How does the "studying" at university work

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Account4Choices
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Hello, I'm a college student and I have a few questions about studying at university, so that I can be prepared. I apologise if they seem like "stupid questions", but my SEND secondary school didn't tell me anything about studying in college, and I doubt that my college will tell us anything about studying at university. These are general questions, and I know that the answers may be different for every individual. For context, I want to study Quantity Surveying.

Q1. I've heard that you're supposed to read before and after seminars, and I was wondering if the lecturers give you a reading list or "homework" to do before the next seminar?

Q2. I've heard that they give you all of your assignment deadlines at the start of the course. Do you focus on the assignments for modules 1, 2 and 3 first, and then in the 2nd half of the course work on assignments for the other modules?

Q2a. When's the best time to start writing the assignments? Do you start writing the assignment(s) inbetween lectures and seminars, if what you're being taught is related to the assignment?

Q2b. Do you have to write an assignment regularly, for example, every 2 weeks?

These are questions about exams:

Q3. For those that have exams (including in-class tests) throught or at the end of the academic year, do your lecturers tell you the exam dates in advance?

Q4. Do lecturers give advice about where you can get revision resources, or are you on your own?

Thank you in advance.
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Mesopotamian.
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I do a completely different course to what you’re aiming to study and in general my course differs a lot to other degree courses so just bear in mind that what I or anyone describes won’t necessarily be what you experience. (For context, I’m doing dentistry)

Question 1:
My degree doesn’t have much seminars, it’s mostly lecture based for me, but on the rare times I do have a traditional seminar we are either given some pre-reading to do which you’d need to look at to know what’s going on, or we’re not (in which case you go in with no reading beforehand - these are usually linked to something we’ve already covered though so it’s not entirely new material). We don’t need to do any reading after the seminar because all the content is covered in the pre-reading and seminar itself.

Question 2:
My answer might be a bit useless here because I don’t have modules like every other degree.
We do get rough dates for assignments and exams, but:
1) They’re not always set in stone and can change later on
2) We’re not actually given the assignment tasks at the beginning so even if you want to do all your assignments first to finish them off, you physically can’t because you don’t know what the assignment is. Also, the assignments are linked to content that’s being covered throughout the year so completing them before you’ve learned the content won’t be a good use of time because it’s likely you won’t have answered well.

Question 2a:
I start my assignments as soon as possible once they’re released. However this varies massively between students. Depending on how big the assignment is, I know people who’ll start about 1-2 weeks before the deadline and some people who’ll start on the day of the deadline (not recommended, don’t do this). I personally like to complete everything in good time “just in case”. I don’t submit until later though, because I might want to add something at a later date.

Question 2b:

Differs between courses and even between year groups. In my first year I had a lot of assignments, including 4x 3000 word essays. In my second year I had smaller ones dotted about the year. In my third year I had a large project spanning the entire year to complete in addition to a a couple of 600-word assignments and a 1500 word assignment. This year I’ve had none (so far). They’ve gradually reduced as the years go by but that’s because my course gets more clinical as the years go on so this is not a typical degree course.

Question 3:
We usually get an exam timetable at some point during term 1, however the pandemic messed it up this year and we only got it in February (for exams starting in April). However, you should be revising anyway so that you’re not caught out if they don’t provide dates in time.

Question 4:
Some lecturers provide a reading list of books or they’ll provide recommendations at the end of their lectures. However at uni, “past papers” (which in my opinion is the best sort of revision) isn’t a thing. Mostly you’re on your own and need to make sure you understand and know the content as much as possible - if you’re not sure about something, email the appropriate lecturer because their job is to teach! Some lecturers are nice and provide revision sessions at the end of the year but not always.
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University of Portsmouth Student Rep
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(Original post by Account4Choices)
Hello, I'm a college student and I have a few questions about studying at university, so that I can be prepared. I apologise if they seem like "stupid questions", but my SEND secondary school didn't tell me anything about studying in college, and I doubt that my college will tell us anything about studying at university. These are general questions, and I know that the answers may be different for every individual. For context, I want to study Quantity Surveying.

Q1. I've heard that you're supposed to read before and after seminars, and I was wondering if the lecturers give you a reading list or "homework" to do before the next seminar?

Q2. I've heard that they give you all of your assignment deadlines at the start of the course. Do you focus on the assignments for modules 1, 2 and 3 first, and then in the 2nd half of the course work on assignments for the other modules?

Q2a. When's the best time to start writing the assignments? Do you start writing the assignment(s) inbetween lectures and seminars, if what you're being taught is related to the assignment?

Q2b. Do you have to write an assignment regularly, for example, every 2 weeks?

These are questions about exams:

Q3. For those that have exams (including in-class tests) throught or at the end of the academic year, do your lecturers tell you the exam dates in advance?

Q4. Do lecturers give advice about where you can get revision resources, or are you on your own?

Thank you in advance.
Hello!

These aren't stupid questions at all, so don't be silly! I study Marketing for reference.

Q1-Most universities will set you a seminar task to complete before the next seminar. Your lecture for that week will include relevant content to help with your seminar task. It's not really called 'homework' anymore, and more so just tasks that need to be completed. This could include a reading, a case study, answering some questions or just some ideas on a topic (depending on your course).

Q2-This is very subjective and will differ for each person. However, for me I prefer to prioritise and focus on what needs to be done first before stressing about future deadlines.

Q2a- I focus each week on watching my lectures and getting my seminar prep/ reading done. Then in extra time (so in the evenings/ weekends, days with no lectures) I will start on assignments.

Q2b-This will really depend on your uni and your course as it differs for everyone! For me I will usually have two assignment's for each module, which can both be essays, or group work, or presentations etc. Some courses set assignments which are an essay plan, and then for another assignment you will actually write up the essay.

Q3- Usually you will have exam periods, which for me are in January and in May. You usually find out the dates a few weeks in advance but this can vary. If you have tests you will be made aware of them usually.

Q4- Lecturers are always there to help you so don't be afraid to ask for help

Best of luck at uni! Sam- official Student Rep
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