London Snapshots Continued: Students Share Their Impressions after Exams
Makar Donskoy is one of the HSE heroes who managed to survive (and pass, we're sure!) 3 exams in a row.
The second year students had a difficult task this year: the three most important exams they needed to pass in order to continue on at the University of London were scheduled one right after another. We thank Makar for finding the strength after such an intense workload and to tell us about his experience.
'For me, the most difficult thing was that we had 3 exams one right after another - preparing for all of them at once was a lot of work. If they had been spaced 2-3 days apart, we would have been able to get a bit of rest. At the same time, I got some relief from the realization that this huge amount of material scattered throughout thick foreign textbooks, articles and studyguides, can be learned; there is nothing super-complicated.
In terms of the exam procedure, there was nothing unexpected. But in terms of the range of exam topics, there was. For example, on the political science exam there was nothing about regime types, and I was certain this topic would be on it. Therefore, I had to write on my backup topic, which I hadn't prepared as well as my first choice topic. Moreover, I knew I wouldn't be able to cheat on the exam, so I was ready for the examiners' strict supervision. All in all, I can say that I was prepared enough for all of the topics on the exams except for that one on the poli-sci exam, which I already mentioned. For that I had to think back to things I had learned at the basic level.
I studied for the exams all year: I took notes on my textbooks, read studyguides and various articles, and the night before each exam I studied my outlines. I studied on my own - I made notes and then reviewed them. Plus, a month (probably even a week) before the exam, I began studying more intensely, and the night before the exam, in the evening, I reviewed everything according to a brief outline. I think this is a good method - study throughout the year, write everything down, and then, the evening before the exam, repeat everything in brief with all the references. In this way, the information gets stored in your long-term memory in a high-quality and structured manner. Although I don't know how I did yet, I think this strategy of studying the material all year, sticking to the programme, and then after that, simply refreshing what you've learned right before the exams, is very effective.