Gearing Up for the Practitioner Exam

If you skipped the earlier section ‘Gearing Up for the Foundation Exam’ because you already hold a Foundation Certificate, the first advice in this section is to nip back and read it. The general approach to questions in Foundation applies also to Practitioner. The Foundation approach holds good because the Practitioner questions are also multiple choice, although in the Practitioner there are different styles of multiple choice. Actually the official name for the approach to the Practitioner exam is ‘objective testing’, and you may hear this term used in the context of the exam. However, since the questions are written by fallible human beings, you may think that ‘objective’ is perhaps not quite the best description. You may think that but, of course, I can’t possibly comment.

The Practitioner exam went over to a multiple-choice format some years ago to facilitate machine marking. The previous format with an essay-style response was taking too long to mark. The essay style had the disadvantage that you were writing with a pen for three hours (the previous time allowance for the exam). Few people these days write for that length of time with a pen, and candidates with aching wrists after just one hour had become a real problem. However, the format did have the advantage that you could explain yourself. If you made a convincing point, even if it was not in the marking scheme, an examiner could award you a mark. The advantage of the multiple-choice ...

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