Dinner Meeting Report: IPEd Exam Prep Workshop

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On 20 September, 32 members, including some helpful AEs, attended CQ to discuss and prepare for this year's IPEd exam.

Five tables of exam candidates grilled each of their AEs about their exam experience and a lot of useful information was gleaned, particularly about pre-exam nerves, what to bring to the exam and how to maximise the reading time. One outstanding tip was: treat the exam as just another editing job with a tight deadline, something we all have experience with.

After dinner, IPEd exam invigilator Susan Keogh introduced the evening and ran through the exam procedure, including the exam room set-up, and what is and what is not allowed in the exam room. Happily, any reference books are permitted, as well as anything bound. This means that even your own notes are permitted (but they cannot be loose sheets, stapled exams or answers). However, Susan and all the AEs agreed that it was pointless to bring a huge stack of reference books; if you do some preparation, the Style Guide and a calculator are probably sufficient.

Susan then went on to explain how the different parts of the exam are made up and what each part is worth. She also pointed out that a score of 65 per cent in each section is required for a pass. In other words, candidates need to divide up their time wisely - there is no point trying to do one question perfectly (particularly in Part C, where four short-answer questions need to be answered) and then not having time to complete other questions.

Candidates can expect to wait four weeks for their results, and a further three months to receive their certificate.

Kath Harper spoke about her personal exam experience and pointed out that, although challenging, the exam is not so difficult that a working editor would have any problems in passing it.

We then all had the opportunity to choose a question from Part 3 of two sample exams to completed in a set time, including reading time. The room descended into 15 minutes of tense silence and furious writing; and suddenly - time's up!

The verdict? The questions are definitely challenging, but, if you choose wisely, do-able. And therein lies the crux of the message from the evening - at least for me: do the sample exams available online and spend your reading time wisely to make clear choices about which questions you'll answer, and stick to them. Oh, and you'll definitely need that calculator!

Petra Poupa
Events Officer