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 Post subject: FGA diploma theory exams
PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2021 8:36 pm 
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Hi everyone,

I'm an FGA student and I've completed FGA diploma practical successfully but fell short a few marks on the score sheet for the theory exams.

Eventhough I thought i did well on my exams I fell short twice, maybe my style of answering questions is not the best, hence the results.

Gem-A doesn't give a breakdown of my papers, Gem-A only provides past papers online but not the answers and they give some examiner comments which doesn't help me as much as it should.

I tried searching online on how to answer or past paper answers as a guide for me but to no avail.

Can any FGA help me on how I should prepare for the next theory exam? It would really help if i could get some answered papers so that i know where i go wrong or make my mistakes.

Thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: FGA diploma theory exams
PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2021 7:43 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2020 4:13 pm
Posts: 7
Location: The Netherlands
I did the exam sept 2020. For the theory my end result was 66 (50 for the exam, and 90 for the assessment and the papers. I was totally stumped by the low result of 50, but I passed along with the practical exam). It is a kind of black magic how they grade your exam. And indeed, as you get no feedback on your errors, you do not know how you can be better next time.

I have no examples of papers with answers.

However, I talked to a few people, and the following points emerge:

1) The diploma notes are not enough. For the foundation you get by with only these, for the diploma you must study a lot more. Really go to trade shows, auctions, shops and look and talk! Read the publications of the GIA and the Gem-A etc.

2) You must be accomplished in three areas, and all of them (really, all of them):
- know the theory, why things happen (like the TIR in diamond). Learn to draw pictures to support your explanation.
- know the facts (like the way the pavilion for a marquise is cut, or an indicolite is dark blue). Making and using flashcards is very important. I made a 800, I know of someone who had 2.500
- know about all the stones (you can be an expert in tourmaline, but if you do not know anything about quartz, you will fail).

The knowledge must be “active”, you must be able to use it.

3) As non-native speaker, be very careful not to misspell the names. Be sure you can write an explanation in english

4) Cultivate the right mind-set. Non-FGA people can be very knowledgeable, but sometimes they are somewhat less precisely, No problem when talking to them, a huge problem when sitting for your exam.

5) Read the question, and answer the question. Use diagrams when they ask them. You passed your practical, so you are able to do this.

Good luck next time!

BTW, my own conclusion was in the end I used to much prose, and as a msc in physics probably was not exactly tuned to the expected level of detail (assumed too much existing knowledge). Unfortunately due to corona the possibility to talk to people was greatly dimished,


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