Hi guys! How is everyone doing? Finally, after a month of ‘everyday study routine’, the exam is OVER!!! I would say that it was the most difficult exam period I have ever experienced in my undergraduate studies. It was not due to the difficulty of exam questions, but the difficulty to 100% concentrate during revision. Also, to be honest, having an exam at home could be worrying because the wifi connection could be unstable/ cut off anytime, there might be some unexpected problems as well (eg. questions failed to be loaded up, some diagrams were not shown in MCQ paper due to technical problem).
Fortunately, my exams went well, although there are some missing diagrams in the exam paper, my module lead has clarified that the questions would be bonus questions for us, since it’s due to an unforeseen technical problem. Moreover, I thought the exam questions would be loaded very slowly (since many students were assessing SurreyLearn at the same time), but surprisingly I didn’t experience any website lag at all. This kind of shows that our university has been doing a good job of organizing online final exams. Despite that, our university also provides many supports during the exam period.
Firstly, since this is the first time we sit for online final exams, our uni has updated the guidelines for taking exams remotely on MySurrey website (Here are the links: https://exams.surrey.ac.uk/exams/sitting-exam and https://study.surrey.ac.uk/studying-online). You can find lots of exam information on the website. For example, there are tips on revision strategies, video guides for take-home exams, tips on optimising remote working environment. There are common FAQs about the exam format, new exam guidelines and some advice before you start your exam (eg. check internet connection, make your household aware you are about to begin an exam, so you won’t be disturbed). As usual, there is also guidance for students with a disability or learning adjustment. I found the websites pretty useful because the information is clear and very detailed.
More importantly, there are lots of academic supports for our online learning and assessments. The academic skills and development team hosted two study forums via Zoom during the exam period. The forums aim to help students to study effectively online and prepare for take-home exams. The forums last 45 minutes and you are welcome to drop in if you have any specific issues/questions regarding your online learning and assessments.
Although we couldn’t revise in the library at the moment, we can still get access to library resources online. For example, we can get access to electronic books and journals through our library website, get writing advice from our PAWS (Peer Assisted Writing Scheme) mentors via Zoom, and book online appointments with Maths and Statistics Advice Team. For your information, Maths and Statistics Advice workshop is a new service started this year, they provide one-to-one guidance on all aspects of mathematics and statistics, such as algebra, calculus, statistical tests and software. I haven’t booked an appointment with them before, but it would be a good resource for you if you encounter any mathematical problems that you don’t understand in lectures.
Below are the links that you could get study resources from:
The Library : https://library.surrey.ac.uk/
To book appointments with Maths and Statistics Team: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=kyaQa3QQqkCeIdiURqLrtaeinptigThAnvEDG4QmstpUMEVIRzMxR1ExRlQ5SVpRRFE5NThQSzA0Ni4u
More resources from the Maths and Statistics Advice Team: https://study.surrey.ac.uk/study-support/maths-and-statistics-advice\
Resources from Academic Skills and Development team : https://study.surrey.ac.uk/study-support/resources
Other additional resources available through the library website: https://library.surrey.ac.uk/subject-resources/additional-resources
Furthermore, Centre of Wellbeing provides health and wellbeing support all year long, such as nightline services. Therefore, you are also welcomed to consult them to help you manage your stress if you face any difficulties during the exam period.
Alright, I think that’s all for today. Don’t worry too much whether your study experience would be affected next academic year (which involves a hybrid of online teaching and face-to-face seminars), because there are lots of online academic supports provided by our uni. Hope to see you guys in September!