National University of Singapore
|Science Freshman Magazine, Jun 88|
Brow perspiring, I scanned the list of students who had one p or more 're-s' but I couldn't find my name. "Why don't you look at the other list?", my friend suggested. "It's the list of those who cleared the exam." I looked without any real hope when suddenly my heart gave a leap! I had survived ...
Consistency is a great thing to swear by. The last thing you want to do just before the exams is deciphering the hieroglyphics you accumulated since the first lecture or spending a fortune photostating someone else's legible notes. Work out anything you haven't managed to get down during lectures by referring to friends and if there's anything extra to add in from texts, do it immediately while the lecture is still fresh in your minds.
A great set of notes isn't everything - don't just sit back and admire the material - read the stuff! A great way of reinforcing what you've read is by discussing the work with friends. Group discussion is a definite asset and it'll cut down the amount of time spent on mumbling to yourself in the pursuit of direct recall. One might ask, why learn so soon? Memorisation of facts is never a waste - if you get it right once, it'll come back to mind much faster during the final preparation.
I suppose everyone needs a sense of direction, so plan a timetable when that period of university life approaches where the campus grounds are full of muggers. Work out just how much time you're gonna spend on each subject and follow the plan you've made. Also, never ever procrastinate! When the sand in the hour glass runs out, saying you'll do it later is mere euphemism for forgetting about the whole thing - something you might regret later in the exam hall.
Do your tutorials yourself! Try, try again. In the face of total incomprehension, ask your lecturers for help. Get used to approaching them if you're stumped. Your seniors (ahem! myself included) can be of great assistance. They can deal out more than just notes and second-hand texts, for there are certain things that require greater emphasis than others. They could prevent you from misleading yourself.
Most of us differ in our methods of studying but I guess these are some of the inevitable basics. There's a lot more you can aspire to do for all you need is a bit of discipline and the apprehension of studying during the holidays. Hope these pointers will help somebody have a worry-free three and a half months of holiday next year. I'll try to follow it myself, for I don't intend to check the 're' list again.
© N Sivasothi, 2001