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How to Handle Last Minute Preparation in Model UN

As expected, I recommend that you start prepping for a conference weeks in advance. 

Having comprehensive solution sets, knowing your country’s policy in and out, giving speeches with a refined understanding of the topic, and displaying knowledge of past failed initiatives and how to move past them are all significant contributors to awards placement. However, I am also well aware that as a high school student, sometimes that isn’t going to happen, whether due to a busy schedule or pure procrastination. Here are some tips to try and salvage your performance:

Read Through the Background Guide. Pay Particular Attention to the Questions to Consider

 

Each conference operates under the assumption you at least know the basics of the topic being discussed. The background guide will include the information the chairs believe is most relevant to understanding the subject’s components. This shows what the chairs want the discussion to center around (there’s no feasible way to put everything about the topic within a twenty-five-page packet, so chairs choose to prioritize some pieces of information over others). A background guide is a starting point for further research because it allows for more nuanced solutions and informative speeches. However, if you’re under a time crunch, this should hopefully be enough to get by and ensure you don’t say something wholly incorrect and irrelevant. Make sure that you don’t skip over the questions to consider because that is what the chairs want to see your answer regarding the topic throughout the competition. Start brainstorming answers to those questions so your chairs don’t become frustrated when you try to change the course of the committee against their preferences. 

 

Fewer Niche Solutions Over Multiple Generic Solutions

 

While answering the questions to consider, you might be tempted to write down as many solutions as you can find from Google. Don’t do that. Everybody has a funding clause and an education clause. Everybody has access to the first page of a web search, which will tell you the most obvious answers to the topic being discussed. Without thorough research, you will lose when it comes to a merger or even just vying to be the person in your bloc to write that clause because the other delegates will know more than you and be able to put that clause together better.

Instead, find at least one innovative solution that you don’t think many delegates will have thought of. That way, you can at least stand out in committee and have writing that distinguishes you from everybody else. 

Do Not Spend All Your Time On County Policy

 

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is spending a significant amount of a short research period simply knowing the nitty-gritty of everything to do with your country and what your country has thought about a topic. Of course, being aware of the big picture is essential. The United States will not ally with The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on civil rights issues, Costa Rica has a smaller GDP than Russia, and Moldova has a smaller army than the United Kingdom. However, you don’t need to know every single statement a country has put out on an issue throughout history and every fact and figure about its economy and industry. It’s not the most relevant knowledge to have because you’re not going to insert it into a solution set, especially when you’re trying to find answers that haven’t already happened. It’s more essential to know the basics of your country’s policies and situation and look up how other countries compare, so you can use that to convince delegates to align with you. 

Once again, you will be disadvantaged if you don’t put the time in. However, hopefully, these tips will help make the weekend somewhat productive. 

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