Past Papers - Time Management

Discussion in 'CP2' started by MJK23, Sep 7, 2021.

  1. MJK23

    MJK23 Keen member

    Hi All,

    I’ve been practicing past papers and have got through most, although still seem to be referring to the solutions especially for Paper 1. Thought was making good progress but am on the more recent papers now and yesterday it took 6 hours just to go through the modelling for the Sep 2020 paper.

    It’s really thrown me off and for some reason I found it harder than, say, the 2017-18 papers. Is anyone facing similar time pressure issues, if so how are going about combatting them? Not sure what can be done at this point with exams around the corner but thought would put it out there!

  2. Sarah Byrne

    Sarah Byrne ActEd Tutor Staff Member

    Hi M

    Practising past papers is a great way to prepare for the exam. CP2 can be a time pressured exam, and being ready for that is half the battle.

    Make sure you spend time reading the whole question to start with. Also, ensure you note anywhere the examiners say 'you don't need this calculation for the next stages' or similar, as they did q1(iii) of the Sept 2020 Paper 1 exam. If you are struggling, leave these parts and move on to the rest of the question. It is better to get through as much of the modelling as possible and be able to document it all in the audit trail, even if the model doesn't give you the right answers, than get stuck and only build a small proportion of the model.

    If your answers don't look right, remember that you won't lose marks for using these incorrect values in the next stages if you do these calculations correctly. However, don't hide the incorrect answers, acknowledge it in the audit trail when you are documenting the reasonableness checks.

    You can make assumptions to simplify the problem in the question if necessary. Note these in your audit trail. You may lose a few marks, but it will be better than struggling and not finishing.

    I hope these tips help. Good luck with your preparations for the exams.
  3. MJK23

    MJK23 Keen member

    Hi Sarah,
    Thanks so much, that’s some great advice. I think some of the stress has been coming from trying to do everything right with the modelling and then not having enough time to document. It’s good to know that it doesn’t have to be perfect and that the audit trail/ summary can still earn some marks.

    I don’t notice that from the Sep 2020 paper so will defo look out for those in the exam! Am also re-listening to some of the tutorial recordings which has a few useful tips, too.

    Thanks again,
    Sarah Byrne likes this.
  4. Scott Waygood

    Scott Waygood Member

    I had a similar experience with the Sep 2020 paper, but pulled the plug after 3 hours and looked at the solutions. The wide and varied differences between the data provided on the accumulated funds and the results was getting through calculations also threw me. I was expecting a tight fit for most and a couple of obvious outliers to exclude. I made a spreadsheet to monitor timings through the exam based on marks allocated for questions that instruct you to do something plus time at the start to read and time at the end to write out the obligatory extras in the audit log. I failed last time I tried this one due to running out of time on Paper 2.
  5. ntickner

    ntickner Very Active Member

    This is really good advice. But don't miss the word 'all'. You'll do much better with 80% of the model described 100% in the audit trail, than 100% of the model described 60% in the audit trail.
    Part of what you should get out of doing past papers is a feel for how long it takes you to do the audit part, so you leave enough time to do that.
    Another thing I could add is that students often spend too much time on the introduction and data section. Not that these aren't important, but they're an area you can put down something adequate, and then embellish it later on if you have more time.
  6. MJK23

    MJK23 Keen member

    Yes, some of those checks were tricky and not obvious to me at all. Spreadsheet for timing sounds a v good tip, for both papers.
  7. MJK23

    MJK23 Keen member

    Thanks for this. Am wondering for Paper 1, say, if we only managed to get through 60% of the modelling after an hour is it better to stop there and write up everything for the audit trail? And then perhaps continue with the model & documenting if there’s any time at the end, or is that a bit risky?

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