I don’t think I’ve ever had to sit exams in March before, and hopefully this year will be the first and last for this. The reason all my exams were pushed forward to March is so that the third term can be entirely devoted towards laboratory work as the experiments and write ups will be a lot longer than in the past.

I’ve usually always spent Easter revising and cramming for exams as I’ve never really had January exams either. Although it sounds like a small concern, it’s actually affected me a lot more than I would have thought. 

With terms 1 and 2 being packed with lectures, I was trying to stay on top of the content and juggling deadlines, assignments and a job on the side of this. It can become extremely frustrating when you’re having to multitask and when you don’t know how to prioritise and balance your time most efficiently. 

Keeping a diary has helped me to remember key dates, deadlines and any meetings I have with lecturers. In terms of the revision, I was meant to be done going over my notes and rewriting them by the beginning of January, but that didn’t happen. Instead I have managed to finish notes for two of my core and one of my optional modules. I have around 5 lectures left to cover of one module and I haven’t even touched the other module. My theory has always been if I don’t like it or it’s difficult, I won’t do it, which I know is a very bad approach when it comes to revision. 

If anything, one should be spending more time on a subject they don’t understand so they can tackle the concepts and get a more meaningful understanding of it. This is what I’ll hopefully be trying over the next few weeks and then I’m planning to use February entirely for past papers. It doesn’t really help that February is the shortest month of the year, but I’ll let you know how different revision strategies that I’ll be trying over the next month have turned out and what’s helped me the most. 

I guess March exams could work well for some people and obviously this set up has worked in the past otherwise it would have been reviewed by now. For any current third year Chemists, after you read this get on with your work as we don’t have much longer to go. Also, just as a side note, course reviews constantly take place and this means that in future third year exams for Chemists may not be in March. Please always check with the department! 

Shaumica.