Gothard Message

I write this just a few weeks after Bill Gothard stood down from leadership of the IBLP ministry which he created and has led for decades. Accusations of impropriety have been levelled against him and will be sorted out in due course.

While many people have placed their sights on the ‘man’ I would like to take a moment to reflect on the Message and Ministry which this man of God brought about.

I first heard of Bill Gothard in the early 1990’s when he and a team of young people first came to Australia to present his world famous Basic Seminar. My oldest son, Stephen, in his late teens, attended and returned home wonderfully impacted and transformed by the message and ministry of the IBLP.

Stephen had new perspective on himself, selfishness, godly living, the powerful relevance of God’s word in his life, life purpose, the importance of lifting his game spiritually and much more.

What impacted Stephen was a combination of the teaching received in the Basic Seminar and the encouragement of several young men, not much older than himself, who had applied the things Mr Gothard taught and had wonderful fruit in their lives as a consequence.

My wife and I were so impressed by the impact of the IBLP message and ministry on our son that we quickly made plans to hear the seminars ourselves and to look into the ATI home schooling program. We were already teaching our children at home and wanted to understand this alternative approach.

To attend the seminars our family (minus my two youngest sons) flew to New Zealand and were blessed by what we learned and saw. The young people and families who sought to apply the Biblical principles taught in the seminars were clearly blessed and enriched by doing so.

My family not only began the ATI home-schooling but my three oldest sons enjoyed time at IBLP Headquarters in Chicago and I headed to the USA to attend a seminar for dads, where I was privileged to make some small input as well. I was also privileged to travel with Bill Gothard between Indianapolis and Chicago. One of my sons later attended the Alert training program and we assisted the ministry to get set up in Melbourne, Australia.

As I reflect on that wonderful and life-changing season in our lives I have to thank God for the message and ministry of Bill Gothard. His desire to seek God and to minister effectively led to the creation of a ministry much bigger than himself. Few Christian leaders have had as much impact internationally as Bill Gothard has enjoyed for decades.

Does that make Mr Gothard infallible? Of course not. He is as human as the rest of us. He, like each of us, also has his own personality, style, gifting and focus.

I don’t hold equally to all things taught by the IBLP. But then I don’t hold equally to all things I hear from the pulpit in my home church, or from popular Christian speakers, or from Focus on the Family, Hillsong, the various prophetic voices or Spurgeon.

Whether Bill Gothard has things to answer or his accusers have wronged him there is no mistaking the call of God on his life and the grace of God at work through him to multitudes. My family is testimony to the impact of the Gothard Message and there are tens of thousands who have much the same fruit.

Sadly that fact may be lost in the rumblings that inevitably occur in situations like this.

I have seen several sad evidences of Christians rejoicing that Mr Gothard has ‘fallen’. I can only assume they do not like the message and ministry and cannot see that when a Christian leader is shamed we all suffer. I wonder if those people would be keen to have their past actions exposed for public scrutiny and ridicule.

A Christian leader commented to me in light of Bill Gothard’s current challenges, “There isn’t a preacher alive today who doesn’t have past actions and choices they wouldn’t want made public.”

We also see the inevitable opinion posturing too. People quickly forget our important principle of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ and readily spout their opinion without having first hand knowledge of any of the facts. Christ warns us about this kind of judging of one another – “judge not that you be not judged”. That’s a road I don’t want to go down.

At the same time we see something fresh in the IBLP world. I once observed to Bill Gothard that he does not have a succession plan in place. He was probably little more than 60 at the time. The following day Bill asked, “What if God doesn’t want a successor in place?”

Corporate programming led me to make and impose assumptions on God’s work without thought for God’s plan and purpose. I had to recognise that the IBLP ministry does not belong to me and I have no right to any opinion about how it should be run. That ministry was brought about by God through Bill Gothard and those around him. Any opinion I held was presumptuous and out of place. I left the matter with God and Bill.

