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 Post subject: exam review chat
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 12:36 pm 
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Hi all,

I put the question about how to answer the exam question, that we talked about 2weeks ago, to Gem-A and here is the response (I hope I can post that in public). Seems like we were all right and all wrong, but the message is very clear .. do the logical thing.

Quote:
Dear Alain,

Thank you for your enquiry concerning the recent discussion forum. I would like to clarify this matter for all tutors and students.

I had a look at this again, and my answer would emphasise the instruction at the top of that paper, 100mm above question 3, which states, ‘When asked to examine a specimen, you may use a 10x lens, hand-held spectroscope, dichroscope and hand-held light source, as appropriate.’

Thus, in Q3,(a), it states, 'Examine...', which will refer the candidate to the above instruction/invitation regarding the term 'examine'.

Maybe you have not have seen the actual paper, or may have missed the instruction, as you were not answering the question in the exam. If you missed seeing that instruction then you could have been led to your conclusion by reasonable logic.

However, I am sad that this is a problem for those candidates who do not read or take full notice of the words at the top of the page. We try to prevent such problems recurring by giving clear guidance to tutors in our examiners’ reports after each exam. However, it is hard to get some candidates to read instructions or guidance.

I don't see how our instructions could be more explicit. There is a reluctance for candidates to use the spectroscope in the initial examination. Rather, its use is left to the further test part of the question and then either an actual result reported or it is simply left on the desk and an "if the specimen were tested with the spectroscope we might see ......" type of answer given. If the instrument is used (at any point in the answer) and a reasonable conclusion is given, then marks can be awarded for a useful and correct or partially correct answer.

With a yellowish-green faceted stone, if the 10X lens reveals DR, maybe also some wear on the facets, maybe also some dark inclusions or small stress fractures, then a candidate may or may not consider that the use of any other instrument to 'examine' is appropriate, but the instruction/invitation is there on the same page of the question paper. In an exam situation, such an instruction/invitation is clear guidance to the fact that these instruments are available and their use is distinctly inviting! The candidates are instructed in their use and instructed to take them into their exam, and instructed / invited to use them when asked to ‘examine’.

Whether the dichroscope and/or the spectroscope reward the candidate with any result (or partial result) depends partly upon the candidate's ability and also upon whether the stone will produce a result. It may not. But it is worth trying because it might give further information, and the candidate has been invited to try: the word 'examine' is there in the invitation and is also the first word of this question.

To sum up: we expect the candidate to use all the instruments that make sense when asked to examine the specimen and perhaps to feel if it's warm or cold to the touch or lighter or heavier than expected. If later in the question we ask for further tests we expect the candidates to suggest RI, SG, polariscope etc. as appropriate in accordance with their suspicions. That is, tests that they couldn't use in their initial examination because the instruments are not provided.

I hope these notes are useful in helping to give advice. We shall ensure that this point is transferred again, and most definitely, to tutors.

Thank you very much for bringing this forum exchange to our notice. It is a great help in opening up and solving such puzzles.

Best regards,

Ian

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 1:34 pm 
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Good initiative, even better outcome!


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