How To Choose The Right Optional Modules
Going into my second year means that I have the opportunity to choose more optional modules than I did in my first year. To be completely honest, I’m dreading it. When I chose my optional modules in my first year, my instincts told me to opt for the modules that I thought I’d be most interested in. Well, this approach didn’t work for me because once I was actually doing the modules, I found them boring and I got my lowest grade in these modules. So, you can see why I’m feeling hesitant about choosing my modules – I do not want a part two of that experience. There are a few things I’ve done to try and avoid a repeat of this, and I hope they are beneficial to you in some way, shape or form.
- Coursework vs Exams
Some people prefer exams, some people prefer coursework. By now, you should probably know what category you fall into. I fall into the latter, and so I have decided to choose modules that examine you based on your coursework. I will still have to do exams because of my core modules, but for the majority of the year, I will be staying as far away from them as I possibly can. I am aware that this method doesn’t guarantee success, but it’s all about trying to identify your strengths and weaknesses. For example, there is a module I think I’d be interested in, but it is taught over two terms and assessed by an exam and coursework. I know that I’d rather do a piece of coursework that is reflective of the things I’ve learnt in one term as opposed to revising for the whole year to do an exam. You might feel differently. The main thing is, you need to try and figure out what works for you if you don’t already know.
If you’re one of those people who dread public speaking, then you may or may not want to opt for optional modules that have an assessed presentation. Although it’s a good opportunity to try and conquer your fears, you may feel as though your nerves could prevent you from performing as well as you think you could. Group presentations might be more ideal if you find yourself in this position. And for those of you that love public speaking, presentations are a great way to boost up your grades so it’s definitely worth thinking about modules that include them as a method of assessment.
- Speak To People
Reach out to those who take your course. You’ll find that the vast majority often agree on which modules were good so you can use these recommendations to shape your decision. If you don’t know anyone who does your course in the year above, other than the Our Warwick Platform, you can reach out to your course society or individuals on LinkedIn. However, it’s important to bear in mind that sometimes recommendations are based on who teaches the module. Lecturers can change so don’t let that deter you from choosing a course that appeals to you. Another thing to consider is that just because someone dislikes something or wasn’t good at it, doesn’t mean the same thing will happen to you. Yes, it can be beneficial to take people’s experiences into account, but everyone is different. The module your friend got a Third in might just give you the First you’ve been hoping for.