4 weeks to save my Degree... GYG

Watch
Gefforyson
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#1
It's probably very unconventional to start a Grow Your Grades blog this late in the school year, but meh, let's do this thing.
I'm a first year student at Bath studying a Bsc in Mathematics. Covid and my amazing ability to procrastinate revision/watching lectures has led me into a summer of resits and deferred exams. So, as the title says; I have 4 weeks to save my degree and make my first year more than null and void.

Education History:
GCSE Grades:
Spoiler:
Show
7 9's, 3 7's, and 3 6's (or equivalent, I had a few letters in the mix my year)

A-level Grades:
Spoiler:
Show
A* Further Maths
A* Maths
A Physics

(Not sit formally, but delayed due to coronavirus.)

First Term Uni:
Spoiler:
Show
MA10207 Analysis 1: Exam 1: 41%
MA10265 Programming and discrete mathematics: Exam 1: 58% Coursework 1: 88%
MA10209 Algebra 1A: 57%
MA10211 Probability & statistics 1A: Exam 1: 45%
MA10230 Multivariable calculus and differential equations: Exam 1: 38% :mad:

I wasn't happy with this term at the time, and committed myself to doing better next time, I failed my Calculus exam, I've never failed an exam in my life before, I promised myself I wouldn't make this a habit...

Second Term Uni:
Spoiler:
Show
MA10207 Analysis 1: Exam 2: DEFERRED
MA10265 Programming and discrete mathematics: Exam 2: 27% Coursework 2: 45%
MA10210 Algebra 1B: Exam 1: DEFERRED
MA10212 Coursework 1,2,3,4: 40%,48%,0%,0% Exam 1: 22%
MA10236 Vectors, vector calculus and mechanics: Exam 1: 12%


Oh dear, look at all that red! I didn't keep my promise in the slightest did I... These results weren't unexpected by me at the time I took the exams, but were still a pain to see. I'll elaborate on what caused these dreadful results in future posts.

Summer Retakes/Deferred exams:
Spoiler:
Show
Deferrals:

MA10207 Exam 2: Date TBA
Current Confidence medium :unimpressed:
I'm catching up

MA10210 Exam 1: Date TBA, Current Confidence High I've put work into this a lot last term, and a lot of this overlapped with A-level Further Pure Maths. I deferred this mostly just because it was the day after another exam.

These deferrals are the main thing that decides my degree. If I score less than 35% in either of these, I will need to retake year 1 of my degree. I WILL NOT ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN.

Retakes:
MA10212 Coursework 3 and 4, and Exam 1: I will likely Defer these to next resit period.

MA10236 Vectors, vector calculus and mechanics: Exam 1: Date TBA
Current confidence Low.

These retakes would be nice to pass... but I'm spending most of my time and focus on the deferred exams. If I fail these exams I can still persist with my degree.

Key Dates:
29th July (tomorrow): Exam timetable is released
16th August - 27th August: Scheduled exam period
I will sit three 2 hour exams in this period.

About me: Other than being a failing student, I'm a keen cyclist :bike: and runner :run:. I'm doing the Oxford Half Marathon in September, and am aiming to get a time under 1:50. I read a lot of fiction, engage in internet debates :cyber:, and enjoy sudokus.

Current To-Do List: :work: For the last few weeks I've been working through the second Semester's lecture's and my uncompleted problem sheets for Analysis and Algebra. I'm currently on week 4 of 11 for Algebra, and am working on week 5 of Analysis today.

In the next 4 days I will progress at least 2 more weeks of Algebra, and 3 on Analysis, including looking over limited notes, expanding on them through watching recorded lectures, or Khan academy videos, and completion of the week's Problem Sheet to a high standard.


Plans for this blog:
I will make 1 post every 4 days, in them I'll expand on what's written above a little, as well as outlining how my revision is going and setting myself concrete, accountable targets and to do lists.

I'll read every comment posted here, and may respond to a few if anything is interesting. I can add a tag list to my posts if people want that too.
It's possible no one will even see this blog, but it'll be useful for me to keep myself accountable, and as a diary to clarify and record my thoughts of this time too.
Hey you if you're reading this, congrats on getting to the bottom!

Post#1
Days until Exam Period Start: 20
Days until Exam Period End: 31
Last edited by Gefforyson; 1 month ago
6
reply
Sinnoh
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#2
Report 1 month ago
#2
Best of luck! Does first year count towards your final grade or no?
0
reply
Gefforyson
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#3
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#3
(Original post by Sinnoh)
Best of luck! Does first year count towards your final grade or no?
Luckily it doesn't count to my final grade, but currently I'm in a failing state. I need to get at least 40% average, and can only fail 3 modules if I wish to progress to year 2.

