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The distinction is in the detail….

One of the most common errors we see as assessors, is learners not reading or interpreting the question correctly. This can be the difference between a low pass or a distinction.

Always read the question in full and make sure that you address all parts of it to give yourself the best chance of full marks. If, for example, you are asked to discuss a model or theory and give examples, dont forgot about the examples! It seems simple, but it catches lots of people out because they haven’t paid attention to the ‘and’ in the question.

Top tips are to always note the conjunctions and command verbs in the question.

A conjunction is a word used to connect sentences, words or phrases and the most common ones are ‘but’ ‘and’ ‘or’. Paying attention to the conjunction in the question ensures that you address all of it rather than just a part of it and end up missing out on full marks.


Q - Discuss the benefits of coaching to individuals and teams

A – must consider the benefits of coaching to individuals AND teams and not one or the other.

A command verb tells you what level of detail you need to go into when answering the question, it is an instruction and a clue about what you should include. It is vital that you note the command verb attached to the question you are about to answer, or you may miss the grades needed. Common command verbs include describe, define, evaluate, analyse, explain, discuss, assess and justify and may be different between level 3 and 5 qualifications.

If you are unsure what is required of each command verb, CMI have put together a handy list with definitions which can be accessed here

Other top tips

- Watch your referencing. If you use a direct quote, use wording that is almost a direct quote or use large amounts of text from a particular source, then you must reference this appropriately. Refresh yourself on the Harvard referencing guidelines you were given learning on when you first started with BePro. They are in your BUD activitity list to refer back to at anytime, and your classroom.

- Be careful of your wordcount, particularly with CIPD assignments as the rules and stipulations are very strict around this.

- Try to always give examples of when you have used the skill or knowledge and explain how it applies to your own organisation – this takes your answer to a higher level and demonstrates a deeper understanding of the subject matter.

Good luck!

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