Exams are here!! 14 ways to rock them

This blog was originally posted for the January examination period. Before the exam Check the time and place one more time! Eat a breakfast high in slow-release carbohydrates (porridge, low-sugar cereals or a banana for example). Go to the loo! Exams are long. Make sure you have your exam essentials: Student card, pens/pencils, calculator if allowed). Check out appropriate exam rules In the exam room Things … Continue reading Exams are here!! 14 ways to rock them

Revising actively – it’s not all about memory

For many previous exams, you will have had to memorise a lot of facts and figures. For exams at university there will be some things you need to memorise, but it is a lot more about understanding the material than purely memorising it. The best way to ensure that both things happen is to revise actively. This does not mean you are moving around whilst … Continue reading Revising actively – it’s not all about memory

What is different about writing in exams?

This post will focus on what makes a good exam essay. A good exam essay is distinct from the kind of essays you will write as part of coursework and other modules assessments. There are very different expectations of what you can produce within exam conditions and timing, but that can’t be used as an excuse for poor writing. Generally, essays written as part of … Continue reading What is different about writing in exams?

Using past papers in your exam preparation

Past exam papers are an excellent resource for both revision and learning. This blog post will show you how you can use past papers to enhance both your learning and your exam practice and preparation. Finding past papers The University Library keeps past exam papers in the Hydra Digital Repository. Once logged in, you can browse by department and topic, or directly search by module … Continue reading Using past papers in your exam preparation

Revision planning – it’s not too late

OK, with the exam period starting next Monday, you should probably have planned and started your revision by now. However, we live in the real world and with many assessments due this week there is a fair chance that some of you are only just really getting down to some seriously-thinking-about-nothing-else revision. Here are some tips on how to get the most out of the … Continue reading Revision planning – it’s not too late

How to use chocolate in your studies

The Easter break is here and for many that means one thing…chocolate. This post looks at three ways that you can use chocolate to help your studies. 1. Just eat more chocolate More frequent chocolate consumption has been associated with better cognitive performance. It’s true. There is research to support this – Crichton et al. (2016:126) found that eating chocolate led to superior “visual-spatial memory and … Continue reading How to use chocolate in your studies

8 things never to write in an essay

There are things we say all the time or use when communicating with our mates (or writing blog posts) that just sound too informal or over-opinionated in an academic essay. Avoid these things and although we can’t guarantee a first, you can at least avoid some potentially embarrassing negative feedback.  Contractions No, not what you get before you give birth! Contractions are things like don’t, couldn’t, … Continue reading 8 things never to write in an essay

The Dos and Don’ts of using Websites as Sources

DO use websites as resources Let’s get that out of the way to begin with.  Some people are scared of using them because they do not think they are ‘proper academic resources’. This is rubbish. ANYTHING is a ‘proper academic resource’ as long as you approach it with appropriate criticality.  Some things on the web are peer reviewed and can be used as sources of authoritative … Continue reading The Dos and Don’ts of using Websites as Sources

How to reference when the guidelines fail you

A lot of students panic about referencing, especially when it comes to citing anything not included in the guidelines for the referencing scheme they are using. However, the reality of this situation is simple – if there are no guidelines for the source type you are using, there is nothing you can be marked against. As such, it is your responsibility to appropriately cite the … Continue reading How to reference when the guidelines fail you

Dissertation or dog’s dinner*?

A well formatted dissertation is a thing of beauty. It is a true reflection of all the hard work that you have put into it. The last thing you want to submit is a document full of inconsistently formatted titles, badly captioned figures, incorrect page numbers and a dodgy table of contents. Not only does it look bad, it can affect your grade. Although the … Continue reading Dissertation or dog’s dinner*?