Happy new year everyone! (Bit delayed I know but I thought it’d be rude not to say it on my first post of the year…) On Monday I had my last ever January exam! I don’t think I can put into words how happy I am to never have to do another January exam again (unless I do a Masters and they cruelly decide to have exams in Jan too.) I know I knew I’d have exams straight after Christmas when I started my degree but, after spending almost every festive period of my life stressing about revising for exams, it’s the best feeling in the world knowing that next year maybe there’ll be no such stress and maybe, just maybe, I can drink all the bucksfizz I want next Christmas without that nagging voice being like ‘ooo make sure you don’t drink too much, you’ve got to revise tomorrow’.
Anyway, as I was saying, I had my last exam on Monday. This year the uni truly spoiled us third year psych students by only giving us three exams instead of the standard five we’ve been used to for the last two years. Having said that though it did seem like there was way more content to remember than usual!
Our first exam was for our core module, PS3002 Brain and Cognition, and the one that I was least thrilled about. The exam was split into section A and section B, with four questions in each section, but we only had to answer one question from each. Now, for section A we had lectures by four lecturers so you’d think each lecturer would get a question. You’d think. My friends and I spent countless hours stressing over the group chat about whether or not to only revise one lecturer’s lectures because there was a hell of a lot of content and all the other lecturers in other modules told us to only pick so many topics and not try to revise the whole module. The lecturers in Brain and Cog, however, were far less helpful and just said they couldn’t say if everyone would have a question or not (lies. Everyone else could tell us.) They did, however, put this on blackboard: Material from Sarah White, Robin Green, Elizabeth Maratos and Giorgio Fuggetta (material covered in the lectures given in October) will be examined on Section A, so we thought that they had confirmed that each person would get a question because there’s no way that they’d be so cruel as to put they WILL be examined instead of COULD be examined. Can you see where this is going? Yes, that’s right, we were wrong and only two of the lecturers had a question, meaning those of us that had only revised one person’s (or even two people’s in some cases) topic had nothing to write about. Not cool, UoL, not cool. I managed to write around 4 pages of stuff about eye movements, reading, and saccade generation from memory but it’s obviously not going to be good quality so hello, resits.
There’s nothing I can do about that now though so, moving on! The other two exams were actually okay. I would have preferred a little bit more time between brain and cognition and clinical (they were only a day apart) as I spent so much (wasted) time revising for B & C that I couldn’t do as much extra reading for clinical as I’d have liked, but oh well. One of the first questions that came up was about dementia in the elderly which I was happy about as I very much enjoyed that lecture, mainly because we had such a great lecturer (shout out to you, Noelle!). She gave us two lectures in this module and each time she related personal stories to the topic and made the lecture seem, well, less lecture like and more ‘hey, I’m here to have a slightly one sided chat with you guys for the next two hours’ which I find so much easier to engage with and actually remember what has been said.
In the Legal exam I actually had too much to write about. I mean, there wasn’t much structure to either of the essays as I had so much to say I kind of just spewed words onto the page, but hopefully this won’t go against me too much as long as I have the main points in there. Also, it’s better to have too much to talk about instead of not enough, right? One of the questions that came up was about false confessions which I had dedicated a blog post to not long ago (you can have a read here if you like). Win.
I know this posts is slightly rambling but I hope it’s given you all a little bit of an insight into how third year exams are structured, especially if you’re in first or second year or thinking of coming to UoL to study psychology. I also hope it can act as a warning to revise everything for PS3002 because, if not, you’ll be sat in the exam writing a nonsensical essay about how much our eyes move when reading whilst trying to remember what an earth a saccade is and hoping the marker doesn’t laugh too much at you when they read it. Thank goodness for anonymous marking!