Biomedical Science: My Second Year
Hello everyone, I am a third year biomedical science student at the University of Warwick. In my first year I did manage to gain a first and moved onto second year with high hopes.
Why is second year important?For biomedical science this is the year that you get a good chunk of your degree done (30% if you’re on the Bsc) and it shapes your job applications. Securing a 1st or a 2.1 is pinnacle if you want to have a higher chance at getting a grad job or securing a place on a masters course. But don’t let this stress you out too much, there are plenty of non-exam assessments that can really bring your grade up.
My first piece of advice is to seek help if you are ever stuck on any aspect. This is seeking is straight away. There was one lab report that I wasn’t very sure on or confident with and I should’ve gone to see my lecturer asap. Instead, I kept putting off going to see him and didn’t do very well in it. However, I followed my advice for other assessments that really helped to claw back a few needed marks.
Exams. Second year exams are quite different to first year. First year is all multiple choice and honestly easy to revise for. In second year, the content essentially doubles, and the exam answers are much more detailed. So, start early. Start easing yourself into content early but the year is a balancing act of knowing enough content and stress. Practise essays! My tutor marked any essays I turned in and always offered constructive feedback. Working with friends can really help, I used to plan 10 markers with mine. This way you can build a selection of points to include. Also, everyone has different strengths so if you are stuck then a peer can often explain concepts in a student friendly manner.
To combat stress. I used to go running or go to the gym. Some friends listen to music while others may take a break with a TV show. It is important for your second year that you have ways to combat stress! If you have any worries (no matter how trivial) then speak to your tutor or an academic that you know. Even just talking through any issues really helps.
There are lots of opportunities to get involved in over second year such as the URSS. The undergraduate research support scheme. You apply early in second year and it essentially involves asking academics if they could offer you a project to work on while they supervise. It is paid but this is more to cover living expenses. The URSS takes place over summer and can really show you if research is what you want to do.
Although, second year was the hardest of my degree (even my third year is much less stressful) I still obtained a 2.1 so it was worth all of my stress.