Advice from lecturers
Thanks to Geraldine Bell, Josephine Bisacre, Jim Cameron, Valerie Dickie and Gill Menzies for contributing to this section.
Plan and get organised
- If you are faced with one or more resits, do not despair, get organised. Remember, you are much better to attempt them than not to do so, as you need to show the Progression Board that you are serious about your programme of study.
- Recognise the way you revised and reviewed material may not have worked, so don't just do what you did before. It is worth taking the time to figure what went wrong and if unsure ask for feedback!
- You are probably aware yourself of what went wrong in your exams, and you should concentrate on areas in which you think you were weak.
- As soon as you hear you have a resit make a plan of how you will do your revision and exam preparation, starting as soon as you can and stick to your plan.
- Do not leave it to the last week before the resits to start working. Be firm with yourself, planning to study small amounts at a time but doing it consistently: little and often, not one Big Bang.
- If you have a lot of resits, you might need to be strategic, and it might be better to concentrate on the most important courses (any that are pre-requisites for taking later courses or are named in the progression regulations for your programme as courses you must pass in order to progress). Look at your progression regulations for your programme – you may be able to progress without having gained all the credits, depending on your programme and level of study.
- The resit exam is likely to be very similar to the exam at the first diet. Remember, the examiners want to pass you if they possibly can.
- Above all, KEEP CALM, read the questions, stick to strict time management, and all should go well with the resits.
- Go to any revision classes that are available, and read the revision guidance.
Use resources on Canvas
Use Canvas to support your learning – most courses have lots of information and support for students. Useful items on Canvas that you should use include:
- The course outline
- The marking scheme in the course outline
- Examiners reports (these will tell you what the examiners were looking for the previous year)
- Feedback on the exam.
- Lecture material
- Course readings
- Tutorial work including tutorial questions and answers
- Assignments set during the semester.
- On-line tests
- Look at past papers that may be available and attempt them under exam type conditions to see how well you do. Ask if a member of staff would be willing to give you feedback on your attempt (but don't just ask for model solutions – you need to try the exam yourself to see how you get on)
- Practice doing answers against the clock, or even writing a plan for an answer.
- Understand what the examiners are looking for in the assessments in your subject. In particular analysis, critical thinking, application of theories to problems and using examples to support your explanation.
- In some subjects, you should see if there are any current issues that could be incorporated into your answer to help you show that you are up to date with contemporary practice. Look out one or two journal articles that help you to show that you have contemporised theoretical concepts, and indeed aid you in challenging the concept.
- Use texts or on-line resources to get an alternative explanation of a challenging topic, don't just rely on your notes.
- Make sure you know what is expected of you in an exam. Exam technique pdf.
- Speak to your personal tutor.
- If you are faced with resits from semester 1, you will know this early in semester 2. It is sensible to go and talk to the course leader or your tutor and seek some early help. The same applies to any resits in semester 2, though you obviously have less time to prepare yourself for them. Email the relevant members of staff or visit them in their office hours (on their doors). Do not wait until just a week before the resits!