NDIS? Which groups don’t?
If you are given a scenario, ask yourself:
What is this scenario saying about the health and wellbeing of the individual?
How does this link to the graph I have been presented with?
Does it suggest that this individual is satisfied with the service they are provided?
There are a million questions you can ask yourself, but once you are able to link all the charts, graphs and diagrams together, answering the question will be a lot easier.
Where should I start?
Now to the actual question. The first thing you should do is to look at the command term. Is it telling me to ‘explain’ something (i.e give an example and then expand) or is it telling me to ‘analyse’ something (i.e evaluate the pros and cons of a program). Looking at the command term will give you an indication of the general direction that you should be heading in when approaching the question. Now look at what the question wants you to do. Is it asking you to analyse how the NDIS improves the health & wellbeing of individuals? If this is so, always remember to link it back to the data and scenarios you have been given. Maybe something in the graph says that 50% of the population using NDIS services state that it is helping them improve their participation in community events or something in the scenario says that a person using NDIS has been able to positively interact with other children. Make these links in your head and jot down some ideas before combining them to form a cohesive answer.
Getting those marks
Whether the question is 8 or 10 marks, it would suggest you writing down either 8 or 10 points about the given topic. For example, if the question asks: Using the information provided, analyse the NDIS’s contribution to optimal health and wellbeing as a resource both individually and nationally, you may be able to break it down like so:
2 marks : What is the NDIS? Who does it cover? Provide a brief explanation of what the NDIS actually is
2marks: Describe how health and wellbeing is used as a resource individually. What are some things you can see in the scenarios or graphs that suggest this?
2marks : Describe how health and wellbeing is used as a resource nationally. What are some things you can see in the scenarios or graphs that suggest this?
2 marks: State the pros and cons of the program according to the data provided. For example, is a certain group of people unsatisfied with the service provided? Is the NDIS providing assistance to a broad demographic of Australians?
By systematically breaking down the question, you are guaranteed to maximise your marks.
So my final tip is, do not panic! Stay calm and think clearly and you are on your way to gaining those 10 marks!!
Have a question?
In the final days before exams Martina will be hosting 2 Live Q&A sessions to help everyone get fully prepared for exams. If you have a question on how to best get prepared, have been stuck on an exam question or want to clarify an area of content send it through here, and Martina might answer it live!