When exams are over
Two days since my last exam and I am back to blogging. The exam season has consisted of a rollercoaster of emotions to say the least with the first exam (organic) starting off with tears and stress followed by the second exam (inorganc) going moderately well. My third exam (physical) went quite well in comparison and the last one which contained both polymer chemistry and an introduction to biomedical chemistry were rather impossible. However, there are certain things I have learnt from each of these exams, which I would like to share.
1. For organic the exam is mostly made up of a combination of topics but heavily resolves around mechanisms and stereochemistry. I focused a lot on the stereochemistry part of it, because I enjoyed it and to me it was quite straightforward to understand. However, I wish I focused more on learning the individual mechanisms and attempted more past papers open book so that I can get into the style of the exam questions being set.
2. For inorganic I again focused a lot on solid state, because I enjoyed the content of it, but focused rather less on the organometallic part just because it was worth the most. With this aspect I wish I started the revision on this part of the course earlier on so that I had less to cram last minute, but also because the topic itself genuinely was really interesting.
3. For physical I focused a lot on statistical mechanics which revolves around molecular simulations and looking at different microscopic systems and electrochemistry. However, symmetry is a module that I wish I focused more on. This module focuses a lot on understanding rotations and being able to visualise a molecule with regards to planes and inversions. This I struggled with a bit more as I couldn’t always see the planes, but I again addressed this by using the recommended books as well as the past papers.
4. The last exam was really difficult. Not only were the exam questions challenging, but required us to think outside the box, which is not my strongest point. I found this whole paper hard, but when I came out noticed that everyone felt the same way. With this one I worked as hard as I could, so whatever result I get, I know will be an actual reflection of my hard work. On the downside, I wish I started with this exam revision as soon as Term 1 though, because every aspect of this content was enjoyable. It’s a shame I couldn’t enjoy learning all the content, due to this being the last exam and cramming the hardest for this.
Third year is when the pressure will be a lot more as the exams will be in term 2 instead of term 3 – this means I will have to put my head down as soon as I start in October. I am proud of how hard I have worked in general this year especially when you have two jobs at the side of studying, it’s not something that can be balanced that easily. I just really hope that this hard work pays off on results day, which is less than 2 weeks away now.
If anyone has any questions with starting a degree at Warwick or in chemistry please drop a comment below and I’d be happy to assist. All of the information provided above is from my own perspective and anyone considering studying Chemistry, please bear in mind that there are constant changes to the degree structure to make it a better learning experience. They’ve already restructured it for next academic year, which means that the next second years will have a different experience to myself now.
For those of you that still have exams going on, good luck!