Studying at Uni: A Breakdown (Part 2)
This is part 2 of a 2 part blog – if you’ve not read the first part, you can see it here
University assessments can seem quite daunting at first, but the module organiser(s) will make sure you are given the knowledge to be able to complete them so don’t panic! Assessments are very varied and I have done everything from exercise sheets and class tests (mini exams halfway through term) to programming tasks and report writing.
I recommend starting every assessment as early as possible – at the very least read and understand what you need to do when the assessment brief is first released. I’ve also found it helpful to aim to finish in 80% of the time available – I never actually managed this but it gave me the flexibility I needed to submit work I was happy with by the deadline without having to work late or pull all-nighters. Starting early and aiming to finish early can be easier said than done but it is well worth it if you manage it!
My biggest tip for assessments is to ask for help if you need it! This can seem counter intuitive as you’re completing an assessed piece of work, but the module organiser will know how much they are willing to help. The worst that can happen is that they say they can’t help; more likely is that they’ll talk you through what you’re struggling with or point you to where you can find resources to help you. To increase your chances of getting the help you need, try to keep your questions really specific and show what you’ve done to try to work it out on your own – if lecturers can see where your struggling and that you’re really trying, they’re more likely to help you.
Whilst Uni is quite different from school, most modules still have exams at the end of the year. Most exams take place during term 3 with very little teaching during that term. The biggest challenge for me in regards to exams was that there are fewer past papers available to practice with. Since these were my main ways of revising for GCSEs and A-levels, I had to rethink my approach.
My biggest tip for revision is to keep your notes up to date as much as possible when the module is run. This is useful as exam time can sneak up on you and I prefer to make and organise notes little and often rather than all at once. Being able to start revision with a document or set of organised notes for the module that contains everything you’ll need to know makes revision a lot less stressful and gives you more time to do more effective revision activities!
When it comes to actually revising, there are lots of ideas out there. I’ve always preferred doing practice questions so I’ve usually stuck to past papers, making up my own questions, and searching the internet for exercises relating to the content. It can also be really helpful to study with someone else doing the module as you can quiz each other and work together to clear up areas you’re unsure of.
Hopefully this 2 part blog has been helpful and you feel a bit more prepared for starting Uni!