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9IPT: On your marks, get set...

posted Apr 29, 2012, 2:48 PM by Eddie Woo
Tomorrow you'll sit your very first IPT exam! It won't be easy - I intentionally write exams to be difficult, because if they don't challenge you then you don't learn very much from them. But you have no reason to worry if you've been working steadily throughout Term 1 - the concepts being assessed are things that we've spent plenty of time explaining and thinking about! 

Today's lesson I'll give you some final tips for the paper, and then I'll open it up to you to ask me anything you like. (This is often the time when I discover the things that I haven't done a great job explaining in class - sorry.) I thought I'd also reproduce the list of study tasks I mentioned last week, to help you be as prepared as possible by tomorrow afternoon. In order of priority...
  • Complete the past papers that have been issued, and the ones on the intranet. The structure for your exam will be identical, so it pays to be familiar with that and with the kind of questions you'll receive.
  • Make sure you've finished the assigned work for each lesson - particularly the questions towards the tail-end of each lesson, the ones that you tend not to get to before the bell goes!
  • Skim the textbook for concepts - while we've discussed the limitations of the textbooks (particularly how they are outdated and describe a lot of old technology), they are still very useful when providing definitions and summaries of the information processes, as well as the social and ethical issues.
  • Finally, read technology news sites and give yourself some practice identifying processes and issues that come up in various systems and situations. One of the most frequent problems that IPT students have is that they can provide a basic description of an information system and its processes, but they come up short when trying to identify multiple issues or when providing a more detailed analysis of how a system works. That comes with practice - so do yourself a favour and get some done before the exam itself.
If you do all of those, you should be able to walk into that exam hall with confidence. Don't forget to arrive early (I would advise turning up about halfway through lunch). Good luck! :)