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    • Thread Starter


    I rarely post on this, so please bare with me.

    I am currently studying stage 1 of a maths degree at Newcastle university, at A-level I managed to achieve A*AB in Maths, Chemistry and Physics. Through school and college, I often self taught myself (especially in maths) using the internet and past papers as I learn a lot better this way. In my lectures I sit and take all the notes, however don't always completely understand what I am writing down. I originally planned to read over the notes to again self teach so I fully understand the basics, however I seem to have a huge work load.

    I currently have 6 modules, each of which have 4 assignments in total and 4 online tests (for semester one). The online tests aren't too bad as they are standard examples which can be practised before the actual assessment, however they are time consuming. The assignments are proving to be very difficult and time consuming considering there are 6 of them at one time. As both of these go towards my grade at the end of the year, I spend a huge amount of time on them and have been getting good marks, however I never have time to revise over my notes for the standard examples which would make me a lot less stressed, allow me to tackle the assignments and tests with much less difficulty and also help me be more prepared before my revision for January. In a sense, I wish there were only final exams to revise for as this would help me understand the content of the course much easier.

    Occasionally I think about leaving university altogether as I am unsure whether it is worth this amount of stress and difficulty. I was just wondering if anybody had any advise to help me put my mind at ease? Thank you

    I would definitely speak to your academic advisor (they may be called something else but basically it's whoever okays your module choices / deals with your general academic well being). I would also contact student services if you feel this is a big problem for you as they are there to help you cope.

    Many universities also have study help work shops which can give you advice on study technique and if you have a maths society they may be able to direct you to tutors or older students who can give you advice.

    Some unis are moving away from the "one exam = 100% of your assessment" model favoured by maths departments as many students struggle with it. Unfortunately some students, like yourself, prefer it. I would ask your advisor / lecturers/ older students if all the modules are so continuous assessment heavy (and if so you may want to consider a transfer to a uni that favours the one exam model). Bare in mind it is better to have skills in both areas as in your career your unlikely to be judged on a single day's work but more on longer projects so it is valuable to get used to continuous assessment.

    Just remember the university will want to help you, you just need to ask!
    • PS Helper

    PS Helper
    I remember this. I was so conscientious in my first year, spending HOURS on problem sheets stressing over having missed one tiny point, etc. Looking back, these problem sheets were worth about 1.5% of one module of my first year that didn't count towards my degree grade....

    I just wish I could make myself be more conscientious now when it does all count! Although we still get sheets, they're no longer assessed and as a result, I never bother doing them. Probably your uni will replace these weekly sheets with larger less regular pieces of coursework in later years?

    If you are making an effort on the sheets, you will be learning the material. The point of the sheets and tests is to make sure you're taking in the material as you go along and not saving up issues for yourself just before exams when you don't understand anything.

    I would say that, particularly in my first year, about 60% of things I wrote in lectures made no sense to me but that over time, the concepts will sink in. I'm sure you can look back now over notes from your first week that seemed like Dutch at the time and now they make perfect sense.

    I think you should keep at it, keep working away and I'm sure you'll get there in the end. Good luck revising for your exams and don't give up!!
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