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Scoring Well in Exams

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Postby help6363 » Tue Sep 18, 2007 8:16 pm

Bread-Monster wrote:
HappyBella55 wrote: I refused to play that game in the English exam (may have written something quite inflammatory) and needless to say, I did very badly. .


Hey Bread-Monster,

I don't want to start a debate. However, I taught upper school English and we have different reading practices that student needed to apply to different texts. These reading practicies have theories.... if followed it's not a guessing game or made up.

Same with analysing a film or doco.

Maybe you had a bad teacher .....seen plenty of bad teachers!

I think the English curriculum suxs, IMO, and that it is simply too difficult for a lot of students. It's the ONE subject in high school that most students fail....WA stats.

Most English teachers do hate the curriculum...........

Anyway, good luck in your exams! I know you will do well......... I was always bad at the sciences (esp maths).
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Postby Bread-Monster » Tue Sep 18, 2007 11:50 pm

I agree with Ella that maths is pretty easy. However, I wasn't disrespecting arts. It's true that stuff can be made up; for example, a story written where there are vast descriptions of long, tall, buildings can be analysed by a student of feminist history as "The article's persistent references to the phallic objects such as -name of building here- alludes to the author's subconscious but deep seated, sexually deprave, male-chauvinistic nature". Come on, buildings are buildings, not symbols of patriarchal oppression :lol: and if a well known feminist writer wrote that, students could reference to her, but where would her references come from?:roll:

What about recursions? How can you memorise stuff on recursion? You either understand it, or you don't. You have to use logic. My L-N-G exam (computational mathematics) were all words and no numbers (not even mention of numbers), example. We had to solve problems by turning the words into equations and solving the equations then converting the solution into words. Physics needs A LOT of creativity. Quantum mechanics, quantum-thermodynamics, statistical physics and quantum field theory requires a lot of deep thinking and on top of that, you have to support all that theory with math. Last year, 300 people enrolled into first year physics. In second year, we have 90 people. The number of people who graduated with a physics major last year from my university: 5. (No, I'm not doing a physics major, second year physics is bad enough)

I never liked the humanities at my school because difference of opinion was always crushed by the teachers. There were a lot of pro-life people who argued for why abortions were immoral and their points were extremely valid, they used evidence to back up their points, and they scored horribly in tests compared to those who had the same point of view as the teachers. English, history, most of the humanities I took in high school were so horribly one sided in their arguments, I hated that. Until year 9, I never got anything less than 90% in any of the humanities. After 9/11 happened my English teacher went "Serves them right, those Americans had it coming to them". I stood up, called her "****ing pseudo-intellectual, hippocritical fascist who justified the taking of innocent human lives while wailing about the plight of farm animals". From that day on, I discovered how much I loved math.

Sorry if my point of view of humanities is a little bleak. I love most arts such as music, the classics, languages, dance and classical art. I just find it a little irritating that taxpayers are paying money for uni students to analyse the "social-political significance" of "piss-Christ" (an upside down crucifix submerged in a jar of urine) while we have a drought of medical professionals because universities can't take in that many med students.

Come on, people, if it's an upside down crucifix submerged in a glass of urine, it's an attempt of a lazy, no-name artist to incite rage in the religious community because he's an a-hole, pseudo-intellectual trying to score points with his "hip and artiste" friends. Nothing more to it then that.

Sorry for such a long rant, btw. :oops:
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Postby help6363 » Wed Sep 19, 2007 12:18 am

Bread-Monster wrote:I agree with Ella that maths is pretty easy. However, I wasn't disrespecting arts. It's true that stuff can be made up; for example, a story written where there are vast descriptions of long, tall, buildings can be analysed by a student of feminist history as "The article's persistent references to the phallic objects such as -name of building here- alludes to the author's subconscious but deep seated, sexually deprave, male-chauvinistic nature". Come on, buildings are buildings, not symbols of patriarchal oppression :lol: and if a well known feminist writer wrote that, students could reference to her, but where would her references come from?:roll:

