As the term draws to a close, our minds begin to turn to the winter holidays. We think of getting the chance to sleep, spend time with family, see our friends, listen to Christmas music and most importantly, sleep. However, this week’s meeting (as presented by the second-years) firmly reminded us that there was more than that to think about.
Jamie introduced the session by suggesting three things to do over the break. The first suggestion was to take a break. The term is long and busy and he suggested taking a week off to catch up on sleep. This point was contested by some, however:, Tamara pointed out that if you continue working into the first week of the holidays, it could be possible to complete all of the mandatory assignments early, relieving the pressure of completing those later in the break.
The second suggestion was to explore our interest in Computer Science; throughout the term, it is easy to see the subject you are studying as a means to an end, as merely content to learn for an exam. In reality, it is important to remember that we are here to learn more about a subject we are passionate about and if we are passionate it keeps us motivated to work hard on our subject. Thus he suggested researching and learning more about the topics we found most interesting so far; which would have the added bonus of helping us understand that topic.
The final suggestion was to revise. Instead of lecturing us on how to do this, the second years had a brilliant idea where they split the group into three subgroups to discuss this amongst ourselves.
Each group contained a mix of first, second and third years. This allowed us to learn from our more experienced peers and discuss ways of revising over the Christmas break. After talking it over in small groups we compiled our ideas into a list on the board of do’s and don’ts for revision. It was really helpful to talk to the older years and get their first-hand experiences for revision. One of the talking points which was especially useful to have first- hand advice on was how revising for different topics could differ, for example topics like discrete maths may lend themselves to a more practical, question- based revision method whereas algorithms might be better studied through writing our own notes and implementing examples in ML or Java.
At the end of the session we regrouped and wrote down all of the ideas we’d come up with:
|Identify your concerns||Don’t waste time on tiny bit or in general|
|Do practice questions||Don’t procrastinate|
|Some exam questions||Don’t simply rely on exam questions|
|Refresh – revisit information that you’ve learned in progressively longer time periods
(Eg: Flashcards/Anki app)
|One size doesn’t fit all subjects|
|Teaching: to be able to understand something well enough to explain it||Don’t just do one subject at a time|
|Get set work out of the way||Don’t be distracted|
|Have a revision plan
-Schedule tasks, not time
-Schedule by week not by day
|Don’t stay in the same location|
|Paper 3 (new course):