With Bill Gothard stepping down we now see the beginnings of a succession process. Others whom God has prepared are able to step into the current gap and exercise their gifts and calling.

Whatever the end result of all of this, I continue to rejoice in Bill Gothard’s message and ministry and the thousands of young people and families established with godly wisdom and insight that I did not have at that same time in my life.

I praise God for the tens of thousands of godly, talented and wise men and women raised up and still being raised up to impact our world with the gospel and the truth of God’s Word.

I pray that God give grace to Bill Gothard and the IBLP ministry. As is always the case when human life is compared with Christ, “He must increase but we must decrease”. But it is also true that “God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him”.

I encourage all those who have also been blessed by Bill Gothard’s message and ministry to hold fast that which is good and continue to live for the one who is eternal and for His eternal purposes on the earth.

How To Think book by Chris Field

In Malaysia in June I met Barb Reid, an Aussie living in KL, working as a Librarian. I credit Barb for prompting my latest book, just released this week, “How to Think”.

Barb asked about my books, being keen on that sort of thing as librarians are.  In our discussion I realised that I have not yet written a book for the general market, having focused my book writing for Christian readers so far.

That set me to thinking about what I would write if I was to offer a valuable book to today’s youth.  And I quickly lit on the idea of opening up our thinking processes.

Solomon gave us great insights into “wisdom” and those insights are keys to good thinking.  So I set my mind to unlocking some of the most basic truths in Solomon’s writings.  Having given a lot of attention to Solomon’s Book of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes over the years I quickly distilled some keys that I think are fantastic, even though quite basic, and which should be captured by all of us as we develop our adult mind.

A week later, in Singapore with a few quiet days, I sat down and threw my thoughts onto the page.  It was exhilarating to see these points take shape so quickly and to recognise that what I wrote was of universal value for young and old alike.

With the first draft wrapped up so quickly I sent it to my two teenage children, Sophia and Isaac, for their critical comment, since I aim to give value to high school youth.  They affirmed and criticised my work.

While they thought my insights were fantastic (which a dad always likes to hear) they could see I was presenting too much insight too quickly for those who were slow to capture such things.  It’s a perennial problem I faced since my earliest writing efforts.  I see things and thrill at the insights, but struggle to dumb things down so everyone can catch it.  Learning to simplify my thoughts has given me credit as a great educator and Bible teacher, able to make truths come alive, but I have not fully conquered my natural tendency to throw too much at people who can’t catch it.

Anyway, I took on board their comments and worked through successive drafts, adding explanations and examples, breaking up some sections into multiple steps and so on.  I even thought of calling the book a “for dummies” book.  But my children told me my idea of a “dummy” is too highly educated for real dummies.

I am part way through creating a version of this book in a much simpler form, but I decided I should also give this current gem to those looking for insight into thinking, rather than put it away until a simpler version can be created.

That’s not to say this book is too clever.  On the contrary, it presents some pretty simple truths.  I have every confidence that tens of thousands will find great help and insight in its pages.

So I finished off this “How to Think” version and released it for sale on Amazon, as a print-on-demand book.  It will soon also be on the Kindle store and it is also available in print from Createspace.

I commend it to you as a book you really should read and give away to your young friends.  It is ideal for school and community libraries, youth groups, counseling centres, and for parents and grandparents to have on hand to share with their extended families.

To get a copy of “How to Think – Teach Yourself to Think Clearly – by Dr Chris Field” go to

Amazon  http://www.amazon.com/How-Think-Teach-Yourself-Clearly/dp/1490440453/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1378632151&sr=1-1&keywords=how+to+think+by+chris+field

Or Createspace  https://www.createspace.com/4323965

Happy Reading. Chris

Wives Giving Up on Hubby

“You’ve given up on dad, haven’t you mum?”

“Try that strawberry slice. You’ll love it.”

“Mum! I’m serious. You’ve given up on dad, haven’t you?”

“Don’t be so silly. You’ll understand relationships better when you’ve been married to Brad as long as dad and I’ve been married.”

