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Look at page 26 of IRSE NEWS Issue 158 July / August.

From the next exam [October 2010] the Module 1 exam will feature ten questions from which you must ATTEMPT THREE; the module remains a 1 hour exam so you have TWENTY MINUTES per question.

I have been one of those suggesting that one of the main reasons for the poor module 1 pass rate has been because one dodgy answer meant almost inevitabl;e failure, whereas in a three question paper the other two could pull you through.

The IRSE have listened; I do hope the results this year will rove me right.........
(14-07-2010, 10:30 PM)PJW Wrote: [ -> ]Look at page 26 of IRSE NEWS Issue 158 July / August.

From the next exam [October 2010] the Module 1 exam will feature ten questions from which you must ATTEMPT THREE; the module remains a 1 hour exam so you have TWENTY MINUTES per question.

I have been one of those suggesting that one of the main reasons for the poor module 1 pass rate has been because one dodgy answer meant almost inevitabl;e failure, whereas in a three question paper the other two could pull you through.

The IRSE have listened; I do hope the results this year will rove me right.........

So how did everyone find the new format?
I am afraid to say I struggled with it. I thought the questions were quite specific compared to previous papers and, when deciding which questions to answer, I found that I could have written generally about what was being discussed but not enough on the specifics for the available marks.
I also spent far too long on parts that I did know about. I may be doing module 1 again next year, at least I may be better prepared though.

-I too found that in 20 mins I was not getting into the detail that I could have, and couldn't go into the depths I wanted to as I was constantly aware that I had to move onto the next question.
-The 10 mins reading time for 10 questions gives 1 minute to read and understand each question which is quite tight - This meant that I was reading my questions several times in the exam to make sure I fully understood what they were asking for. It also takes about 5 mins to write the page number, module number, candiate number and question number on 15 sheets of A4, which had to come out of our time - I think this should be done after the exam has finished as this is 5 mins lost stright away.
-I would like to see a 1.5hour exam with 3 questions of 30mins each in order to get down all the information which demonstates understanding of the question and knowledge of the subject. I understand that time on the day is very limited - however, in my module 2 exam there were people sitting other modules, so I dont see why there needs to be more than 4 sessions throughout the day with multiple exams being sat in each session.
-Anyway, will have to wait until December to see how I got on!
(06-10-2010, 01:31 PM)AlastairHayden Wrote: [ -> ]It also takes about 5 mins to write the page number, module number, candiate number and question number on 15 sheets of A4, which had to come out of our time - I think this should be done after the exam has finished as this is 5 mins lost stright away.

Based on how we were treated in public exams at school where we were told at the end to make sure names and numbers are on the papers and the examiner waited for us to do this, I tend to ask for the same with those sitting the exam at my exam centre. That is part of the admin as far as I am concerned, not part of the exam time. I'd be interested to hear the view of others running exam centres.

Quote:-I would like to see a 1.5hour exam with 3 questions of 30mins each in order to get down all the information which demonstates understanding of the question and knowledge of the subject.

I think that is a key point and one thing that surprised me when they made the change - ie that they had not made it longer with and expected three answers in as much depth as the previous two.
I must say that the new format favours those who cannot write at pace, myself included. It also enforces brevity on the part of the delegate.

I myself took on the competence question, I had been setting one up for a client in the 3 weeks prior to the exam. It made me THINK what was required in the question and distill down into bullets and paragraphs. I could not put in the 15 required elements from the HMRI, so I had to give headlines.

Same goes for the track circuit question and the question on uncontrolled documentation. Personally I preferred it. (I've now taken 3....)

Remember that the aim given in the IRSE news was an answer from a competent signalling or telecommunications engineer, not a deep subject mattter expert. As a trainer, I nearly fell into that trap, as above.

I'm much happier with my performance this year, and the structure of the questions, which I felt encouraged and directed the delegate mostly, and didnt leave the delegate wondering what the hell was the direction the examiner was looking for.

Think I personally am in a good place, but will see at christmas

[Image: wink.gif]

I agree that bullet points are a good method to quickly show the examiner the sorts of things you are thinking about - however, I think you need to pad them out in order to link everything back to Safety. My problem was that i could get the bullets down but didn't have enough time to explore the associated safety reasons for including each bullet which is what I believe they really want to see.
I also attempted the module 1 OCT2010. Answering three questions from 10 is a good one more choice provided. Giving 20 minutes time for reading the question paper is also the good idea where we can select which question we have to answer and important points in them. I wish this three questions idea will increase the pass rate in mod1 exam.

(06-10-2010, 06:41 PM)KonduriRaghavakumar Wrote: [ -> ]Giving 20 minutes time for reading the question paper is also the good idea where we can select which question we have to answer and important points in them.

The reading time is only 20mins for certain exam centres in non English speaking locations. Personally I think this is odd as this means that a native English speaker at such an exam centre gets 20 minutes reading time, but the non-native English speaker at a UK centre only gets 10 minutes.
(06-10-2010, 08:40 PM)Peter Wrote: [ -> ]
(06-10-2010, 06:41 PM)KonduriRaghavakumar Wrote: [ -> ]Giving 20 minutes time for reading the question paper is also the good idea where we can select which question we have to answer and important points in them.

The reading time is only 20mins for certain exam centres in non English speaking locations. Personally I think this is odd as this means that a native English speaker at such an exam centre gets 20 minutes reading time, but the non-native English speaker at a UK centre only gets 10 minutes.

Reading time always used to be 5 mins for every paper. Having as a UK student a non-native with English as a second laguage some years ago, I became acutely aware of the problems that are posed.
I campaigned for an extension to 10 minutes in such cases, my idea being that selected students could be set off in the exam room early whilst others were then called in to take their places. I was told this was not practicable; having never actually run an exam centre I could not argue otherwise.

I did however achieve the extension of time to 10 minutes for ALL candidates; not my original aim but some victory and indeed it was one of the factors contributing I think to the eventual success of my particular candidate.

The extension to 20 minutes seems to have arisen for the first time last year- I am not sure to where it applies but certainly India, but I assume not Australia but perhaps Hong Kong etc.
It would be good if candidates at the various centres can let us know how much time they got; also whether adding candidate number and sheet number had to be within the exam time aor could be added later.

When we mentioned the issue at last years's Exam Review, it did seem to me that the exam committee itself weren't actually aware of this 20 minute rule , although they did not actually directly admit this, that was certainly the impression I got.

Definitely I believe that this issue should be brought more out into the open; to me it is a question of being fair to everyone (and this certainly does not mean having to treat everyone identically; compensation for having to answer in a second language certainly seems appropriate, but the place where the exam is undertaken does not seem of great relevance.)
I quite liked the 3 questions this year, but having never done Module 1 before under exam conditions I can't really compare.

I quickly worked out that to give myself enough time I had to answer each question in 20 minutes. I also noted that each question had a possible score of 20 marks, therefore for every point available that's how many minutes you should spend on your answer. This was such a simple way to make sure I allowed myself enough time to answer every question needed on the paper.

Of course now the paper is scored out of 60 rather than the previous 50 marks available so I assume the examiners will be a little more lenient on scoring
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