Thanks for the support!
0
reply
flaurie
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#4
Report 1 month ago
#4
Good luck! :yep:
1
reply
Interea
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#5
Report 1 month ago
#5
Good luck! :crossedf: You certainly sound like you're determined enough to get things done
1
reply
TazmeenX
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#6
Report 1 month ago
#6
ahhh good luck!! also quick q: why did you decide to do maths and what were u thinking of doing after uni??
0
reply
Gefforyson
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#7
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#7
(Original post by TazmeenX)
ahhh good luck!! also quick q: why did you decide to do maths and what were u thinking of doing after uni??
Thanks for the good wishes!

Maths always was the easiest subject for me throughout school, from early years of primary school till my A-levels I've mostly found it fairly easy. It seemed like an obvious choice for my degree, and it left job options wide open, so I choose it. In retrospect I actually quite enjoy writing these days, and I think my skill set would've been much wider if I took something like Philosophy as a fourth A-level... I think I'd quite enjoy doing a PPE degree, or one of any number of degrees, but I'm doing a maths degree now.

I've yet to decide fully what I wish to do after Uni, I feel I'd wouldn't mind being a maths teacher, especially if I was teaching in another country... Any sort of job that a maths degree could help with is on the table for me though.
1
reply
Gefforyson
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#8
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#8
My exam timetable was released!

Key Dates: (now expanded)

20th August: MA10236 Vectors, vector calculus and mechanics Exam 1
26th August:MA10207 Analysis 1 Exam 2
27th August:MA10210 Algebra 1B Exam 1
Each of these exams is 2 hours long + 1 hour for submission.

I actually don't mind my two major exams being the day after one another... I think if I've done enough revision in the leadup, and get past papers done in the last few days, all will be fine. These are late in the exam period window too which I'm happy about, I feel I'm gonna need all the time I can to revise here.


Update on Last To Do List:
I'm not great at keeping and referring to a calendar. I had a wedding I was aware of, but didn't expect to be soon last weekend... As a result, I only managed to get a few hours of work done during the weekend, Friday and Today were slightly better though, and I have done a few weeks worth of work since the last post, but less than I planned to.

Week 6 of Analysis Content.
Week 5 of Algebra Content.
(Have only done a brief relook at my Calculus notes)

Needed Total To Do List:
Complete the 11 weeks of Analysis and Algebra content, and problem sheets to a good understanding.
Skim the Calculus content.
Complete 3 mock exams of each subject, at least 2 of which in exam conditions. :work:

Next To Do List:
By My next submission here on the 6th, I hope to have done 6 more weeks of lectures, notes, and problem sheets for Analysis and Algebra, half of the remaining content needed.

Revision Strategies Implemented:
Time Tracking: Yesterday I started again a thing I've done a lot in the past: time tracking. I am currently tracking everything I spend time on in the day in a massive excel spreadsheet. This process helps me focus my mind, realise which tasks are actually essential and which are not. I find I become a lot more single-minded and can focus on one task a lot better when knowing I will be tracking it.
There are probably much better ways, and methods of doing this than I am, but I have a massive excel sheet with the day broken into 15 minute chunks, and I give each cell a letter to identify what I did with those 15 minute intervals.

In tandem with this, I'm now trying to make my days more consistent. I'm tapering my sleep schedule to be no later than 11:30PM in a few days, and for full-on study to start at no later than 9AM. I'm also trying to give myself a few hours at the end of the day for focused, intentional relaxation:reel:, and I try and fit in at least 15 mins of exercise:bike: into each day.

I'll update you on how this process is working for me next post.

Post#2
Days until Exam Period Start: 18
Days until Exam Period End: 25
0
reply
Gefforyson
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#9
Report Thread starter 4 weeks ago
#9
I'm giving my all but yeah, it turns out that's not very much at all.

Post#3
Days until Exam Period Start: 0
Days until Exam Period End: 7
0
reply
1582
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#10
Report 4 weeks ago
#10
Good luck with your exams!
1
reply
flaurie
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#11
Report 4 weeks ago
#11
Good luck :woo:
0
reply
Gefforyson
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#12
Report Thread starter 4 weeks ago
#12
Exam 1 done! I can't say I'm happy with it, but it's over nonetheless. Thanks for the support laurawatt and 1582!

This was the least important of the three exams I have - it can't improve my year 1 grade, it's just needed to be passed before my degree finishes.

Some needed context to next part of post: Remote exams for us at Bath are similar papers to what they usually would be, but we're given a 24 hour period, in which we are allowed 3 hours (2 intended to complete the paper, and 1 to upload and submit it).
This exam is a retake, because last exam I ended up with 12% after starting the exam at 6am, and solely revising in the night before the exam when I had a full week free before the date... I also lost £2k on the crypto market that night which didn't help me, but that's a story for another time..