“Mum, I don’t want to end up like you and dad. I don’t want to give up on Brad like you’ve given up on dad.”

“This really isn’t a nice way to have a mother – daughter catch up. Can’t we talk about something nicer?”

“It was auntie Barbara that made me see it?”

“What does my silly sister have to say about my marriage? It’s none of her business!”

“No, she hasn’t said anything. But I’ve been watching. When uncle Max was diagnosed last year I saw auntie Barbara change overnight. Suddenly she was caring and kind to him. I’d never seen her like that before.”

“Well, the poor old goat gave us all a scare there for a while.”

“Yes, but it showed me that auntie Barbara had given up on him. She’d kind of cornered him out of her life, until he took sick.”

“Well, your uncle is a difficult man. I tried to warn her, but she thought she knew best. She got what she deserved as far as I’m concerned. She could have had a gentleman, but she fell for Mad Max.”

“Mum. You’ve frozen dad out of your life.”

“That is a terribly impertinent thing to say!”

“Mum, it’s true. You avoid him. You don’t like him. You frown at him, mock him and find any excuse to be away from him. You’ve given up on dad.”

“I haven’t given up on him. I’m still with him, aren’t I? God knows how hard that is at times.”

“I don’t want to give up on Brad.”

“Well, my dear, men aren’t always what they seem. And you put your hopes in them and they let you down. Your fantasies won’t change the realities of life.”

“So, are you angry at dad?”

“No! I’m not angry. I may be disappointed, but I’m not angry. I got over that years ago.”

“But you gave up on him.”

“You keep saying that and it’s not true. I’m still married to him. I still cook his meals, wash his clothes and we still go to bed together.”

“Mum I care about Brad. I want him to be happy. I want him to succeed. I want him to be delighted in me. But you don’t feel that way about dad.”

“It’s called growing up. Or call it ‘reality check’ if you want. Brad is not going to be the man you want him to be.”

“Maybe so, but I still don’t want to give up on him.”

“Well, we’ll see about that.”

“I made a promise to love him for better and for worse. If I start to despise him isn’t that because I’m thinking about myself and not him?”

“Do you know how difficult it is to live with dad? We always talked about moving into a bigger house and now he’s set on staying where we are because he likes it here. And he still sings Sinatra songs in the toilet, at the top of his voice. The neighbours tell me that Frankie was in good voice this morning. I know we can afford to go to Bali, but he just doesn’t want to go. I’ve given up a lot to be married to your father.”

“Mum, you’re talking like dad owes you something. Your talking like it’s all about YOU.”

“Well, I have a right to be happy. ‘The pursuit of happiness’; isn’t that what life is all about?”

“Mum, if you are living for yourself then of course you’ll despise dad. But if you saw yourself as dad’s treasure, you wouldn’t give up on him.”

“Honey, I didn’t plan to give up. But your dad is impossible. Do you know he still puts his elbows on the table, after all these years? I’ve had to give up nagging him, because he just ignores me. And he still wipes his hands on my clean tea-towels and then leaves them bunched on the bench. I think he just does that to infuriate me. If I didn’t ‘give up’ as you put it, I’d have gone crazy by now.”

“Mum, I believe I am God’s gift to Brad. I am his helper. So I have to help HIM, not myself. I want to bless him, for who he is, even though he won’t be all I want him to be.”

“Well you just keep at that as long as you can, honey, because I don’t see you keeping that attitude for very long.”

“Mum, I don’t want to discover that I can love him, and care for him, and put up with his foibles just because they gave him a few months to live. If I can do it because he’s dying then I can do it while he’s strong and healthy too, can’t I?”

“You’re a good girl. You’ve always been idealistic. So what can I say? Yes, you can do it. You go ahead and do it.”

“Mum, would you help me?”

“Your relationship with Brad is your own business. I don’t believe in meddling in my children’s marriages.”

