Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
x Turn on thread page Beta

Am I studying wrong? watch

Announcements
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I'm a mature student who decided to go back to University last year and I think i'll benefit from some academic advice!

    I am in my second year and had my first written examinations (that count toward the final grade) last term. I spent the entirety of a month studying for them, doing 8-10 hours a day (solid work with no procrastination). Most of my friends started two weeks before but I was determined to get a good grade. One day I studied for 16 hours. I felt confident when the exams approached, and I had a lot to write about in the exams.
    We had to write two essay exams altogether. So what grades did I receive?

    Essay exam grade 1 - 58 (2.2)
    Essay exam grade 2 - 63 (2.1)

    Needless to say, I felt gutted. If I worked this hard, that long how could I have received those grades?! What had I done wrong? Unfortunately we don't get individual feedback for our essay exams just very general feedback aimed at everyone, which was very unhelpful in my case as I covered all they had said they had been looking for!

    I was wondering if others have had this experience and what you did to combat it? Maybe I'm studying wrong?

    I literally memorised everything. I memorised first the lectures, then the results and implications of about 10 other studies. I used flash cards to test myself. I really don't know what I did wrong or how I could improve and it's very frustrating as I have more exams coming up in 7 weeks which I'd like to do well in.

    Overall, with coursework included my grades were okay 1st, 1st, high 2.1. But I feel I can't just rely on my coursework as Im bound to get a bad mark at some point and I need to do better in my exams!

    I'll appreciate any feedback, comments or help!

    Thank you.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    Hey, from your name I'm guessing you are taking Psychology?

    It's possible you got a little unlucky with the marker because 8-10 hours a day is a lot! What kind of studying methods are you using? My tutor taught me not to get too caught up with the lectures slides. I was told it pays off to include mulitple extra readings in addition to the classical studies for each topic. It sounds like you are doing great with your coursework so try to not get too hung up about these two exams!
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    Ouch, that would be horribly disappointing.

    Since you don't get individual feedback, which is a shame, perhaps ask your tutor/s if you could do some practice essays - repeat what you did and see what they say.

    At a guess, whilst you know lots, you're likely being *too* descriptive rather than critical - you've learned so much, that perhaps you neglected to *think* and analyse, if that makes sense?
    • TSR Support Team
    • Very Important Poster
    • PS Reviewer
    Online

    20
    ReputationRep:
    TSR Support Team
    Very Important Poster
    PS Reviewer
    Just a couple of thoughts:
    Don't spend too much time 'memorising' stuff. Yes you do need to know facts but with essay type exams there is quite a lot of focus on how you present them, whether you've done any extra reading, structure and whether you have your own ideas and can put together a coherent and convincing argument. Planning your time in the exam is key. Read your question a few times and work out what is being asked. Then spend a good 7-10mins planning your essay and what you're going to say, using what facts and how you're going to present your own thoughts. Make sure you have an intro and a summary/conclusion. Do a couple of practise runs from previous papers and read your essay back critically a few days after doing the mock. It'll help you look at it with a fresh perspective and work out where you're falling down. Your tutor may be able to help with specific feedback if you ask nicely.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Neptuner)
    Hey, from your name I'm guessing you are taking Psychology?

    It's possible you got a little unlucky with the marker because 8-10 hours a day is a lot! What kind of studying methods are you using? My tutor taught me not to get too caught up with the lectures slides. I was told it pays off to include mulitple extra readings in addition to the classical studies for each topic. It sounds like you are doing great with your coursework so try to not get too hung up about these two exams!
    The exam was marked by two people (there were two parts - in essence two essays, so four altogether on two different days), and in all of them my mark was much worse than I expected considering how much I studied.

    What I'd do is write a question on the front of a piece of card, and the answer on the back (for each exam I'd have about 300 cards). I'd test myself on them every other day. I learnt about 15 extra studies/further reading per lecture and tried to incorporate them into my answer. I really wish I knew where I went wrong.

    Thank you about the coursework.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Inazuma)
    Ouch, that would be horribly disappointing.

    Since you don't get individual feedback, which is a shame, perhaps ask your tutor/s if you could do some practice essays - repeat what you did and see what they say.