This exam went better than that did, but I still don't think I've done well enough to pass. I've revised this unit much less than the other two, more important units, so I've probably only added 6 hours to my study on this.
I managed to answer 28 marks out of 60 in this paper, and of those I think it's likely I'll have around 22 correct; falling shy of the 24 marks out of 60 needed for a pass. I might be severely wrong in either direction though, I used to be good at predicting my results, but I'm less certain with these Uni papers these days, without access to a through mark scheme, I don't know what is given marks, and also with my lower results, I don't know what I don't know.

Talking about what I don't know... One large problem with how I completed this paper was Section B. Section B has 50% of the marks, in just 2, long questions. I had hoped it would lie under the mechanics topics I'd revised recently, and done several questions on, but unfortunately I hadn't covered the material, and had to relearn content mid-exam to even get the first few (meant to be easy) parts of these questions.

Ignore my angsty post 3 by the way, that makes more sense to me, in the headspace I had at the time, and current 2:15am me won't be able to translate my thoughts there. It was a line from Penelope Scott's song 'Lavender' though, and I resonated with it a lot at the time.

Post#4
Exams left: 2
Days until Exam Period End: 6
Last edited by Gefforyson; 4 weeks ago
2
reply
Gefforyson
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#13
Report Thread starter 4 weeks ago
#13
I'm now just 2 days from the exam dates, and I'm finally feeling like I fully understand some of the content... This occurrence is a little late, but It's better late than never.

I've now started to grind out mock papers for the last 2 exams, and coming over questions of similar format in each years' paper is very reassuring to me. God, I wouldn't be able to do this without referring back to my notes, but I have confidence I'll at least make the 40% threshold I need. I haven't had this confidence all the way through the exams, I'll admit. Recently especially this was the case, I had an hour and a half yesterday where I did nothing but sit stare at a mirror and despair. I've had thoughts cross my mind at how easy it would be to cheat in these exams, and employ someone to answer questions for me... But these thoughts are gone and passed. I will sit these papers, and I will be damned good at them.

By the time I sit each of these papers, I want, and should be able to have done at least 4 past papers in the topic. Two of these, at least, should be in full exam conditions - timed, and not looking at the solutions.

Post#5
Exams left: 2
Days until Exam Period End: 4

Current Confidence: Medium/High
1
reply
1582
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#14
Report 3 weeks ago
#14
Keep up the good work! It's okay if you need to look at your notes while tackling past papers. I believe having to look up and use that knowledge to answer a question is what helps to reinforce memorisation. Good luck for Thursday and Friday!
0
reply
Gefforyson
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#15
Report Thread starter 3 weeks ago
#15
(Original post by 1582)
Keep up the good work! It's okay if you need to look at your notes while tackling past papers. I believe having to look up and use that knowledge to answer a question is what helps to reinforce memorisation. Good luck for Thursday and Friday!
Thanks for the response, and the support!

For me this is even more the case, as exams are stated as open-book. I'm definitely planning to abuse that slightly... I don't think I'd be nearly prepared enough if we weren't allowed to reference notes.
Next year will certainly be a different experience.
0
reply
UneBellePatience
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#16
Report 3 weeks ago
#16
(Original post by Gefforyson)
Covid and my amazing ability to procrastinate revision/watching lectures has led me into a summer of resits and deferred exams.
This is exactly the position i am in right now, except i am a finalist student and i have less than two weeks to save my degree i was averaging a first all year then........ well now i have a 3k assignment, an exam on the 3rd and my dissertation ( i have all of my reading done and about 1k, though not a plan) due by the 10th of September.

"I had an hour and a half yesterday where I did nothing but sit stare at a mirror and despair"

If i could tell you how much time i have wasted by doing this you would not feel bad about that!! also you are allowed those moments of despair, it's not easy to have so much to revise for and so much work to do.

Best of luck with the rest of your exams, i'm sure you will make it! Keep going!!

Also btw i am a Philosophy major - just saw that you are interested in philosophy! i wish i was good at maths, i always found maths exams therapeutic despite the fact i had no idea what i was doing, i've always been more of a writer
Last edited by UneBellePatience; 3 weeks ago
1
reply
Gefforyson
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#17
Report Thread starter 3 weeks ago
#17
(Original post by UneBellePatience)
This is exactly the position i am in right now, except i am a finalist student and i have less than two weeks to save my degree i was averaging a first all year then........ well now i have a 3k assignment, an exam on the 3rd and my dissertation ( i have all of my reading done and about 1k, though not a plan) due by the 10th of September.
My final two exams are in the next 2 days actually, I probably should've updated the title to be clearer with each of my posts, but I guess it's too late now.