“Mum, would you show me how to not give up? Would you show me that you can still care for dad, even though he annoys you as much as he does?”

“That’s a big ask, my dear. I don’t want to make that kind of promise.”

“Then, would you let us work together? Maybe if we help each other we can both learn how to never give up on our husbands.”

Rule of Law

All laws are equal, but some laws are more equal than others. (apologies to Orwell)

Or to put it in the vernacular of an Aussie oil commercial, “Laws ain’t laws!”

The law landscape is becoming muddier in recent decades, so this article is an attempt to clear the mud and distil a simple grid of reference that allows ordinary people to understand the law as far as it impacts them.

Some Foundational Principles

Law is that body of obligations to which everyone is bound, from the king to the chambermaid. The term ‘rule of law’ refers to the fact that everyone is bound by the law. No-one can escape their obligation to obey the laws.

But straight away we have a problem. Some laws are universal, such as laws against murder and theft. Everyone is bound by those laws and responsible not to break them.

However, there are in-house laws for employees or club members. Those laws are not universal and cannot be forced upon people who are not employees or members of the club.

For the purpose of this article we shall look only at those laws which apply to us all.

Foundation of Law

Everything must have a foundation, otherwise it will not stand. Things built on a firm foundation stand longer and stronger than things built on sand.

The original foundation for English law, which is the law that the Western world inherited and has built upon, is the Holy Bible and the law of Christ given two thousand years ago. That law involves such things as mercy, forgiveness, innocence until proven guilty and the guilty mind (mens rea) among other things.

An underlying principle of historic English law is that certain rights are given to humanity by our creator God. Those principles must be protected and upheld, in honour of God who gave them.

We see this principle of the rights of the people defined and protected in such historic documents as Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights.

Consider the promise by the Kings and Queens of England that “we will deny to no may, nor delay to them their justice and their rights”.

Law For the People

Considering the promise to deliver justice and right we can see that it is law FOR the people. It is a promise to protect the people and their God-given rights and freedoms.

However, there is a competing concept of law.

Another concept of law is that when people form a society that society becomes the force to which they must submit and also becomes the provider of their rights and freedoms.

This state centric concept discounts the inherent rights and freedoms of the people, in pursuit of what is best for the society, or the ‘greater good’. If one person has their rights wrongfully stripped from them that is not of great concern if it serves some greater purpose of the society.

And here we have the principal tension in today’s laws. We have laws for the people, and we have laws for the corporate entities.

Antichrist and All That
Historically the Christian church has understood that the world is heading for a one world government under the dictatorship of a character known as the Antichrist. This revealed in the last book of the Bible, Revelation, where the aged Apostle John saw visions of this apocalyptic future.

If the predictions are to come to pass then the whole world will end up in slavery to a global dictator. For that to happen law must evolve from law for the people to law for the corporation. Laws that protect people’s rights must be replaced by laws that take those rights away, ostensibly for the greater good.

The Antichrist mindset was in existence in the days of the early church, two thousand years ago. So it is no surprise that such a mindset is active in our world today.

And so we have people today who are seriously and passionately committed to laws that serve corporate agendas and that deny people their God-given rights and freedoms.

And thus we have conflict of laws in much of the world today, where laws that protect people are being overturned or restricted by laws that empower corporations and governments to take our freedoms from us.

Overturning Rule of Law

Since the true foundation of law is that we have inherent God-given rights and freedoms, those who wish to overturn those rights and freedoms must cheat the system at some point or other.

If we know what to look for we will see the evidence of laws that violate foundational principles and overturn historic principles and protections.

I will show you later how the Infringements Act 2006 (Vic) and similar laws in other states of Australia and beyond violate some pretty foundational principles. Those violations are not hidden, but that has not stopped our politicians and lawmakers from creating these suspect laws, nor has it stopped the courts and governments from enforcing them.

But first we need a little more foundational understanding.

Making Law

Laws have to be made by someone. We call the people who make the law ‘lawmakers’ or ‘legislators’.

