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British Beekeepers Association

Topic: Exam Papers

9th April 2013 at 8:37pm

OliverStjohn
Sussex

104 posts - View

14th April 2013 at 12:02am

Trisha Marlow
Shropshire BKA

2 posts - View

Oliver, be interested to hear your logic. Downloading the syllabus (free) or the booklist (under review, also free), having a friendly local study group or other support, all these (and more) might encourage learning - and possibly a tick in a module box or two, but the exam fees are very reasonable in the market place and if we want them to stay that way then we should be prepared to give a little I feel for copy exam papers in whatever format.
14th April 2013 at 7:21pm

OliverStjohn
Sussex

104 posts - View

17th April 2013 at 7:56am

Moggrel
Worcester

2 posts - View

17th April 2013 at 9:34am

AdamDarling
-- MODERATOR --
Norfolk

5736 posts - View

18th April 2013 at 8:59pm

Gerry Collins
Doncaster

535 posts - View

A few model answers are a great help in showing the candidiate an indication of the level required and we did publish sample answers to a module 2 paper a while back but I don't think this should be done for every paper. The correspondence course plays a important part in many candidates preparation as their work can be checked by masterbeekeepers who will give them an indication as to their progress and point out any weaknesses that need addressing.



19th April 2013 at 9:11am

Roger Patterson
-- MODERATOR --
Wisborough Green

3314 posts - View

I feel I ought to come in here as some of my comments in the past have been misinterpreted. I am not an exam person, but I'm happy for others to do it if they wish. I'm happy to give them all the help they need, but I oppose the policy of some BKAs who are pushing their members. I spoke to one person at the BBKA convention who told me his BKA are hoping to get 80% of their 2 year old beekeepers to take the Basic. I suspect even the Exam Board won't be happy with that. One concern of mine is that a very knowledgeable beekeeper may fail because they haven't presented their answers in a good way, where a much lesser beekeeper will pass because their presentation is good.

In Gerry's post he has addressed some of my concerns well. There seems to be a view that if you obtain the last 5 years papers and just learn those you will have a fair chance of passing.

I have taken the trouble to look carefully at some of the previous papers and I think I would do quite well without studying, but are the answers what is expected? I don't know, so the limited number of model answers will give me a good idea of what is required. That's good, but shouldn't be overdone. I think my approach would be to give bullet points, rather than an essay, but is that acceptable?

What is the purpose of a module? Is it to see if the candidate knows the answers to a few questions, or is it to indicate much greater knowledge? It is easy to believe the former, but I'm pleased Gerry's answer suggests the latter, but is the mental cut and paste penalised?

Regarding the cost of past papers there needs to be a value to them. This is the amount you can lose out of your pocket and not notice it or the cost of leaving a light on overnight.

Roger Patterson.
19th April 2013 at 10:57am

JimNorfolk
-- MODERATOR --
North Norfolk

1819 posts - View

I think the papers should be charged for to cover the admin costs of supplying them. However there is nothing to stop several candidates sharing a set of past papers, if cost is an issue.

On the subject of rote learning. It has a very limited value in module exams. Names and some facts have to be rote learnt to answer the first section and there is often no other way. I don't think I would try to rote learn model answers to later sections. I am sure there is also more than one right answer and questions can be interpreted in different ways.



Roger, there is only one way to learn beekeeping but since I don't have the years left to gain that experience, I am using the exam system to short cut the process. I would encourage every new beekeeper to follow a BBKA basic programme in their second year but leave it up to them whether to take the assesment. It is the process of study which improves knowledge and understanding.
19th April 2013 at 4:26pm

Roger Patterson
-- MODERATOR --
Wisborough Green

3314 posts - View

Jim,

There is an awful lot in your last paragraph. I couldn't agree more about the Basic syllabus and recommend that everyone looks at it. We can all haggle about what might be in it or left out, but overall I think it's a good list.

People learn in different ways and at different paces. In my view we all need the practical skills and some of the theory, but there are some who seem to think all they need do is read a few books and learn what to write down. Gerry disagrees with that and so do I.

There is some information we can't get by observation, so we have to read up on it. Don't think you can learn everything by experience. I have never seen a 12 month period like the last one. There is still plenty to learn yet.

Of course you have the years left. you aren't even my age yet!

Roger Patterson.
19th April 2013 at 8:31pm

Dave Wright
North Cheshire

230 posts - View



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