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Thread: DSC1 getting close - getting stressed!

  1. #1

    DSC1 getting close - getting stressed!

    hi everyone,
    i have booked my DSC1 and theres less than a month to go,
    i am a little inexperienced but have been pest controlling for a while now and have taken a few foxes & munties with my .223
    however, i am my own worst enemy when it comes to training courses & exams - with a touch of OCD thrown in for good measure (so my wife recons!!)

    i have been sent lots of info by the course provider, bought a good book and even an audio tape to listen to whilst on my daily 2hr dog walk in the mornings.
    the problem is that i dont feel any of the information is sticking in my mind!

    how did you commit the info to your memory?

    best tips & advice for my learning and course would be greatly appreciated!!

  2. #2
    Stick to the course work, get someone to randomly select questions rather than just going through the book. Then concentrate on the ones you get wrong.

    if you want to meet up one night I'm happy to run through the lot. Least that way will find which area you are weak on, if any!

    But ultimately the fear of doing something new is always much worse than getting on with it! I'm sure you will be fine.



  3. #3
    I did mine earlier this year and TBH I treated it like all the exams I did at school!

    I'd definitely read the entire DMQ book cover to cover and ideally more than once (I did this on my train journey to and from work), and make bullet point notes on each chapter as you go as this will help commit things you dont know to memory and mind map them. Ideally you can cover each chapter in less than 2 sides of A4, otherwise you're just writing the book out again!

    Very helpfully DMQ give you all the multi choice questions in the back of the book (though no answers) and they also break the questions down into chunks (EG; A block for each of the 6 species of deer, one on English law, one on Irish and so on), so you can then use your notes on each chapter to try to answer each block. IE; use your notes on the roe chapter to answer the questions on roe and so on.

    Update your notes for any questions you got wrong or missed taking notes on, and TBH dont spend a huge amount of time learning things that wont be asked. EG; If the chapter on roe tells you when roe cast their antlers, but theres no question in the bank on when roe cast their antlers then you dont need to make a point of learning that for the exam, though it is good knowledge for the field of course.

    The meat hygiene is largely common sense (things like you need to wash your knife if you drop it on the floor!) but there are a couple of things there that you might need to note down if you dont know them.

    The test that is a little harder to revise for is the species ID - The BDS do a great interactive DVD which you can buy from their site which has a load of tests with photo's to help you hone your ID chops. You'll need to know the species and the sex to pass.

    The thing to do with this is make notes on the key identifying marks for each species and then try to get a mental picture for each of them by doing the tests on the DVD. To be honest theres no quick way to do this other than to actually sit mock tests IMHO, so the DVD is very helpful with this.

    The shooting test is done on the day - Three shots in a 4" circle at 100x from prone, then three further two shots groups on the kill zone of a deer target. Two at 100x prone, two at 70x kneeling or sitting and then two at 40x whilst standing. You can use supports for this and they will allow anything that you would have in the field with you, so shooting sticks, rucksacks and so on. Hard to practice for this unless you have somewhere you can go to safely do so, and a rifle to do it with. You are allowed three attempts on the day though, so its not just fail and sudden death.

    The last test is the safety test which takes the form of a brief simulated stalk so you should know how to load safely, how to cross obstacles and so on. And your guide will also ask you questions as you go about other things such as how to carry the rifle whilst hill stalking and other things. You'll also see several deer targets laid out as you go and need to ID which is the one you could safely shoot. It will be the one with a safe backstop of rising earth! Fences, trees, buildings, skyline and other deer are not safe backstops. All the things you can be asked are covered in the DMQ book, and the safety test is the only one they will tell you on the day if you fail. You also have to get this 100% right as obviously any safety mistakes are a problem!

    Dont forget though that you will have an instructor on the course who will be doing all they can to help you pass, and will be explaining each topic as you go through the course.

    They're not trying to catch you out with anything and you dont have to treat it like a PhD, rather just useful info for a hobby you enjoy! You will be fine!

