Answering Register Questions
It might seem trite to say this but the key to passing any examination is to answer the question and to answer it correctly; that is all there ever is to an examination. Although English is an art subject which means the answers are not precise and exact as in science subjects, like Physics for example, there is an underlying logic to the apparent madness.
Register being part of the English Examination is no exception. To understand some of the tricks examiners employ in a bid to make you fail ( they would deny that this is their intention but it is still true they do not seem to want you to pass!) you should practice well before you write your examination. If you have not yet done so read the introduction to English Language Notes here to learn more about practicing.
English might not be Maths but is still worth practicing. There is no glory in practice but without practice there is no glory. Do not however mistake activity for progress, reading is not always a worthwhile practice! Read the introductory section to learn more about effective studying techniques.
Answering Register Techniques
- Read and understand the situation carefully. The instruction for all register questions clearly instructs you to read the situations given out in the question paper carefully before you attempt to answer the questions which follow them. An instruction that most people ignore as they hurry to their peril. Read slowly and visualize the situation taking note of such things as the status of the participants/characters in the situation, the topic under discussion, the purpose of the discourse, the relationship between/among them.
- Immerse yourself into the situation. Imagine yourself into each of the participant’s shoes in turn and try and experience the likely emotions each is feeling and the reactions involved.
- Read and understand the question on what’s required. For example if the question is about emotions whose emotions/feelings are being asked for.
- When you have decided on the most appropriate answer write out your answer on an answer sheet taking particular care that the numbering is correct.
- It is always better to give an answer as a full sentence rather than just one word in register. For starters it allows you to clarify exactly what you mean for example who is angry with whom and for what and secondly it allows you to string a couple of similar answers which makes it likely you will score with examiners.
Also beware of direct translations e.g. boredom (kubhoikana) when you mean annoyed. Take time to learn the meanings of of words under each of the topics. To learn more please click here to go back to English Notes Home and click on the various Register topics.
To learn more about the differences in shades of meanings for example disconcerted,annoyed, angry, furious and lived use a thesaurus and a dictionary so as to understand the precise meaning of certain words. What is the difference between angry and annoyed because there is a difference otherwise it would be just useless redundancy to have two different words that mean exactly the same thing.
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