Exam Skills

Random Quiz Generator

Mini Quiz Game Generator

Last year Adam Boxer shared a simple but highly effective spreadsheet to randomly generate short quizzes (which include questions from the current topic being studied as well as questions from previous topics) from a list of pre-set questions. The link to his original ‘Retrieval Roulette’ post is here, and is well worth a read.

With his permission I’ve taken his original spreadsheet and added templates that create boards for games of Battleships, Blockbusters and Connect Four.

You can download a copy of the Quiz Creator here. The ‘Questions’ tab is currently filled with questions for the IGCSE course I teach (interwar politics, Cold War and a Germany 1918-1945 depth study) but you can replace them with your own questions in the order in which you cover them through the course.

To create quizzes:

  1. Add questions and answers to the list on the ‘Questions’ tab.
  2. Set up your question range:
    • Enter the question number you have covered up to in cell F1
    • Enter the first question number of your current topic in cell F2
    • Enter the last question number of your current topic in cell F3
  3. Click the tab name (e.g. Battleships 6×6) for the questions to be randomly populated into the template grid
  4. Press F9 on any tab to refresh with a new random set of questions. There are occasional repeats within the same grid – I’m currently trying to work out a way to stop this, but my students actually quite like it.
  5. When you go to print the template you will get two A4 sheets – one with the questions and one with the answers. The printed template will also feature a random Quiz ID so that you can match the questions and answers in case you produce numerous quizzes.

 

Using a macro to create and print multiple random quizzes

You can use a macro to automatically create and print a certain number of random quizzes. It only takes a couple of minutes to set up and allows you to produce unlimited random quizzes quickly and easily:

  1. Load the spreadsheet and go to the VBA editor (press alt-F11)
  2. Insert a new Module (menu Insert, select Module)
  3. Copy and paste the code below (substitute the text-like variable called number_of_desired_copies with the actual number of copies you want to produce):

Sub print_random()

For i = 1 To number_of_desired_copies

Application.Calculate

ActiveSheet.PrintOut

Next i

End Sub

Now just press the ‘play’ button to run the macro and hey presto 🙂

exam tips

Exam skills – quick revision links

Podcast Link

Content description

Succeeding at Sourcework

Tips and tricks to answer GCSE and IGCSE History sourcework questions accurately. Many of the hints are good practice with for any sourcework paper. The guide covers sourcework questions on: Comprehension, Comprehension in Context, Reliability/Usefulness/Value, Source Comparisons, Interpretation.

IGCSE History Paper 2

Guidance and advice for answering questions on CIE IGCSE History Paper 2 (the source paper) by looking at how marks are awarded, and comments from the examiner's report.

IGCSE History Paper 4

Advice for students answering questions on Paper 4 of the CIE IGCSE History exam (alternative to coursework) which focuses on your chosen Depth Study.
IGCSE and GCSE History source skills tips revision

Succeeding at Sourcework exam tips

This History revision podcast focuses on how to answer different types of source questions.  Many of the hints are good practice with for any sourcework paper, but if you would like specific advice for the CIE exams then check out my revision podcasts for IGCSE Paper 2 and IGCSE Paper 4.

This specific episode presents tips on a range source question types including:

  • Comprehension
  • Comprehension in Context
  • Reliability/Usefulness/Value
  • Source Comparisons
  • Interpretation

     

Paper 2 exam advice

IGCSE History Paper 2 exam tips

The summer 2018 exam will include a Paper 2 exam on the League of Nations in the 1920s and 1930s. There are extensive revision materials on this topic in the IGCSE/GCSE history revision menu.

This video (also available to download as a podcast) has been created specifically for students studying the CIE IGCSE History 0470 course, but a lot of the advice contained in it is appropriate for all source questions.  My advice comes from reading the examiner’s report, which is written by the chief examiner – that’s the person in charge of marking all your exam papers – in which they explain what students do well in the exam and what needs to be improved.

This episode provides general tips on how to improve the quality of source answers, drawn from common mistakes that students make in the CIE IGCSE History 0470 exam.  Specific advice is given on how the answer the final 12 mark question, which is always asks how far the collection sources agree (or disagree) with a particular point of view.

If you want more general guidance on answering source papers, download my other podcast called on Succeeding at Sourcework.  Although it’s not designed specifically for the CIE Paper 2, it still contains lots of good tips that you might find helpful.

     

Argument words

‘Argument words’ vocabulary mat to evaluate significance

Students can sometimes find it difficult to reach a conclusion on the importance or significance of a particular factor. This handy ‘Argument words’ mat by @Snoopycmf is a great starting point to help develop this vocabulary.

Download hi-res version here.

exam tips

IGCSE History 0470 Paper 4 exam tips

This revision podcast relates specifically to the CIE IGCSE History Paper 4 examination. IGCSE History 0470 Paper 4 is the Depth Study paper, and consequently the content material differs depending on what Depth Study you studied at your school. It doesn’t matter which one you focused on as the layout of the exam and the requirements of the mark scheme are the same. Consequently this podcast aims to be as broad as possible.

As with my revision podcast for IGCSE Paper 2, this episode is built around the notes from the examiner’s report combined with my own practical tips and tricks for using your knowledge and skills in the right ways in order to gain the number of marks you deserve.

Download MP3

exam tips

IGCSE History Paper 4 exam tips – last exam 2014

Please see CIE History Paper 4 from 2015 onwards for the current version of this podcast, which addresses the ‘new’ syllabus from June 2015 onwards.

As with my revision podcast for IGCSE Paper 2, this episode is built around the notes from the examiner’s report combined with my own practical tips and tricks for using your knowledge and skills in the right ways in order to gain the number of marks you deserve.

IGCSE History Paper 4 is the Depth Study paper, and consequently the content material differs depending on what Depth Study you studied at your school. It doesn’t matter which one you focused on as the layout of the exam and the requirements of the mark scheme are the same  Consequently this podcast aims to be as broad as possible.

The podcast explains techniques for each question in both Section A (the source questions) and Section B (the ‘knowledge’ questions).

How successful were the League of Nations’ attempts at disarmament in the 1920s?

This short video is designed to help GCSE and IGCSE students write a balanced answer to explain how successful the League of Nations’ attempts at disarmament were in the 1920s.  The video shows how a 1-10 scale can be used to give a point ‘score’ to the League’s overall attempts, which can then be translated into words.  It concludes with a skeleton essay structure, which helps to structure a balanced answer.

For a more detailed video on how to answer a question about the broader factors affecting the success of the League of Nations in the 1920s, check out this video and this podcast about the League of Nations in the 1920s.

You can access all my videos at www.youtube.com/mrallsop

How successful was the League of Nations in the 1920s?

This video explains the technique to answer a ‘how far’ type question at GCSE/IGCSE.

This particular example focuses on the question ‘how successful was the League of Nations in the 1920s’, but the format can be applied to other questions of this type.  You should check out this podcast about the League of Nations in the 1920s prior to watching this video.

Writing a balanced answer, in which you recognise both sides of the argument, is a simple yet important skill to develop.  I also explain how you can use the ‘Point, Evidence, Explanation’ paragraph format to structure your answer.

For a video focusing specifically on how to assess the success of the League’s attempts at disarmement in the 1920s, check out this post.

You can access all my videos at www.youtube.com/mrallsop

GCSE History source comprehension

I/GCSE History source paper revision – how to answer comprehension questions

These are often the early question on a paper, and usually have lower marks than some of the questions that require more detailed analysis. While there’s no ‘easy’ questions on a History exam, comprehension source questions are arguably the easiest that you’ll come across.