    I work in London so happy to meet up after work to go through things if that would be useful!
    Last edited by stubear; 20-06-2016 at 09:36.

  4. #4
    Two points -

    Check what shooting test your specific trainer will be using and practice it.
    Ultimate Deer Data


    Last edited by jcampbellsmith; 20-06-2016 at 11:28.

  5. #5
    I did my DSC1 with Jelen Deer Services and they offered an excellent on line system that gave mock questions on each of the areas. I spent most lunchtimes working through this. I also got hold of a PDF of the multiple choice questions and printed this out and worked through it on the train/tube when commuting. I then transferred the correct answers to little index cards that I used as flip cards - very handy when squeezed into a packed tube carriage. The CDs from Galloway Fieldsports are excellent too - I listened to them when in the car.

    You can get a PDF of all the questions here:

  6. #6
    im overwhelmed, thanks everyone for all advice and offers!

    my birthday is coming up in a few days so the kids are getting me 30 days of ultimate deer data subscription

    id better pass now, i owe it to all of you with all this support!

  7. #7
    Disco2 - with deepest respect to clients past, there's two basic types on a DSC1 Assessment - the admitted nervous and pathological fibbers!

    That is a slight fudge I'll admit - we have sadly had a couple of people swan in having ignored all the provided advice and study material, but they swallowed every line from the mate down the pub who'd told them you get the award for just turning up. Their stress free outlook changed to horror quite swiftly...

    No flannel - nerves show you care about the process and consequently are putting effort in. Read the manual provided and by all means utilise online type resources to give a bit more dynamic learning. Then practise the questions in the back of most manuals or as advised above. We've never met, but I flat out guarantee you that information is sinking in - dont push it, just take things steady.

    Your course provider will likely have provided study notes and suggestions - if not, they should be more than happy to respond to contact with specific queries. Its a really useful process - because you get to know the course providers in the process and that makes the actual event that bit less daunting - shades of Brize Norton Hangers signed 'Knowledge Dispels Fear'.

    SD is a great resource ( is it just me or is it getting better all the time these days? ) - BUT the central source of info is always best the course provider; from the horses mouth so to speak.

    Part of my role on courses ( and in the build up ) is 'Headology' ( per Pratchett ) - the mind can help or hinder you and a very little effort/ push in the right direction ensures its the former.

    Zen and DSC1 - live in the moment. The DSc1 is comprised 5 elements - Deer ID, General Questions, Meat & Game Hygiene, Safety and Shooting.
    Everyone has a favourite and least favourite.
    When doing the shooting, think about that - simply dont allow any thought about the safety test next - or whatever it is. Right now its shooting and that is all that matters.
    In fact I suggest taking that further - the last shot and the one after this matter not a jot - all that matters in your world for those few seconds is the next wiggle of your trigger finger.
    Apply the same approach to all the elements - on the general questions if you are working on Qu 16 - thats your world. Qu 15 is yesterday and Qu17 is for the future.
    Analysis of the multiple choice papers often shows a trend - faint pen marks indicate mental struggle over a question - which may be right or wrong in equal occurrence. BUT the next 1,2,3 or 4 questions are wrong. By no means am I talking about every time, but enough to be noticed. On investigation it seems people hit a bump in the road question, agonise over it, answer and go to the next question - BUT they are still thinking about the awkward one - and make simple mistakes. Just by reading that last sentence - you are now immunised against that - good init?

    No matter what you read or hear, the DSC1 is a foundation course. Its designers intended it to be a doorway into stalking not a high bar to stop folk. None of the Assessment elements have any time limits - if anyone tells you different, ask to see where its written ( officially ) - they can't 'cos it ain't. Be selfish - take your time and dont let anyone pressure you - accidentially or otherwise.