What about recursions? How can you memorise stuff on recursion? You either understand it, or you don't. You have to use logic. My L-N-G exam (computational mathematics) were all words and no numbers (not even mention of numbers), example. We had to solve problems by turning the words into equations and solving the equations then converting the solution into words. Physics needs A LOT of creativity. Quantum mechanics, quantum-thermodynamics, statistical physics and quantum field theory requires a lot of deep thinking and on top of that, you have to support all that theory with math. Last year, 300 people enrolled into first year physics. In second year, we have 90 people. The number of people who graduated with a physics major last year from my university: 5. (No, I'm not doing a physics major, second year physics is bad enough)

I never liked the humanities at my school because difference of opinion was always crushed by the teachers. There were a lot of pro-life people who argued for why abortions were immoral and their points were extremely valid, they used evidence to back up their points, and they scored horribly in tests compared to those who had the same point of view as the teachers. English, history, most of the humanities I took in high school were so horribly one sided in their arguments, I hated that. Until year 9, I never got anything less than 90% in any of the humanities. After 9/11 happened my English teacher went "Serves them right, those Americans had it coming to them". I stood up, called her "****ing pseudo-intellectual, hippocritical fascist who justified the taking of innocent human lives while wailing about the plight of farm animals". From that day on, I discovered how much I loved math.

Sorry if my point of view of humanities is a little bleak. I love most arts such as music, the classics, languages, dance and classical art. I just find it a little irritating that taxpayers are paying money for uni students to analyse the "social-political significance" of "piss-Christ" (an upside down crucifix submerged in a jar of urine) while we have a drought of medical professionals because universities can't take in that many med students.

Come on, people, if it's an upside down crucifix submerged in a glass of urine, it's an attempt of a lazy, no-name artist to incite rage in the religious community because he's an a-hole, pseudo-intellectual trying to score points with his "hip and artiste" friends. Nothing more to it then that.

Sorry for such a long rant, btw. :oops:


Hey!

I hear you..... I have met many English teachers who favour a particular reading and 'ram' it down students' throats...... YES, I can understand your dislike for the subject.

I agree about uni intakes..... I think everyone questions it!

I was talking about English Literature theories....... a feminist reading of a text follows a set of principles....... believe me it cannot be made up...... theories need to be applied. Out of context, I cannot comment but I can say in Yr 11 and 12 English Literature...... students don't reference in WA..... Additionally what you have stated about the building applies to a particular reading practice (there are many types)....... prinicples of the reading practice are applied ........ a different reading practice can be applied to the same text and have a different outcome. Get what I mean? It sounds to me like you have had one type of reading practice 'rammed' down your throat whilst you were in high school and all I can say it that is a shame!

Whilst I studying for my degree, referencing needed to be done..... but the principles still needed to be applied for a particular reading. Some texts readily lend themselves to one particular reading practice, so they are often used...............

We may just have to agree to disagree on this....... I never thought you were trashing the Arts.....

Good luck with your exams, let us know how you go! :D
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Postby Mandie » Wed Sep 19, 2007 1:04 am

....and back to the topic.

Studying : I tend to write notes, and highlight/colour code them, and draw pictures as much as possible (this was easier in anatomy, and may be difficult in English...) - I find that if I visualise my notes in the exam, it helps me remember the information

I'm a study-all-year kinda girl, but I definitely up the ante close to exams - you have to!

I try to write a timetable and stick to a routine - particularly during study week when I have a whole week dedicated to studying. I find that if I don't do this, I end up feeling guilty when I'm not studying, and procrastinating, and feeling like I haven't done enough! But if I schedule study times and breaks, I can look at it objectively and realise that I'm doing a good amount of work.

I think 45 minutes is a good limit, definitely no more than 60 minutes - then have at least a 10 minute break to grab a coffee, chuck music on and dance around, have a quick shower, talk to someone on the phone, play a quick computer game, hop on the forum, etc.

Definitely keep eating light meals throughout the day - you don't want to get sleepy!

Go to bed early and get up early.

Try to get some daily exercise in to clear your mind and energise yourself.

In a long study period (say a two week study break, or even a one week study break) give yourself at least one night off a week to go to a movie or watch a DVD or something.. it will help prevent burnout!

Don't overdose on caffeine - sleep is important.

