First of all, I hope you all had a great start of the new year! My NYE celebration was magnificent, the idea of having to study on the day afterwards a bit less though.. Anyway, on the 4th of January I had to leave the lovely Netherlands again to go back to London for a final weekend of studying before the exams. After that one weekend, of which you will probably spend half talking to class mates on the phone about how crazy much work you have done and/or still need to do, it is time for the exams… The first day can be terrifying, since you don’t know what to expect, luckily my best friend from Amsterdam sent me lucky socks (see photo), hahaha! Exam week is absolutely crazy, you have to constantly study and if you think you failed an exam there is no real time to be sad about that, because there are more tests waiting. Plus, the questions can be completely different from what you had imagined. But, the weekend after the exams will be great, since there is no real work to be done: the new courses haven’t started yet.
For all of you thinking to applying to the MSc IHM, here are a few tips for the exams:
– prepare notes (this is key, if you don’t prepare your notes before the break begins, you will have to (as I did) spend at least 60% of your time on making notes and thinking “why did I not do this before?!”
– look at past exam papers (they can give valuable information about the way questions are asked and what type of questions to expect. Also, do not underestimate how important some professors the case studies find, we namely had one exam existing for 50% of questions relating to the case studies in detail)
– make sure you know what to do (some exams require you to do 2 questions, other 3 etcetera. Don’t be one of those people that loose points over something silly like that)
– bring enough pens, pencils, erasers and water (nothing more awkward than not being able to finish your exam due to an empty pen – okay they will probably give you a new one, but still)
– organise your answers (besides the usual introduction-body-conclusion, also pay attention of how you use your booklet: where do you want your writing plan to be if you are using that? do you want a blank sheet just to take notes? – don’t be scared to ask for another booklet, I think I used two for each exam even when I thought I had nothing to write on (part of) a question)
– sleep enough (being tired can have a detrimental effect on your thinking capabilities, even if you feel you haven’t done a certain lecture, it is better to catch enough sleep than to stay up all night desperately trying to remember something)
Some of them might appear a bit straight forward, but it is always good to be aware of them. Especially in the beginning, when you are overwhelmed by all the impressions and the demanding group work, you for example will forget to organise and/or take notes, which is vital for the exams. Also, check out the Imperial blackboard, there are some revision tips on there as well.
Enjoy your evening, I should start making some notes for my Spring term courses now, haha!