Why Students Fail Marketing Exams

I’ve been giving one to one marketing tutor lessons for quite some time now. Students approach me from various backgrounds with intent to tackle different marketing exams, whether undergraduate, Masters courses, professional CAM or CIM courses. There is really no size fits all in teaching and every student had individual needs.

However, over the time I was giving support to students I noticed a clear patterns. I decided to sum the three most common ones up in a list and if somehow I can support a studying person along the way giving advice on how to study, and ultimately successfully passing the exam, I would have reached my goal.

Here is consolidated list of common obstacles students face when tackling written assignments:

Time management

Underestimating the scope of the project is by far number one factor for students failing the exams. The amount of times we’ve been approached with the question how much it would cost to write the assignment on behalf of the student, and this around 2-3 weeks before the submission deadline.

Watch a short video in tackling the CAM assignment which sums up common painpoints students have

Reading the question

It can be difficult to tell a student that the in-depth answer written supported by diagrams and images, backed up with external sources misses completely the point. Too often, students fail to understand the question correctly and get carried away completely ignoring the word count, which brings me to my next point.

Word count

When first approaching an assignment, reading through the marking criteria is vital. It’ll already provide clear indications where the hidden marks are. But in relation to the word count, it is more obvious. If a question only counts 5 marks towards the total of 100, it’s probably not necessary to write 2000 words for it, if the word limit is only 5000. A good first approach is to count down the amount of words aligned to the points given per individual question. That should give you a clear indication how long your paragraphs should be.

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