When society needs to find a way to use the roads safely a law is needed about which side of the road vehicles should travel on. Legislators are meant to consider the options and debate the possibilities until they have come up with the most effective law to govern use of the roads.

When it is discovered that people are smuggling unwanted goods into the land the lawmakers must work out the best laws to stop that action and punish those who break the law.

In Australia we have certain protections in the making of laws. Elected representatives must consider and debate proposed laws. Once they have voted in favour of a set of laws, usually embodied in an Act of Parliament, that Act must pass on to our Upper House, or Senate, where the law is reviewed.

If the laws are not accepted in their original form they will be sent back to the House of Representatives where they will either be disbanded or reworked and resubmitted for approval.

Only once laws have been approved by both houses of parliament can the law be made a law. But even then it must be signed off by the Queen’s representative, and it should also be reviewed by the courts to make sure it is not in conflict with existing laws.

So it is not an easy matter to get a new law made and have it imposed on the population. And that’s a good thing that laws must be rigorously debated and filtered before they are allowed to be enacted.

Enforcing Laws

Good society involves three branches of government: the legislative (law making); administrative (general operation of society); and judicial (law enforcement).

The Australian Constitution was set up on the principle of ‘separation of powers’. That principle is that the three branches of government are to be kept separate.

If they are not separated then people’s rights can be violated.

Take for example the December 2012 decision by Melton Council in Victoria that it did not like people interrupting the council meeting. The Councillors met and made up a new law that anyone who failed to leave the chamber when directed by the Mayor would be subject to an immediate on-the-sot fine of $500.

In that case there was no separation of powers. Firstly the law was made capriciously by the self-interested group of councillors. There was no ‘check and balance’ process to make sure the law was a good one and did not violate such foundational principles as the right of free speech. The Councillors significantly escalated the penalty to frighten people into submission. Then those who made the law were able to enforce it themselves.

This is a blatant violation of the Australian Constitution and the principle of ‘separation of powers’. It shows how easy it is for a corporation or government agency to become a belligerent dictator if the principles of law are not maintained.

It is also a good reason why Australians should not elevate local councils into our Constitution, as they are not subject to the rigorous law making limitations imposed by the Constitution.

Judicial Process

Through the centuries the courts have become evil in various ways. Thankfully a set of principles has been distilled over time to define correct judicial process.

A person making a claim must have a just cause. They must have the sworn testimony of an injured party, not hearsay, groundless claims. The accused must be allowed to face his accuser and to challenge the claims made.

A judge must provide a fair trial; including ensuring that one party is not overpowered by the legal representatives he is up against. Those who represent themselves must be given special protection from their own ignorance and inexperience.

If there is contention in a matter then the court cannot give summary judgment. Each matter must be heard. The jurisdiction of the court must be established and may be challenged at any time during a proceeding. A judge who has vested interest in a case or who is biased must stand down.

If the principles of judicial process are not upheld then the whole case can be thrown out.

Foundational Reference Point

Because societies tend to drift over time, shifting their values without even realising it, the safest societies are those that have an external reference point and a firm foundation.

In Australian Law we have the Australian Constitution by which all other laws must be evaluated. If any law offends the Constitution then that law is of no effect.

Further to this the Holy Bible is regarded as the foundation of Australian law, both by our historic lawmakers, but also by our Queen swearing allegiance to the Bible in her Coronation.

These foundations have not been removed, despite public sentiment having drifted somewhat over the past century.

So we can measure the modern laws that might be attacking our God-given rights and freedoms by referring to the Australian Constitution and to the Holy Bible.

Making Laws that Ain’t Laws

State lawmakers have tried to overturn our law, taking away our rights and freedoms and moving away from our foundations, by making laws that are not laws.

Acts of Parliament are increasingly being made without regard to the foundational law in Australia. It is as if those driving this process are flagrantly challenging our Constitutional protections and making people fight for the very rights and freedoms that have been guaranteed to them.

