The adviser exam is pitched at AQF7 level, which is basically 1st year University standard. To pass, you will need at least 65%.
Unlike University exams where the lecturer and / or tutors set and mark the exam, the open-ended questions are farmed out to contract markers who did not set the exam. Therefore, the markers are relying on the marking guides provided.
The parts that may trick you up are theoretical scenarios where the answers to the questions asked appear far from obvious. For example, ‘what should most concern the adviser’ or ‘which question should the adviser ask first’. Fortunately, this type of question appears to be the exception rather than the rule.
That said, the adviser exam is very passable, particularly if you prepare well. Sometimes though, the best of preparations can come unstuck in the exam room.
So below I have provided some exam management tips for those who haven’t sat an exam in a while.
- Go to the exam with a good night’s sleep
- Music helps a lot of people stay calm, focused and positive before and exam
- It is natural to be nervous sitting an exam but your mindset should be one of confidence and a positive mindset, as in “this exam is not going to beat me”.
- Manage your time well. Aim to finish in 3 hours, leaving 15 minutes for review.
- Read the questions carefully and look at what is being asked. It sounds obvious but nervousness can result in superficial scanning when trying to take in a lot of information in moments.
- Expect at least one long convoluted scenario where the questions appear not to relate to the overload of client circumstances contained in the scenario.
- Also expect one or two ambiguous questions where two or more of the options presented look correct.
- Don’t place too much reliance on the fact that it is an open book exam. You won’t have a lot of time to scroll through legislation; and it can be a notorious time-waster.
- Don’t rely on CTRL F (finding key words in legislation) to work all the time.
- If you need look up legislation, consider doing it at the end, during your review time after you have finished the exam.
- You do not have to start at question 1. During reading time, find a couple of questions you can answer and start there. That will ease your nerves and allow you to settle into the exam.
- When you answer the open-ended questions, don’t do dot points and don’t waffle on. Write in short sentences, as many as required. Get straight to the point. Remember there is a contract marker sitting out there with a marking guide. Try to make it easy for them.
- No matter what happens – stay calm. Try to find that sweet spot of being totally engaged with the exam and shutting out everything else
- If you find yourself panicking, take a minute out and take slow deep breaths to calm yourself and then get back into the moment
- Don’t walk out of the exam if you finish early. Use the extra time wisely to look back over your answers and anything you didn’t answer. Sometimes, things pop you’re your mind as you go through the exam. This is the time to look up legislation if you need to.