Meet Hamish McDougall, a passionate Senior Tutor at Cromwell College who is currently studying a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering at UQ. With his expertise and dedication, Hamish brings a fresh perspective to the world of university learning and exam preparation.
Embracing the university model of learning can be an exciting and transformative journey. While it may present some initial challenges, the transition from high school to university offers a unique opportunity to expand our horizons and embrace new ways of learning. The university system encourages us to question, explore, and grow, ultimately empowering us to reach our full potential.
Coming from a heavily structured environment, designed to prevent us from falling through the cracks to one where we have complete independent control over our learning can be a shock to the senses. It is no surprise that come SWOTVAC, many people are frantically catching up on lectures so they are prepared for their finals. However, it doesn’t have to be like this.
Hamish’s Top Tips
With strong time management skills, and a sense of self-discipline, it is entirely possible to build your own structure to stay up to date with all your course content, and still make the most of all the opportunities and events that the college experience at Cromwell offers. Attending your lectures in person helps bring back some of the structure and routine from high school and removes the possibility of a lecture backlog waiting for you at the end of the semester.
The most important aspect of staying up to date with your courses is good planning. Finding all your assessment times can be done easily at the start of each semester by checking each subject’s ECP, or through the aggregated report in the MySI.net portal. Putting each of these assessment pieces into a calendar, alongside all the important college events, maps out your semester and helps you plan around busy periods, so you don’t have to sacrifice a college event because you procrastinated on an assignment for two weeks.
Another helpful planning method to stay up to date is to employ a checklist for recurring assessment pieces such as weekly quizzes. Having a little reminder to complete these small assessment pieces each week is helpful, as with so many events occurring, something as small as a quiz may slip your mind.
Finally, in the lead up to and during the exam period, I can’t stress enough the importance of using the course’s past exams to aid your study. These can be found online at the UQ Library, and additional papers and often solutions on the student-run UQ Attic. Practicing previous exam questions sets the expectation of your upcoming exam’s difficulty and lets you practice your performance in exam conditions, giving you the best opportunity of doing well in your course.
Written by Cromwell College Senior Tutor, Hamish McDougall