    At a guess, whilst you know lots, you're likely being *too* descriptive rather than critical - you've learned so much, that perhaps you neglected to *think* and analyse, if that makes sense?
    This may be the case, but I made sure to criticise as much as I could. But yes, these are the only standard thoughts I can think of. I do feel it somewhat unlikely though that it comes down to my critiques as I did try hard to include a lot.
    • Community Assistant
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    Community Assistant
    I would guess it's either your writing style or your analysis isn't up to standard. There are quite a few online courses on sites like coursera which can help you with scientific writing, to get your analysis up to scratch you'd really need to talk to a lecturer about it and read other people's essays
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by PsychologySurf)
    I'm a mature student who decided to go back to University last year and I think i'll benefit from some academic advice!

    I am in my second year and had my first written examinations (that count toward the final grade) last term. I spent the entirety of a month studying for them, doing 8-10 hours a day (solid work with no procrastination). Most of my friends started two weeks before but I was determined to get a good grade. One day I studied for 16 hours. I felt confident when the exams approached, and I had a lot to write about in the exams.
    We had to write two essay exams altogether. So what grades did I receive?

    Essay exam grade 1 - 58 (2.2)
    Essay exam grade 2 - 63 (2.1)

    Needless to say, I felt gutted. If I worked this hard, that long how could I have received those grades?! What had I done wrong? Unfortunately we don't get individual feedback for our essay exams just very general feedback aimed at everyone, which was very unhelpful in my case as I covered all they had said they had been looking for!

    I was wondering if others have had this experience and what you did to combat it? Maybe I'm studying wrong?

    I literally memorised everything. I memorised first the lectures, then the results and implications of about 10 other studies. I used flash cards to test myself. I really don't know what I did wrong or how I could improve and it's very frustrating as I have more exams coming up in 7 weeks which I'd like to do well in.

    Overall, with coursework included my grades were okay 1st, 1st, high 2.1. But I feel I can't just rely on my coursework as Im bound to get a bad mark at some point and I need to do better in my exams!

    I'll appreciate any feedback, comments or help!

    Thank you.
    youve literally just pointed your own problems out, just because you can vomit out on paper the exact same words form the lectures doesnt mean you undertsand it. it sounds like the opposite, the 'i dont know what im doing so i will memorise everything so i sound like i do' approach wont work!
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    Firstly, make sure your writing style is good and what you're writing is high quality. Don't be pre occupied with getting 15 extra studies down at the detriment to writing things well.

    Make sure you're demonstrating a coherent argument as well rather than just regurgitating a list of research and critiquing the studies you're citing.

    Lastly, don't be too harsh on yourself... it must be galling when you worked so hard but sometimes you just don't get it right, especially if you're aiming for high marks and trying to be original. I got a strong first in my degree (narrowly missed out on the finalists prize) and I had one really disappointing set of exams where I got similar marks to you. Likewise I had a couple of duff essays as well. I had worked just as hard on the things I mucked up as the things I did well on, it happens.
    • Very Important Poster
    Online

    19
    Very Important Poster
    Cant speak for psychology, but id suspect the fact you memorise stuff means you have lots of information, but your style and understanding of how it fits together are less flexible. What doodle said above.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    OP, How does one even study that long? But also very sorry for your results, i would feel super gutted.

    Anyways I had my January exams and I started studying for them like 3 weeks before and I would like study for an hour, leave the room and get some water or something and walk about for about 10 minutes whilst saying to myself the stuff I just studied, come back and study for another hour, leave the room and probably play some video games for 30 min then go back and see if I remember word for word the stuff I studied earlier, if i remember some stuff I would put it on a low priority list and the stuff I dont remember, i do those again until I do.

    I just literally repeated this process, but also I didnt study everyday, if I felt I done well for the past few days I would go and do something else completely unrelated to studying just as like a rest day. Then I would wake up the next day, feel super guilty for not doing anything yesterday and this would motivate me to study.

    Weird way to study I know but this is what I done (basically small study sessions through out the day) and I was happy with the result I got for the January Exams.

    Also i changed my diet for the exams! With the 3 week run up to the exams I started drinking alot of water and green whilst studying and also eating almonds and for lunches I would usually eat fish. So maybe the diet also helped?


    Posted from TSR Mobile
 
 
 
Poll
Do you agree with the proposed ban on plastic straws and cotton buds?

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.