How do you help your examiner mark your essays and short notes?
Now this isn’t about cheating! It’s just a polite observation. During the MSc we had to write essays and short notes on various topics, it was good practice as this was also the standard format of the three hour exam papers in the “olde” FRCPath Part 1 exam; I quickly realised I had to get better at writing essays and short notes. I spoke to my Consultant Supervisors who used to mark these exam papers and they all said the same thing, “make sure your answers are clear and easy to read”. “Is that it?” I replied grouchily. Simply put yes it is, because if you write clearly and legibly your examiner is more likely to look favourably on your essay and may give you the benefit of the doubt with some of your answers. If your answer is illegible and disorganised or if it takes too long to decipher your answer, then they will not be so kind and you won’t get the mark. How long do you think it takes to read an essay and how long extra should they allow to read a badly written one?! This may seem unfair but it is human nature… it’s also a good lesson for clinical work, good communication is really important and that includes your written communication.