Part b – The easiest marks on the T4 paper?
Possibly the easiest place to earn marks in this paper is in the part b requirement. The reason stems from the way examiner wants you to answer this which makes it both quick to do and easy to score good marks. Let’s take a step back though – what is part b?
Part b is a “communication requirement”. You are expected to show you can communicate a point from the exam quickly and well, in a letter, memo, email, notes to presentation slides or indeed presentation slides themselves. It may include a requirement to produce a graph based on numbers you should have calculated earlier in your appendices.
So what makes this the easiest place to earn marks in this exam? Well the key lies in the way the examiner wants you to answer this section. The aim is that you are making brief, clear points of roughly two lines each, with each of those lines representing a mark in the exam. This means that you can easily score 8-10 marks in writing no more than a page on part b, whereas on other sections you would probably need nearer to two sides of full report writing style.
The second element that makes it easy is that it is often based on one of the main issues in the report that you should have already discussed. This means you should have already thought about this so there is no new thinking to be done. This will help to speed up writing of this section. Indeed, I’ve known many students doing the PC exam cleverly rewriting and rearranging material from their report to do superb part b's very quickly indeed.
My final message is one of time management. One of the examiner’s favourite comments in Post Exam Guides over recent years is that the Part b section was not completed by many candidates. While it does appear that this seems to be improving over recent sittings, it’s vital that you don’t fall into the time mangement trap – do leave yourself enough time to do part b as it’s such a quick and easy way to score good marks that doing it well could easily be the difference between a pass and a fail!
If you have not read it yet, the best guide to what the examiner wants from part b is in the guide written by the examiner. This is an excellent summary of what you need to do for part b – do digest this, and make sure you practice lots of part b’s prior to the exam so you maximise your marks in what is often a very easy section.