Exam countdown: mocks in February

February 17, 2015

Close up of a hand holding a stopwatchTick tock. Tick tock. Tick tock.

That’s time passing by. As each second passes, it’s each second gone.

I am not sure about everyone else, but my classmates and I put up countdowns, counting down the days to our exams.

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So it begins…

October 1, 2014

EMFSS study guidesWell, year 2 has begun. Actually, classes have already started for the past three weeks. However, it is only now that I really feel that my year 2 has really started.

The reason for that is that I am beginning to realise how interesting and challenging year 2 is. It makes me wonder if year 3 would be much harder. Anyhow, that’s for me to worry about in year 3. Since I am in year 2, I should be worrying about year 2.

This week, I received my subject guides and it makes me very happy.

I suppose I really like receiving parcels. It feels some sort like Christmas.

The parcel feels like a present and unwrapping makes me really excited. Even though I know what is in it, it still makes me very happy.

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How To Remember Everything At Exam Time!

May 4, 2014

exam progressWhat is exam day like for you? Despite planning a year in advance, for me, it always comes as a bit of a surprise when exam time is actually here.  A little stress comes with this deadline that, combined with other responsibilities, can make me feel as if I forgot everything I ever knew.  Then there is test taking anxiety, which for me, is another layer to be aware of and manage.  I find it helpful to have a few strategies that help me remember material, and that remind me how to write a good essay.

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What Helps Me Succeed In My Studies

April 28, 2014

Woman at deskI heard a story on NPR (National Public Radio) today that called April a transition month. I have decided to find it charming, despite the fact that, in the last seven days, we have enjoyed a bit of spring, summer, and winter weather. It is a study transition month too, shifting from regular study to exam preparation. While wistfully remembering the 88-degree, sunny day we enjoyed last Sunday and contemplating the snow squalls we are enjoying today it occurred to me it could be useful to contemplate the things that helped me succeed in our programs and on previous exams.

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It’s time to work a little harder

April 13, 2014

Time to work a little harderSometimes you just have to work a little harder. The trick, I think, is to work as smart as possible, maximize the results and get everything done on time and to the highest standards.  That might be easier said than done, as the old saying goes. Still, I am an optimist, so every day I review my calendar to decide what must be completed today and outline the best way to get it done. For me the most difficult things are switching from one task to another, making sure all of my library materials are on hand when I need them, and getting to bed early enough to wake up refreshed and ready to go at four o’clock in the morning. With three weeks until my first exam now is the time to set a few lofty and inflexible goals.

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Time and Project Management

April 8, 2014

Do you ever feel like you cannot work fast enough? As exams approach, I am feeling a bit like Lucy and Ethel in the chocolate factory on I love Lucy. This might be the busiest I have ever been in my life. Over the years, some wonderful role models and mentors have given me some very good advice about time and project management.  I will share them here because they are particularly helpful to me now, as I prepare for four exams. First, you can only do one thing at a time. Second, if something is unmanageable, it helps to break it down into pieces that are easy to manage. Third, keep the monkey on the other guy’s back. Finally, good time management means doing what has to be done, not a little bit of everything every day.

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An Exam Reviser’s Best Friends

March 31, 2014


Best friends… Just like an exam reviser and Examiners’ Reports.

It turns out that this was not the week to begin any DIY projects or move the furniture, especially since I am planning a nice big project right after my last exam on 14 May. This week, my project was limited to a cleaning fit in my office. Sometimes a task that lets me lose myself and my thoughts in something other than my major preoccupation is very helpful. Cleaning my office always feels productive, and does not really affect any other area of the house, like where I study. Cleaning and letting go of my thoughts helped me put my revising in perspective and make an inventory of my ‘Reviser’s Best Friends,’ including a day to clear my head and refocus my attention and efforts.

My very best revising friend is the Examiners’ Reports available online as both past exam papers and the examiner’s summary of answers to each question. Examiners’ Reports summarize most of the questions on each exam with points about what makes good answers. They also point out problems with answers and things I can avoid when writing my essays at exam time. Right now, there is a lot of conversation in our student chat rooms about how to prepare for exams. Nota Bene: use the Examiners’ Reports.

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