As promised, here I am! Lectures have started again this week, and I’m already facing an essay for Biological Psychology and a complex topic for Stats. Lovely! But I’m not here to complain, on the contrary I’m glad lectures have started again, despite being busy all the time! 🙂
But before I move on to new stories, I want to finish the discussion on exams.
The thing is, last term we had little preparation regarding exams, and I get it, I mean one can’t really teach students how to deal with time and handwriting pace, and small things like these. Also, being university students, we should have already developed those skills. But I want to say a thing or two, so First Year students or prospective students can have an idea about what writing an essay exam is like.
First of all, for the two Library Modules, we were invited to choose a specific topic and come up with a plan for our essay, since the point was to encourage us to do our own research. The questions were very broad in order to give us the space necessary, and we could technically prepare our own personal essay before the actual exam. For the other exams, instead, it was important to be ready on every aspect of a specific sub-module, because despite being able to choose a sub-module to focus on, we couldn’t predict the actual question. So, even though you might have your favourite topic or you think a particular topic is likely to come up, always be ready for anything. It might sound like common sense, but I’m telling you anyway. Better safe than sorry.
Also, once sitting the examination I realised it was very hard to calculate how much I would be able to write in an hour, not to mention learning all the references by heart!
The worst enemy is the possibility to blank out when reading the questions. If that happens, don’t panic, but instead use 5 minutes to write down a plan, make sure you answer the question, and write down all the necessary references, so you won’t have to remember them later. 😉 Oh, and if you’re facing two questions, you might want to answer the one you think easier first, and then concentrate on the more difficult one (this is what I did).
Another awful part was being able to keep the concentration and motivation high throughout the exams. I must admit mine kind of dropped by the end. That doesn’t mean I didn’t care anymore, only it was harder to revise efficiently. This is why I was glad I had revised and prepared during Christmas break! If you study well in advance, you won’t have as much work to do when during exams period you lack time or motivation. 🙂
They’re just tips, and they’re also really personal so I don’t expect them to work for everyone.
With this, I think we can finally leave exams behind… at least, until results come out. But you’re lucky you don’t have to worry about that! 😛