Reflecting on My Final-Year Exams
Hi guys, welcome back to my blog. Today’s post is going to talk about how I prepared for my final year exams and how they went; I hope you enjoy!
So, I completed my last exam a few days ago (Monday 21May) which means that my time at Warwick is officially over and I have an undergraduate degree!! It definitely feels great to be done because the last 3 years at Warwick have been hard work, and now I can finally rest and not think about seminar readings, essay deadlines or exams. All of my friends are still writing their exams – they all have another week or two to go – so I’ve just been using the last few days to catch up on sleep, food, and my favourite tv shows. I think once my friends are all done too, it’ll really sink in that my time at Warwick is over; and there’s a whole bunch of fun things planned for us to do in June so I’m beyond excited for it all to begin!
I had only 2 exams; (as I’ve said in a previous post) I purposefully chose my modules for this year in order to ensure that I would have to write as few exams as possible because essays have proven to be my strong point during my time at Warwick. The two exams were for my two Principles of Political Economy modules; there are three of these modules available, they’re available only to final-year PPEists, and it’s compulsory for us to pick two of them. The Principles modules are designed to bridge the three disciplines of PPE together as they involve analysing problems through a philosophical, political, politico-philosophical or economic lens, and generating arguments concerning these issues by merging the different approaches or comparing and contrasting them in order to judge which is better/ more suitable. The three Principles modules available are Philosophy & Politics, Politics & Economics, and Philosophy & Economics; I chose the first two.
In Principles: Philosophy & Politics, the topics we studied were migration (e.g. do individuals have a right to migrate, do states have a right to exclude migrants, who counts as a refugee?), climate change (e.g. who is responsible for tackling global warming, how should we distribute the burdens of climate change?), and the duties of the affluent toward the poor. The aim of the module was to understand these different issues from the perspective of political-philosophy, and it was a really great module to study (one of my favourites this year); our two lecturers also made everything easy to understand and interesting to learn. For the exam, I chose to revise a total of 4 (out of 8) topics, and they were from the migration and climate change sections of the module. My revision method was creating and memorising essay plans for the different topics. This involved me reading over the lecture notes, my seminar reading notes and scanning over the other recommended or essential readings on the topic’s reading list. I made sure I understood the key arguments, that I understood the responses to/criticism of them, and that I had my own ‘original’ response to add also. Thankfully, 3 of the 4 topics I revised came up in the exam so I was able to write on the 2 topics I most preferred.
In contrast, for my Principles: Politics & Economics exam, I knew which topics would come up and my task was more of learning as much information for my chosen topics as possible (not simply understanding a few arguments in great detail). This module was affected by the industrial strikes which took place at Warwick (and in universities across the country) during term 2, so the number of topics we were taught (fully) was reduced from 5 to 3. Hence, only those three topics were in the exam – Methodology, Voting Behaviour, and Public Goods – and I chose to focus on methodology and public goods. The approach of this module was that we were taught the economic and political perspective of these topics, and we had to compare and contrast their differing (and often conflicting) approaches.
I definitely found my first exam (Philosophy & Politics) easier and more enjoyable than my second, but this isn’t surprising since I also found the Philosophy & Politics module easier and more enjoyable when to learn. It’s been a long year of hard work and I’m hoping for the best when my exam results come out (as well as my essay grades). I hope everyone is doing well during this exam season; see you in my next blog post!