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B822 exam: 52 hours to go!

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 17 Jun 2012, 09:13
Exam preparation. I am spending more time writing out by hand to get my head/body used to this ancient practice of scribling rather than tapping or increasingly speaking what I want to express. Using 12 mnemonics to cover a substantial chunk of the course, each a catalyst into deeper, easily expanded threads on personality types, creative organisations, frameworks, cps techniques, barriers, specific examples and so on. This process must be drawing to a close as I now have a master key mnemonic that ensures a cue into them all. 'My PHD VOICE PR' is of course as meaningless to anyone else as sharing a dream. These 12 letters are the first for all the B822 mnemonics that I have devised, learnt and repeatedly tested myself on; they vary in length from 4 to 15 letters, thus giving me a matrix of some 100 facts/events/issues. These, a 'mind dump' in the first 10-15 minutes form my very own 'smorgasbord' from which I will draw my responses when I finally turn the page and look at the questions. 5 minutes to make my three choices, then 5-10 minutes on an essay plan for each. I give myself then 45 minutes to write each answer and only once all three are 'in the bag' in some form will I allot my remaining time, potentially 5 minutes on each. Can my wrist sustain writing for such a marathon. I doubt it. Is it too late to scribble out longhand for three hours on the trot? I'll do a mock exam this afternoon and tomorrow afternoon and hope my hand doesn't get unduly blistered.
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I've learnt something!

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You'd hope after 19 weeks!

TMA01 the first draft of this 3000 word report was somewhere around 12000 words, too over 20 draft to cut down and looked dreadful in what might have been the final version.

Then I started again, off the top of my head, as if writing under exam conditions.

Success after much pain.

TMA02 the first draft was around 8000 words. Adopting the same process of putting everything in, then precising, prioritising, was still the approach. i.e. why use one quote when six will do sad

Before submitting I felt there was a misalignment between the question and what I had written. Trying to weave a tapestry to someone else's design isn't my style. Six re-writes to the final version. Happy.

TMA03 got me to the stage where I thought I was writing like an academic - I had nailed an 80% score on a thoroughly researched, well researched and justified piece. It needed a day or two to subtle, and someone else's eyes to point out that I had forked away from the question in the second part. Unspotted, the TMA went in. Disaster. From my perspective. And major disillusionment. In the 'real world' this doesn't happen because you are working with colleagues and collectively you are far more likely to stay on brief.

ECA. Still to complete, but the huge suprise was when I broke it into three parts having assembled it over the last month or so ... I came in several hundred words UNDER the required word count. i.e. I am now building something, rather than taking away.

Perhaps I should adopt the Graham Greene approach to writing. 500 carefully chosen words a day, rather than my preferred approach of the last decade, which is, as here, to write a stream of consciousness, at a jog, never looking back, except to spellcheck.

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