Nearing the end of 3rd year in engineering – a summary
I can’t believe I’m finally done with engineering exams this year! It’s been a crazy time, and there’s such little time left. It’s also weird that most people I know in my year I will likely never see again (since most people are going on to do the masters or leaving right now, but I’m doing a year out).
The exams I just had were for three modules: ‘Dynamics of Vibrating Systems’, ‘Finite Element Methods’ (FEM), and ‘Precision, Measurement and Control’. They were all online, and since I didn’t want to be distracted by my noisy neighbours at the house I’m renting, I went home to do them. I’m still not sure about whether I feel disadvantaged or not by doing QMPs (the online method of exams) – but in a way it is inherently less stressful to sit at home as opposed to catching everyone else’s nerves outside the exam hall!
Each of my exams were only an hour. I think they went okay – although Dynamics and Precision were super intense; for both of those I had just seconds remaining to submit my answer on the last question, and afterwards I found myself just sitting for 10 minutes trying to process what had just happened!
Opinions of the structure of this year:
Overall, I found this last set of exams probably the least stressful out of other exams that I have done. This was because Precision and FEM felt doable (Dynamics (vibration, fluids, thermo etc) I always find inherently more complicated), but also because the exams themselves weren’t a humungous percentage of the year! They were 50%, 30% and 40% of their respective modules, which meant that, combined, they were 1.2 out of the total 8 modules – that’s only 15%! You might find that odd – so I will break down the structure of mechanical engineering this year (3rd year):
- 21.25% of exams after Christmas – this was for two modules (one module in its entirety was exam based, and the other was 70% exam)
- 15% exams in June (for the 3 separate modules that I mentioned just previously)
- Total: 36.25% of year
- Lab reports: 30% of Engines module, 25% of Design module, Two 30% reports for Precision module, a 30% report and 20% report for the Dynamics module, 70% report for FEM module.
- Total: 29.375% of year
- This project consisted of 65% technical report, 15% logbook, 15% project feasibility study, 5% evaluation report
- Total: 25% of year
Group project coursework:
- A 25% presentation, and 50% portfolio for the Design module
- Total: 9.375% of year
The total of the totals does add to 100 – good, I can math.
Overall, I really like how the year has been split into individual and group coursework, an individual project, and exams. It’s good because I think it gives everyone a chance to excel at what they’re good at, as well as showing versatility if you can do well in a few or all of them. I am also happy that there is less group work than in previous years. There have also been fewer coursework pieces than previous years. I think both of these changes can be attributed to doing the individual project, which is worth 25% of this entire year. Overall, I actually feel like third year has even been a little easier than second year, because there have been fewer separate coursework projects going on simultaneously – personally I find it most difficult when there are lots of separate projects and pieces going on concurrently (especially if all of their deadlines are around a similar time). The stress of thinking about all of the things going on can play on my mind quite a bit!
Welp, I’m still doing the last group project portfolio, but after that is due in in a couple of weeks, and this year is finished, I’ll be moving my stuff out and having almost 3 weeks break before starting my placement. That doesn’t feel like long enough! I am actually looking forward to a new start though, and a bit of something different between this year and my final engineering year. I think it will be good to experience something different and be refreshed before coming back for fourth year.
That’s all for now!
Photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash