The Official 'How To Get A First Class Degree' thread Watch

thepretender666
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Noone's seemed to mention it- but would anyone advice summer reading, more so relevant to engineering/maths/physics/chemistry?
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T1gga92
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#42
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(Original post by thepretender666)
Noone's seemed to mention it- but would anyone advice summer reading, more so relevant to engineering/maths/physics/chemistry?
I asked my tutors for a reading list for over the summer - it's a really good idea to get ahead on the reading xx


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CJ
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Fantastic thread with some great points. Nice one!

Only thing I would add - you may have realised this before Uni, or (in my case) you haven't yet... but work out exactly how YOU work best.

For me, I worked great after a workout. I would be physically tired and less open to distractions. Also linked to this - I would go to the library for solid working, that way mates, TV or anything else wasn't an option and would focus me. Phone off too!

The first year can be awesome fun, but don't lag behind and assume it'll all come to you in the second and third year. As for team work, definitely work out who will make for a good team member. Essential to know if you can pick your team!
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RationalGlass
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Know when and how you work. Know yourself. People might tell you that studying in the library or 'early to bed, early to rise' keeps you organised... I got a first in my degree and held down a job AND had fun! I found that I actually studied better in front of the television with my housemates than I did in the quiet library, and that sometimes the only way to trick my brain into thinking properly or saying something creative was to be sitting in front of a blank screen at 3am with 5000 words due by 10am the next day, having only done some preliminary reading. Some people (like me!) are just such serial procrastinators that the only way to really do anything of worth is to be under absolutely appalling pressure.

TLR - Use first year to find out what works best for you.
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Serentonin
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(Original post by CJ)
For me, I worked great after a workout. I would be physically tired and less open to distractions. Also linked to this - I would go to the library for solid working, that way mates, TV or anything else wasn't an option and would focus me. Phone off too!
This is really good advice. I always find I work much better after exercise, and I can sit still for much much longer.
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gman10
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Thanks for the input
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-=|Jay|=-
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(Original post by RationalGlass)
Know when and how you work. Know yourself. People might tell you that studying in the library or 'early to bed, early to rise' keeps you organised... I got a first in my degree and held down a job AND had fun! I found that I actually studied better in front of the television with my housemates than I did in the quiet library, and that sometimes the only way to trick my brain into thinking properly or saying something creative was to be sitting in front of a blank screen at 3am with 5000 words due by 10am the next day, having only done some preliminary reading. Some people (like me!) are just such serial procrastinators that the only way to really do anything of worth is to be under absolutely appalling pressure.

TLR - Use first year to find out what works best for you.

I second this usage of first year.

I don't support the last minute thing but to each their own.

I held down 2 jobs (one was for 8-16 hours a week, the other of 0-8 hours a week) and ran a society; AND got a 1st. It's all about time management.
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Ambry
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This is really handy!
I think I'd need to work in addition to my studies because I don't think I could afford it any other way.


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Add!ction
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I'm not at uni yet but would like some advice on my potential study plan.

Whenever I have a lecture of seminar I will research what has been discussed and then type it up so I have a set of notes. Then after any assigned work has been done my remaining time will be spent revising these notes.

I hope to study a minimum of 40 hours per week, working say 9-5 during the week so that I have some relaxation time in the evening.

Weekends can either be spent doing additional study or leisure time.

Is this enough to get a first?
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-=|Jay|=-
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(Original post by Add!ction)
I'm not at uni yet but would like some advice on my potential study plan.

Whenever I have a lecture of seminar I will research what has been discussed and then type it up so I have a set of notes. Then after any assigned work has been done my remaining time will be spent revising these notes.

I hope to study a minimum of 40 hours per week, working say 9-5 during the week so that I have some relaxation time in the evening.

Weekends can either be spent doing additional study or leisure time.

Is this enough to get a first?
I would say yes and no.

Firstly, you should do substantial preparation before any seminar. What is going to happen is there are going to be anywhere from 1 to 5 people out of a group of 10 to 12 that actually did the reading. The rest are there just wasting there time trying to find an easy way out.

1. Do all the seminar reading, make notes, take these notes to the class.
2. Discuss things that you didn't understand with your professors.
3. Do type up your notes from the seminars AND the lectures. When I was in university I typed up all my lecture and seminar notes, then printed them off and created a reference book during my revision period.
4. Do some of the extra reading that interests you. I can't state this enough. I firmly believe that most of my peers got a 2.1 off the back of decent writing produced from the 'essential reading materials' whilst the 1sts got there from experimenting with ideas found further afield (with direction from the professors gained during their office hours and/or tutorial time).
5. Get into good study habits in the first year. I'm not saying you have to be crazy with studying, but make sure to attend everything, do all the reading and make the notes. Although first year rarely counts for anything you can get a good idea of where you stand in your ability and what your weaknesses are.

Try and stand out. Make yourself known to the professors and when they read your essay they will see that you have taken into consideration what they have said to you. I can't overstate this enough. If you know who is going to be marking your work then demonstrating that you have attempting to expand your horizons and understand what they have said (remember, they are academics too!), then you're sure to come off better than the student who just read the extracts of texts or articles and doesn't fully understand the implications of the material.
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Add!ction
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(Original post by -=|Jay|=-)
I would say yes and no.

Firstly, you should do substantial preparation before any seminar. What is going to happen is there are going to be anywhere from 1 to 5 people out of a group of 10 to 12 that actually did the reading. The rest are there just wasting there time trying to find an easy way out.

1. Do all the seminar reading, make notes, take these notes to the class.
2. Discuss things that you didn't understand with your professors.
3. Do type up your notes from the seminars AND the lectures. When I was in university I typed up all my lecture and seminar notes, then printed them off and created a reference book during my revision period.
4. Do some of the extra reading that interests you. I can't state this enough. I firmly believe that most of my peers got a 2.1 off the back of decent writing produced from the 'essential reading materials' whilst the 1sts got there from experimenting with ideas found further afield (with direction from the professors gained during their office hours and/or tutorial time).
5. Get into good study habits in the first year. I'm not saying you have to be crazy with studying, but make sure to attend everything, do all the reading and make the notes. Although first year rarely counts for anything you can get a good idea of where you stand in your ability and what your weaknesses are.

Try and stand out. Make yourself known to the professors and when they read your essay they will see that you have taken into consideration what they have said to you. I can't overstate this enough. If you know who is going to be marking your work then demonstrating that you have attempting to expand your horizons and understand what they have said (remember, they are academics too!), then you're sure to come off better than the student who just read the extracts of texts or articles and doesn't fully understand the implications of the material.
Thanks for the reply, didn't think about seminar prep!
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gman10
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gman10
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#53
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How to get a first
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jelly1000
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#54
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Having got marks from 76 to 53 and everything in between for assignments I've found that getting a first hasn't depended on how much effort I've put in but more the actual topic and how easy it is to add your own opinion backed up with evidence as that's what gets you top marks. For example an essay on Freedom of Speech got me 75 because I already understood and had an opinion on the issue before I read the academic texts so I was easily able to form an argument and back them up. Where as I've found History essays a lot harder as I've usually been learning about the event for the first time from reading it for my assignment therefore I've not known what I've missed out or had a good idea what my argument should be.
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TheReckless
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(Original post by jelly1000)
Having got marks from 76 to 53 and everything in between for assignments I've found that getting a first hasn't depended on how much effort I've put in but more the actual topic and how easy it is to add your own opinion backed up with evidence as that's what gets you top marks. For example an essay on Freedom of Speech got me 75 because I already understood and had an opinion on the issue before I read the academic texts so I was easily able to form an argument and back them up. Where as I've found History essays a lot harder as I've usually been learning about the event for the first time from reading it for my assignment therefore I've not known what I've missed out or had a good idea what my argument should be.
This, this, totally this.

I got a 78 for one of my essays because it was a topic I was genuinely interested in and already had an opinion on - so by using evidence to back up my opinion as well as using evidence that goes against it, I proved to the marker that I understood what the question was asking and actually enjoyed writing the essay up.
In stark constrast, when I was set an essay on a topic I really didn't like the look of, I struggled to really show that I understood the concepts, so I got a 62.
I guess the key thing is to make sure you understand what the question is asking you to do - whether that be to explain, evaluate or list the reasons why a phenomenon occurred.
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CEW19
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Useful tips here... Anyone working full time doing a distance learning course and still managing a first? I got distinction at diploma level with no real tutor input but now I'm concerned about going up a level without the option of tutor contact (except for email). It would be great if anyone has any wise words!
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Science Tutor
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Is Hell Exothermic or Endothermic?
"First, We postulate that if souls exist, then they must have some mass. If they do, then a mole of souls can also have a mass. So, at what rate are souls moving into hell and at what rate are souls leaving? I think we can safely assume that once a soul gets to hell, it will not leave.

Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for souls entering hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Some of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, then you will go to hell. Since there are more than one of these religions and people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all people and souls go to hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in hell to increase exponentially.

Now, we look at the rate of change in volume in hell. Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in hell to stay the same, the ratio of the mass of souls and volume needs to stay constant. Two options exist:

If hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter hell, then the temperature and pressure in hell will increase until all hell breaks loose.
If hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until hell freezes over.
So which is it? If we accept the quote given to me by Theresa Manyan during Freshman year, "that it will be a cold night in hell before I sleep with you" and take into account the fact that I still have NOT succeeded in having sexual relations with her, then Option 2 cannot be true...Thus, hell is exothermic."
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gman10
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^ Erm, you what?
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Rakas21
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This thread should be pinned, it's great.

My two bits of advice (though already mentioned)..

1) Set a weekly study plan and do it in the library where there are less distractions. I am doing 3 hours, 4 days per week at the moment (may increase that depending on average grade).

2) Over the summer especially, read from the reading list while taking notes. This not only means that you go into seminars and lectures somewhat prepared, but it also means that when doing your essay you'll have more available time and can look at journals or academic papers.
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jamma2
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1) Select easy/short modules/assignments

2) Spend the majority of your time chilling with a select few intense work periods of 16hrs a day

3) Watch TV and lectures online from better universities

4) Never write anything in lectures just sit down and take it in

5) Never base your assignments around lecture material - lecturers are always looking for something fresh

6) You can achieve the above point by not attending lectures which also frees up time to write the assignments

7) Follow your feedback down to a T.

8) Don't bother with books just go on the internet, far less time consuming and much cheaper

This is how I got a 1st in every assignment for my entire degree
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