Something that is always challenging for any new university student is adjusting to university level study. The Natural Science course in particular presents some unique challenges and this list has been made to help you overcome these challenges:
- Pre-reading: Pre-reading is the literature reading or research that should be completed before a session. Not all sessions will require pre-reading but those that do will clearly state in their handbooks what sources need to be looked at before the session. I cannot stress the following point enough, you should always attempt the pre-reading in order to make your contact hours productive. Doing the pre-reading can help identify your strengths and weakness on a topic beforehand so that you can ask the right questions to solidify your understanding of the topic. Even a quick scan over the pre-reading material can prove useful.
- Maths v0: The weekly maths component of the course has 3 submission opportunities denoted v0, v1 and v2. The v0 is completed the week before the material is taught, completing and achieving the competency mark on a v0 allows you to skip the maths sessions for that week. The v1 is the standard deadline for the maths coursework and is typically due the following Monday after the material has been taught. Finally, the v2 follows after the v1 and is the final deadline for a particular maths coursework, the v2 allows you to learn from your mistakes on previous submissions that did not meet the competency mark (you can also learn from your mistakes with a v1 if you had completed a v0 that did not meet competency). Take full advantage of these multiple submission deadlines and the chance to learn from your mistakes.
- Extension Tasks: These are extra non-compulsory pieces of coursework designed to push students that feel so inclined. You most likely will not be able to do all of them but some of the deadlines are positioned after holidays, so if you’re in the coursework and Christmas spirit why not give it a go (you can even gain extra credit by doing so).
- Lab Reports: Write up your lab reports as you go along, that’s pretty much all there is to it. Getting these done as you go along will save the headache of trying to remember what you did in that lab practical a few days ago.
- Backup your data: One of the most important things you can do is back up your data regularly. It’s not a good feeling having to start from beginning all over again after your computer decides to crash and, for lack of a better metaphor, run towards the light. So to ensure you don’t lose your data make sure to backup regularly using Dropbox, a USB or whatever else you fancy.
These are a few of my keys to success, hopefully they help you achieve your goals. Good luck and stay disciplined. #MajorKey