Good luck with all your exams, assignments and the dissertation too!
I can empathise greatly with that string of dots you're not alone, this year has been hard.
This too shall pass. Moments may seem tough now, but the work will be worth it, better periods will come.
(Original post by UneBellePatience)
Also btw i am a Philosophy major - just saw that you are interested in philosophy! i wish i was good at maths, i always found maths exams therapeutic despite the fact i had no idea what i was doing, i've always been more of a writer
Interesting, yeah I guess my interest in philosophy would be a similar therapeutic kind rather than actually something I'd excel at. I was never the best at English, but I enjoyed, and did quite well in Religious Studies back at GCSE, and I enjoyed participating in debate club too. Taking anything to the degree level would be a stretch though, and I know I wouldn't be able to cope with the reading requirements, or the lengthy essays required for it good on you for managing it this far!


Thanks for all the kind words of support too, it means a lot.
0
reply
Gefforyson
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#18
Report Thread starter 3 weeks ago
#18
It is finished.

Both exams went very meh. Neither were horrific, but neither were great either to be honest. With better revision, and actually sticking to the plans I'd made on here, I'd've surely done better.

I've made a detailed excel chart with each exam and the exact marks and weightings each has had throughout this first year. I've put educated guesses at the actual mark I got in these 2 recent papers, as well as lower bounds, and upper bounds. I end up failing the degree by 1 percentage point if both lower bounds are true, but it's quite a bit under my guessed marks that my overall average is above 40%, so I'm happy.
Spoiler:
Show
MA10207B: Lower Bound 23, Expected Mark 34, Upper Bound, 50.
MA10210: Lower Bound 35, Expected Mark 48, Upper bound, 63.
(these are in % out of 100, not marks out of 60 unfortunately yes, I suck.)

Results for these two papers come out for me on September 30th. I'll take a not-deserved rest from Uni-maths for a short period, then do some pre-reading, and try and prepare better for work to come next year in the last few weeks of Summer.

Passion projects in the summer to do:
Running :run:- I've got a half-marathon booked in for October. I plan to ramp up training for that, and hopefully make a sub 1 hour 50minute run time possible.
Bike Riding - I'm buying an e-bike tomorrow. This may seem like cheating to anyone that's not been to Bath, or struggled up the lengthy climbs averaging above 12% gradient. I had my old bike stolen a few months back and thought I'd splash out a little on my new one. This will take the place of my old bike, and also the daily bus up to Uni. During the summer I'd like to cycle a few 100km, and explore the surroundings of Bath more, as well as deliver food for Just Eat here when possible.
Essay Writing - I've got a couple of private essays I've been writing on various topics for a while now. In this next month I will finish them.
Coding - I'd love to code more for fun. I've learnt basics of Python here and there, but I still am terribly slow at it, and would love to learn and practice with it more this summer.
Chess - Chess is the sort of thing I should be good at, but am not yet. I grinded from nothing to 800 in a few days a couple of weeks back, I'd love to learn, improve and hopefully get into the 1200 range at chess on chess.com

These posts have been fun to do, and have kept me accountable to the you public people out there in the ether. I'll try to keep up a blog next year, and maybe it will help me stay on track, and give me what I need to grow this failing/3rd of a degree up to a respectable grade. I'd like to engage with the wider GYG community at some point too, I'll try and dip in and read others' posts more often.


Post#6
Exams left: 0
Days until Exam Period End: 0

Days Until Results:34
Last edited by Gefforyson; 3 weeks ago
1
reply
Sinnoh
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#19
Report 3 weeks ago
#19
Well grats on finishing the resits, it's a lot easier to be pessimistic after an exam so you may well surprise yourself.

...also as someone who spent several months treading water around the low 500s on chess.com, nicely done on that
1
reply
Gefforyson
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#20
Report Thread starter 3 weeks ago
#20
(Original post by Sinnoh)
Well grats on finishing the resits, it's a lot easier to be pessimistic after an exam so you may well surprise yourself.

...also as someone who spent several months treading water around the low 500s on chess.com, nicely done on that
Thanks, on both compliments!

Yeah, I've done quite a bit of chess as a kid, so was still fairly ok at the basics. I think I'll have to learn proper openings and theory if I want to progress further than this 750-800 range though.
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Feeling behind at school/college? What is the best thing your teachers could to help you catch up?

Extra compulsory independent learning activities (eg, homework tasks) (13)
6.37%
Run extra compulsory lessons or workshops (32)
15.69%
Focus on making the normal lesson time with them as high quality as possible (33)
16.18%
Focus on making the normal learning resources as high quality/accessible as possible (30)
14.71%
Provide extra optional activities, lessons and/or workshops (56)
27.45%
Assess students, decide who needs extra support and focus on these students (40)
19.61%

Watched Threads

View All