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History: Timing?

  • 02-03-2011 4:28pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 244 ✭✭ njd2010


    This may have been discussed on here before but several searches brought up diddly squat...

    My History mock is on Thursday, and what's worrying me is I've got no idea how long I'm supposed to spend on each question/essay, especially the documents question.

    I know roughly what questions are going to come up, but I only found out today that you must do 3 essays, not 2 as we have been doing in every test since 5th year... My writing speed is generally about 15 mins per A4 page, and I'm starting to think that's wayyyy too slow for history....

    So, any tips as regards how much I should be writing, and how long on each question?


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 763 Bottleopener


    What we're recommended to do is:

    ~50 mins: Document Question

    ~40 mins: The 3 essay questions.

    Essays should be around 3.5 pages long.

    The documents question is divided into 4 parts as you probably know. The last part is the contextualisation question which is a short essay based on the topic. This should be around 1.5-2 pages long.

    Good luck - you'd be surprised with how much you can get done in the time :). Remember to make sure you're answering the question - this will help you greatly in the overall impression marks!


  • Registered Users Posts: 774 stealinhorses


    The history exam is the most unfair assessment of students in the whole Leaving Cert, in my opinion. There's a bloke in my class who is an absolute master at history, knows everything - dates, names, organisations, etc., and has a very wide knowledge, well beyond the frame of the LC course.
    In the mock, he only got about 55% just because of his writing speed. It's not that he can't write well or didn't know the material. The only reason for him getting such a poor grade was the fact that he is physically unable to write as much as is required.

    I only wrote 3 pages per each big essay in the mock, and only 2 pages altogether for all the DBQs, because I ran out of time. If only they gave us that extra 10-20 minutes, I might have scraped a better score than 77%, but I was reduced to scribbling down random points in hope of a few marks.

    Exams such as chemistry or physics don't require 3 hours for completion - I finished 15 minutes early in each, with an additional question done as well. Why can't they make history three hours long? The exam is just a race, pure regurgitation comparable to English Paper Two, but with 30 minutes less of writing time.

    The only advice I can give you is to warm up your hand before the exam and write until you burn through the desk with your pen.


  • Registered Users Posts: 244 ✭✭ njd2010


    What we're recommended to do is:

    ~50 mins: Document Question

    ~40 mins: The 3 essay questions.

    Essays should be around 3.5 pages long.
    Perfect, thank you. Would you think it's worth spending slightly less time on the documents question to beef up the essays a bit?


  • Registered Users Posts: 244 ✭✭ njd2010


    Aye, it's strange they don't give you at least 3 hours. There's no reason you should have to race to finish any exam, especially not History. I almost had a whole spare hour after finishing Biology, and that's a much narrower course than History.


  • Registered Users Posts: 763 Bottleopener


    njd2010 wrote: »
    Perfect, thank you. Would you think it's worth spending slightly less time on the documents question to beef up the essays a bit?

    Well the docs question is very easy to get marks in - the first 60 marks require very little historical knowledge :). Do the documents question first - and if you get it done with time to spare you can move on to the next questions, and use the extra time :)


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  • Registered Users Posts: 66 ✭✭✭ Welshman666


    ive got my history mock tommorow also. 3 pages per big essay? we've been told to do like 4/5 pages which i find tough to do in some cases (especially with exam time frame). Sure we will see how tomorow goes ;)


  • Registered Users Posts: 243 ✭✭ GoldRush4821


    ive got my history mock tommorow also. 3 pages per big essay? we've been told to do like 4/5 pages which i find tough to do in some cases (especially with exam time frame). Sure we will see how tomorow goes ;)

    It obviously depends on your writing, but for me any more than 4 pages would be unfeasible in a 40 minute time frame. If you're writing enough SRPs and answer the question specifically you could probably manage an A1 in 3 pages or less.


  • Registered Users Posts: 244 ✭✭ njd2010


    Found out today that I had the timetable wrong, History is tomorrow not today. Spent most of the Irish exam I did have practicing essay writing, and managed to get a 4 page essay on the treaty done in a little over 35 minutes, so maybe all is not lost.... other than my Irish paper 2 ha


  • Registered Users Posts: 763 Bottleopener


    njd2010 wrote: »
    Found out today that I had the timetable wrong, History is tomorrow not today. Spent most of the Irish exam I did have practicing essay writing, and managed to get a 4 page essay on the treaty done in a little over 35 minutes.

    That's a good sign! If you can repeat that in the exam you should be grand :D. Remember - do the essay you're most comfortable first (after the docs q) - then you should be able to pick up momentum and carry it into the other essays :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,264 Fireball07


    We were told

    45 minutes for document
    40 for each essay

    leaving 5 minutes for reading the questions and planning, I suppose.


    I agree that the exam is unfair time-wise. History should be my best subject, I remember a lot of stuff straight away because it's interesting, and I am a pretty fast writer, but I'm nearly always caught for time again. Maybe I should try and edit them more, but I try to put everything I know down just to pick up marks.

    4 pages is the maximum I can do in 40 minutes while thinking about what I'm writing, and that's more than anyone else in my class. Some can only get just under 3...

    I finished my Accounting an hour and a half before the time, my Physics mock about 50 minutes before and both of them are longer than History, it's crazy!


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