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Please, please, please...answer the question we set, not the one you wish we'd set

Sounds obvious, but answering the actual question helps.  I’ve just finished marking the script of a clearly hyper-intelligent student.  Quotes from Lord Justices in obscure 1930s judgments coming out of their wazoo…problem was, it became clear they were simply showing off how much they’d managed to cram into their heads and were adopting the classic “scattergun” approach.  Upshot was that they had failed to actually answer the question.  I gave it a low 2:1 and that was being generous.  The lesson?  Answering the question badly will usually get you more marks than not answering the question well.  Genius show-offs beware!