Examination Time in Maynooth | In the Dark


Today ( Friday 17th May) is the first day of the Summer Examination Period in Maynooth. Although I’m not there right now I thought I’d take the opportunity to wish all students the best for their examinations:

You shouldn’t really be relying on luck of course, so here are some tips for the examination period (especially for physics students, but applicable elsewhere).

  1. Try to get a good night’s sleep before the examination and arrive in plenty of time before the start. Spending all night cramming is unlikely to help you do well.
  2. Prepare well in advance so you’re relaxed when the time comes.
  3. Read the entire paper before starting to answer any questions. In particular, make sure you are aware of any supplementary information, formulae, etc, given in the rubric or at the end.
  4. Start off by tackling the question you are most confident about answering, even if it’s not Question 1. This will help settle any nerves. You’re under no obligation to answer the questions in the order they are asked.
  5. Don’t rush! Students often lose marks by making careless errors. In particular, check all your numerical results on your calculator at least twice
  6. Please remember the units!
  7. Don’t panic! You’re not expected to answer everything perfectly. A first-class mark is anything over 70%, so don’t worry if there are bits you can’t do. If you get stuck on a part of a question, don’t waste too much time on it (especially if it’s just a few marks). Just leave it and move on. You can always come back to it later if you have time.

Meanwhile, in Barcelona, Monday is a public holiday (Pentecost) so I am faced with the prospect of having to endure a long weekend break. Such is life…

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