When Parliaments create an Act they declare that they have made a new ‘law’. They then backup that law with police enforcement, courts making judgements based on that ‘law’, sheriffs taking possession of people’s goods and so on.

By this evil use of the instruments of society laws are being forced upon people even though those laws are not lawful when measured against the Australian Constitution.

It is imposition of new laws, taking our freedoms, by force and intimidation.

Infringements Act 2006 (Vic)

Let me use the Victorian Infringements Act of 2006 as an example of modern law that overturns the principles of law, Australian Constitution and the rights and freedoms of the people.

The Australian Constitution upholds ‘separation of powers’ and rigorous lawmaking process. That means that those who make the laws must do so with checks and balances and they cannot enforce their own laws.

The Infringements Act licences certain private corporations with the power to make laws without any checks and balances. And it empowers them to make a law one day and send out their own employees to enforce the law the very next day.

The new laws don’t have to be signed off on behalf of the Queen. They don’t have to be scrutinised by the courts. The Corporations, such as local councils made up of ordinary men and women, are given power to do what highly trained, legal minds cannot do. This is an amazing allocation of power, and it completely violates the separation of powers.

No Judicial Process

What is more each company that is allowed to issue infringements, based on by-laws they make up themselves, is permitted to employ people who are given incredible judicial power.

The company man, be he or she a parking attendant, council by-laws officer, train ticket inspector, or whatever, is given the role of finding an offender, accusing the offender, determining that the offender is guilty without even hearing from the alleged offender or hearing the case, determining the penalty and then creating a legal document that immediately makes the accused a guilty party obligated to pay the fine.

That makes them accuser, judge, jury and executioner!

This collection of actions contains several violations of judicial process. The Australian Constitution not only requires the separation of powers but requires that correct judicial process be followed.

Judges are required to guarantee fairness and must prove jurisdiction. There must be just cause, based on the sworn testimony of an injured party.

Infringements are issued in abundance every day without evidence of an injured party, without sworn testimony from anyone, without fairness, without hearing, and without conviction in a court of competent jurisdiction.

Laws Ain’t Laws

Despite the failings of the Infringements Act the courts are keen to uphold infringements once they have been issued. The accused is considered guilty as charged.

Yet, as I have shown, the Infringements Act is offensive to the Australian Constitution. It is not valid law. It is a state statute designed to overturn and overthrow the rights of the public and the protections built into the Constitution.

So the law landscape is muddy. It is muddied by laws that are not valid laws, yet which are upheld vigorously by the courts, the police, the sheriffs and the legal system.

Those who try to challenge the Infringements system have an uphill battle on their hands.

This can only be because there are people who want to defeat our God-given rights and freedoms and to make us subject to laws made by companies. That way we can be stripped of our rights and made slaves to all manner of entities who have been given special rights to enslave us.

It isn’t a pretty picture, but it is a picture we can understand and maybe change.

We actually do have God-given rights and freedoms. Those who are attacking our rights must do so by violating the foundations of our law. Surely there are those who can and will do something to bring redress to this evil ?????

What about you ?

Essay Writing and Answering Exam Questions

ESSAY WRITING – ANSWERING QUESTIONS
Explanatory Notes for Isaac Field (by C. Field 19/4/2013)

While writing essays and answering exam questions appears to a student to be merely a process of evaluation imposed by the school system it is much more than that. Essay writing and written answers to questions rely upon skills that are highly valuable in life and career.

These explanatory notes will explain some of the key issues related to essay writing and written answers to questions, hopefully prompting intelligent development and application of the appropriate skills, not just in the school context but into adult life and career.

