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Study Tips

Clear your mind before the exam

  • Physically:
    • Eat well
    • Get needed exercise and rest
    • Limit stimulants and intoxicants
  • Mentally:
    • Use positive self-talk
    • Accept and applaud good preparation
    • Forgive your imperfection
    • Realize your soul is not on the line
  • MCQS
    • MCQ questions are not designed simply to test recall of knowledge but also to test your understanding of the subject.
    • You should not expect to recall sections of lecture material verbatim. They are rephrased to test your knowledge, understanding and your competence in comprehension of scientific English. 
    • So learning lecture notes is not enough. You need to study the relevant topic using all avaliable resources including your textbook and its related web content as well as other textbooks from the library.
    • Your time management should be designated to allow sufficient time for preparation for the test, having regard to other commitments both academic and personal. Please look at the module handbook for guidance as to how much time you should spend on the different aspects of the module.
    • In general you will reduce the amount of study time needed immediately before tests if you study each topic area straight after the lecture; make sure that your notes make sense and that you understand them; read the relevant chapter in at least one textbook to reinforce your knowledge and use any other recommended resources.
    • Remember tutorials as well as lecture material will be examined in the MCQ
    In class essay titles are usually set a few weeks before actually setting the test under exam conditions. It is advised that you spend a good amount of time in preparation for this assessment and time yourself as you practice. Read the question thoroughly; do not end up answering your own question!
    Does the question ask you to "discuss," "compare," "contrast," "summarize," "explain," or "relate"? Note that some key words give you more freedom than do others. The words "contrast" and "summarize," for instance, are very precise. You must obey these words by doing exactly what they say. However, the word "discuss" gives you some freedom. You might discuss a topic by summarizing, relating, explaining, or some combination thereof.

    Be as specific as possible. Details alone are just a grocery list. Use your details to support a general context, and then draw relevant conclusions. Always relate your points back to the question for you to avoid any dangers of going off-topic. If you finish early, proofread the test to check facts, spelling, punctuation, and grammar. If you have left something out, put in a legible footnote that can easily be found.

    Write with a Plan:

    Create a plan of attack

    • Budget time to plan, draft, revise, edit
    • Outline your answers

    Answer the questions that are asked

    • Do exactly what is asked for (describe, list, explain, argue, etc.)
    • Avoid flamboyant style

    Organize your essay

    • Briefly outline your essay
    • Use transitions to signpost your answers
    • Realize professors tend to reward organized essays and down-grade confusing ones

    Support your main ideas

    • Use evidence from specific course material
    • Include examples and implications to show you understand course concepts
    • Use key from the reading, course, or discipline when applicable

    Practice reader-friendly answers

    • Proceed from given (old) information to new information
    • Be as concise as possible
    • Edit for correctness in punctuation, spelling, grammar, and usage
    Many modules have final exams in April/May. Practice how to answer questions from specimen papers and past exams papers as they will will form a benefical part of your studies. The cavendish campus office releases the provisional timetable of your exams in late Feb-March; please take a note ofyour module dates, rooms and timings. Please let the campus office know if your modules class; in Mid-March the final exam timetable is released.
    Always read the instructions on the front of the transcript to become aware of there is an option of questions you can answer, the timing of the exams and any other important information. Re-read your sentences so that they make sense and make sure you answer the question. Please refer to the heading under 'in class essays' for information about planning your answers.

    ·         Prepare the structure of the talk carefully and logically thinking about your objectives and main points

    ·         Practice your presentation; you mustn’t read from a script; prepare cue cards for key words if you want to.

    ·         Make your Powerpoint presentation eye catching in order to engage the audience

    ·         Speak clearly and be natural but not conversational

    ·         Use your hands to emphasise points but don't indulge in to much hand waving

    ·         Look at the audience as much as possible, but don't fix on an individual - it can be intimidating.

    ·        Don't face the display screen behind you and talk to it

    ·         Keep an eye on the audience's body language. Know when to stop and also when to cut out a piece of the presentation.

    ·         Visual aids significantly improve the interest of a presentation. However, they must be relevant to what you want to say.

    ·         Enjoy yourself. The audience will be on your side and want to hear what you have to say!

    Make sure you sign the attendence register or show a lab technician your student ID card before you enter the lab room. Many practicals will require you to work in pairs, especially in the !st year. Also be on time

    When filling in the practical profroma, Text should:

    ·    be easy to read and succinct;

    ·    be grammatically correct (not notes that do not make sense);

    ·    be scientifically correct (e.g. appropriate use of terminology and units).

    ·    have, where necessary, appropriate conclusions drawn.


    If part of your set work is to construct a graph, it should have:

    ·    the correct scales and been neatly drawn;

    ·    labelled axes with appropriate units;

    ·    clear data points in the correct places;

    ·    a relevant title;



    You will be given lecture notes at the beginning of the majority of the lectures. The purpose of this is to provide you with written lecture notes prior to the topics under discussion. This frees you from tiring note-taking throughout the lecture and allows you time to think about the issues under analysis. The sets of slides as PowerPoint presentations of all the lectures will be also uploaded to the Blackboard. 


    Revision Techniques