    Nowhere in the Assessor guide book is there any instruction to pile on pressure or try to trick or otherwise fluster a candidate - just the opposite. All the professionals on your course will be there to ( in equal measure ) help you perform to your best and ensure everyone is treated fairly and abides by the same rules. The best trainers aren't there to show you how good they are - but rather how good you are.

    You mention above 'owing people' - thats less than ideal headology! Instead try to find an outlook that works for you along the lines of - 'I'm learning lots of useful stuff and am looking forward to testing my knowledge'. I know, I know - group hugs next door - but this seriously works. ask any Olympic Athlete.

    Good enough is good enough. Perfection is a nice target but it can be a silly task master. Do not over fret because you may not recall every single season or the dental proclavities of Fallow ( the answer usually has a '3' in it ). If you read the questions through and find yourself thinking ' that doesn't make sense' - then you have achieve nirvanna! Because the DSC , such as life, is composed of the right way, wrong way and DSC way - your course provider will be aware of all the quirks and most likely will cover these in any revision elements - if they don't - ask.

    For questions/ answers that are really driving you mad, then go to a memory palace. Most brains think much better in pictures or via tunes. Make up a story with daft images - the dafter the better you will remember them. Weave that around all the information you want to retain. Or make up a song to a catchy tune.

    eg - ME in England is 1700 ftlbs, but in Scotland ( bar Roe etc ) its 1750 ftlbs. Picture a Scottish Stag come at you across George Square after Scotia lost the footy - again - he's resplendent with his whimzical tartan bonnet with fake red hair and side burns and he's well stoked on Irn Brew. Suddenly - having memorised 1700 as the magic number, having another 50 ftlbs to deck him seems a great idea....

    Silly - but you'll recall that image long after two numbers would fade.

    Everyone has key interests, things that matter most to them - so personalise your memory palace.

    Our courses are littered with skits involving sociopathic stoats with Dutch Paraboots and a tutu etc - all very pythonesk, but all memorable.

    Work the questions and any that cause a real issue - ask the course provider.

    I hope that helps. If you have any issues at all and wish to do so - just drop us a PM. No worries!

    Good luck and please do report baxck how a. it went and b. how you found things.
    Stalking and Courses
    BASC Approved Trainer & Assessor. Cairngorm National Park Authority Approved Supplier. Supported by Sauer Arms
    See you at Kelso, Scone & Moy 2016

  8. #8
    Please do not stress. You are taking this examination in order to pursue a hobby/leisure interest. All those involved in your assessment will want you to be successful, so long as you meet the required standards in all areas.

    I passed my DSC1 last year. I did not heed my own advice and got so wound-up about a silly mistake that things went from not very good to abominable in a short period of time. I passed the re-sit easily only a few weeks later (cost me 25 though )

    The only reason that happened was that I was pushing too hard. I'd submitted myself for assessment having spent many hours preparing (as you have) to the point that my lowest scores on tests was in the 90 % bracket.

    Unless you are frequently out on the ground with a mentor, the best way I found for the recognition section was the interactive CDs approach.

    You have done the preparation, now comes the last minute honing of the weak areas to get it firmly embedded. Take it easy on yourself and have confidence.

    HTH and best wishes for your assessment

  9. #9
    I only just sat and passed my DSC1 at the week end there and like you I was crapping my self, in all honestly everyone on the course seemed the same but from what your saying your doing everything rite so have confidence in yourself and enjoy it. I read the bds book from cover to cover making notes twice and then went on to use: Deer Stalking Certificate 1 Training - Home learning for the month before hand to test how I was taking it all in. I found the online mock tests to be fantastic and give me some confidence that the info was staying where it should between my ears.
    Going back around 3 month I couldn't have even have told you there was 6 species of uk deer never mind anything about them. Also I had never even fired a centre fire rifle so If I can do it I'm sure you can.
    best of luck BS

  10. #10
    Relax. Enjoy it.
    Sign up to the on line bit where you can do mock tests. that way you will find out areas you need to improve on its about 10 a month

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