Wrap up: exam season

No, it’s not a nightmare; it’s just that time of year again – your first year of engineering studies at the University of Auckland is about to wrap up, and it’s time to face those semester two exams. If you’re feeling a mixture of anticipation and anxiety, you’re not alone. But here’s the good news: you’ve got this. In this blog, we’ll delve into specific exams you might encounter in your second semester, offer tips for managing your time effectively, share strategies for tackling tough questions, and highlight the importance of hands-on work stated in my first blog. Plus, we’ll discuss the often-overlooked challenge of rewinding and resetting your sleep schedule after the exams are over.

As you approach your second-semester exams, it’s essential to know what to expect. Depending on your engineering discipline, you’ll likely face a range of exams, from mathematical problem-solving to theory exams. Make sure to gather all your resources and take a look at your syllabus to get a comprehensive overview of what you’ll be tested on. Knowing what to prioritise will help you focus your revision effectively. I typically predict a minimum grade I need off Canvas and set higher standards to that, but everyones different!

Effective time management is the key to success in these exams even in the workforce. Create a study schedule that accommodates your coursework, allocated revision time, and, just as crucial moments of relaxation. Setting specific, achievable goals for each study session can help you stay on track. Prioritise your most challenging subjects and allocate more time to them. Don’t forget to take short, frequent breaks to maintain focus.

When you come across a daunting question in the exam, remember that panicking won’t get you anywhere. EVERYONE in that room feels the same, that if you put in no effort haha. Take a deep breath, read the question carefully, and break it down into smaller, manageable steps. In engineering, diagrams, methodical problem-solving, and assumption making are your best allies, so be sure to state them! Even if you’re unsure of the final answer, showing your working process can earn you valuable marks. In ENGGEN121 I remember that half the marks to the point are souley dedicated to sketching FBD’s, electrical was somewhat similar. So, sketch diagrams, outline your thought process, and showcase your problem-solving skills. Just try your best to convince the marker that you know what you are talking about ahhaha.

Now, let’s fast-forward to the end of the semester, the period when your exams are finally over. It’s time to address a common post-exam issue: resetting your sleep schedule. After weeks of late-night study sessions, it’s crucial to reintroduce healthy sleep patterns. Gradually adjust your bedtime and wake-up time by half an hour each day to avoid shock to your system. Maintain a regular sleep schedule and avoid caffeine and screen time before bedtime. A well-rested mind is more adept at retaining the knowledge you’ve worked so hard to acquire. Do something fun to get your mind off uni!

Ski trip to Christchurch to rewind after a hefty Semester 1 of Part II.

One essential aspect of engineering is hands-on work highlighted in the first post. While exams are crucial, remember that they tick just one criteria of your future employers are looking at. Practical experiences, projects, and laboratory work are equally vital in preparing you for a career in engineering. They not only enhance your understanding of theoretical concepts but also develop problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. So, don’t underestimate the value of getting your hands dirty, whether it’s labouring, building or analysing soil samples…. theres benefits in everything.

Site visit to CRL

Your journey through the second semester of your first year as an engineering student at the University of Auckland might be challenging, but it’s also full of opportunities for growth and learning. With effective time management, a strategic approach to challenging questions, an eye on the importance of hands-on work, and a well-rested mind, you’re poised for success. So take a deep breath, tackle those exams, and keep the big picture in mind.

On a personal note, I just wanted to express how grateful I am to be your guys part II blogger. Helping students with personal insights has been a wonderful opportunity to help impact you guys. To those who read my blogs, thank you to each one of yous.

Personally I am open to any conversations so please don’t hesitate to contact me via Linkden on the link below and flick me a message.


Best of luck!



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