1.         Core Skills.

The core skills relied upon in writing essays and exam answers, and throughout the rest of your life, are:
a) Observation, comprehension, understanding and memory of the source content under investigation (book, movie, article) and the exam question or essay topic, including ability to make relevant quotations.
b) Analysis, reflection, interpretation, evaluation and re-expression of the ideas conveyed or prompted by the source content under investigation and also in the exam question or essay topic.
c) Comparison of ideas or expressions, which shows that you have observed and comprehended and also interpreted and analysed what you have observed, seeing the distinctions between the elements being compared.
d) Communication, organisation of thought, clear expression and convincing argument.
e) Extent of ideas, including originality and insight, arguments for and against a point, ability to accommodate various and divergent perceptions and keep them in balance and how widely read and rich the student’s information is.
f) Underlying language tools, such as spelling, grammar, vocabulary, technical terminology, clarity (without ambiguity or vagueness) and presentation skills.

2.         Presentation.

While this may seem a lesser consideration it is true that clarity of presentation requires clarity of thought and so it is always a good starting point.

Note that this article starts with a Heading, followed by a sub-heading, and includes identification of the author and date. The opening sentences explain the subject matter of the article and its purpose. A reader will quickly know whether they wish to read this article or if it is the one they were seeking.

Poorly identified documents can be overlooked or lost or fail to get the attention they deserve.

This is not an exam skill, but a requisite life skill, to clearly and accurately identify documents and the content therein. Get into the habit of doing this automatically whether required or not. If it is inappropriate make the exception for that answer.

At the top of your essay or assignment put the relevant information of Subject, Class, Topic, your name, date and so on.

Eg: SOCIAL SCIENCE, Yr 10, Mid Term Exam, Cultural Diversity, May 5, 2014, Billy Smith Class 10J.
Question 1: Primary Culture in Australia.
While cultural diversity exists within communities and even within each cultural group there is usually a primary culture overriding all other cultural elements. In Australia that primary culture can be seen …….

3.         Clarity.

The first sentence or two in an essay or exam answer should (unless a very short answer is required) restate the topic or question in some way, so the reader or examiner can be confident you are answering the right question.

This is also a checkpoint for yourself, to ensure you are doing the right thing. There is no prize for writing an exam question where you wrongly understood the question.

4.         Interpret the Question or Topic.

If you get the question wrong or do not fully answer it you are throwing points away and wasting your time.

Observe what the question or topic asks, interpret it, keep all the parts in mind and in their place, organise your thoughts and then express them effectively.

Eg: Assignment Question – Using Examples from the Source Material (Text / Article / Chapter) Describe two different processes that produce the result.
Note that this question asks for EXAMPLES and DESCRIPTION of TWO things that are DIFFERENT. You must provide all those elements or you cannot expect your optimum score.

If you are struggling to answer a question, at least show the examiner that you UNDERSTAND the question. Refer to the elements mentioned in the question (examples, description, 2, different).

5.         Do what is Required. Follow Instructions.

Most essay and exam questions will ask for a specific performance from the student.

One level of question simply asks you to Describe or Give Examples. This checks that you know the material. Quotations, summary statements and listing the core elements of the material will be helpful here, to show that you do know the material.

Another level of question asks you to Discuss, Address, Analyse, Compare or Explain something. This type of question checks your ability to analyse, comprehend, see the implications, make assessments, filter the material through some kind of lens or otherwise interpret the material.
In most classes teachers tend to feed students sufficient examples of what is required such that an astute student can usually pass an exam by re-presenting those thoughts already presented in class.

Higher level students will have taken the teacher’s observations and promptings as a springboard for their own insights and analysis, and their essay or answer to a question will include original thought, and/or more widely read understanding, likely gaining them higher marks.

Be sure you keep an eye on the question and do what it asks. If you must give 2 examples, then do so. If you must present your own thoughts or impressions then do so.

Eg: Exam Question: 10 Second Dash.
“You have 10 seconds only to answer this question.
Read the whole question before answering.
State Your First Name: ________________.
Year you started at this school: __________________.
Current Class: ______________________.
Favourite Sport: _________________.
Mother’s maiden name: ________________.
Father’s Occupation: _______________________.
Names of Siblings: ________________________________________________.
Hair Colour: _______________________.
Do not write anything on this page.”