Don't take other stimulants (dexies, speed etc) - you will NOT remember the information you have learned and they are NOT healthy! (a really disturbingly large percentage of uni/school students take illicit drugs to help them study)

If it's memorising you need to do - flash cards are the bomb. Also, put a list of information on the back of the toilet door.. you spend a bit of time staring at it!

For essay type exams, try to come up with some practice questions and practice writing essay outlines. You could even try writing a whole essay within the exam time limit so you know if you can go a bit slower or faster..

Some people find that study groups help, but make sure that it is limited to no more than 4 people (more than that makes it hard to focus) and that you are all approximately the same level/same motivation. Nothing worse than other people distracting you, or you distracting others! You also don't want to rely on other student's information - check your textbook!

Stay in contact with friends - even if you aren't studying together. E-mails during your breaks can be fun, you will have a message to look forward to in your breaks, and you can amuse each other.

Keep calm. Breathe. If you've done the work, you'll pass the exam.

Don't leave it all to the night before! Cramming is usually a bad idea.

I think that's all the tips I have! I've done a LOT of exams - high school, and now 6 years of uni (medicine, but did a couple of arts units early in my degree) so I have a pretty good way of studying now.

Basically, find what works for you, and stick with it!

Best of luck to everyone studying for exams at the moment. My last uni exam ever is November 5th.. and I'm moving on the study already!
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Postby Bread-Monster » Wed Sep 19, 2007 10:26 am

Thanks for the good advice, Mandie, no wonder my study groups always failed, too many people.

We're still learning new material. We don't stop learning new material until a week before the exams. Ouch, yeah, I should study now, my first exam is creeping up on me.

Last semester, the only thing that stopped me from failing was doing practice exams. I was unprepared, I didn't even have a desk until 2 weeks before the exams. I just took as many practice exams as I could, did all the questions, figured out what kind of questions they usually expect and studied them.

I do lots of lateral thinking puzzles as well. They have nothing to do with my course, but I find if I do something fun, but is suppose to engage the brain, it helps with everything.

Oh! Fish oil capsules are good for the brain and it's true, you're right, stimulants are evil.

And now, I must finish yet another assignment.
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Postby Fireball » Wed Sep 19, 2007 10:37 pm

I just wrote a long response and accidentaly deleted it. Maybe if I have the energy tomorrow. :lol:

As for study tips:
* when you read your work ask yourself - do I understand every word of this? If not find out
* review different sources; books, internet etc. More sources you see things approached in different language and may pick up holes in your knowledge, more knowledge or clarify things
* the best way to learn is to teach, maybe help someone who is struggling a bit - to articulate something and have it make sense you actually need to know what you are talking about. It is well recognised by educators that is the real test of your kowledge. Teaching really can elucidate holes in your own knoweldge. It also concretises it in your memory.
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Postby Amanda20 » Thu Sep 20, 2007 12:07 am

Hi Bread. Here's some things that help me study:

I find that reading the textbook(s) and then typing up notes on the selected readings for that week (usually in dot points) is really helpful. It takes awhile but you get there in the end and I find if I don't understand something when I first read it, I can understand it better the second time round. Then, if your lucky and you have open book exams, you have your notes already typed up and thats less cramming before the exam.

If I have a day of studying in front of me, I get up at around 7, have something for breakfeast, go for a shower, clear my desk (if you have things on your desk it can be really distracting) and get straight to work. A shower can really wake you up. Your much better prepared if your fully awake and ready for the day. I study for about an hour, go for a little walk around the house, get a drink and then go back. I leave my room for lunch, have an hour break and then repeat the same process. I love music, so I usually have music on.

I'm also a huge procastinator. If there is a distraction that can be found, I will find it. I've found that its better to burn out the procastination because eventually you'll have nothing else to do!

But, every person has a different way of studying. I'm a bit of a muncher on skittles, which is something I need to change. Is there a healthy alternative to munch on while studying? Or is munching bad?
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Postby Ses » Thu Sep 20, 2007 6:50 pm

I make a big plate of carrot, celery, apple, olives, sakatas etc to snack on when I am doing study marathons....... much healthier then skittles!

It has been interesting reading all of these hints, as a person who has been doing postgraduate study for the last 20 years, I wish I had read them some time ago!!
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