How to pass data science exams and assessments

  • 31 May 2022
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Userlevel 4
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It’s the time of year when many will have either finished their exams/assessments or will be approaching them.

 

If only Uncle Ben could’ve been there to help Peter with his exams...

No matter how much work you’ve put into your revision or coursework, stress is part of the programme.

 

But you don’t have to be alone. Whether you’ve just submitted your paper, you’re approaching an exam or you’ve just finished either — let’s talk. 

 

How do you pass assessments?

Undergraduate, masters, cloud certification or any other course — it doesn’t matter:
 

  • Have you already done all  exams and assessments? How did you get through them? Share the love/knowledge

  • Got an exam or assessment coming up? Any topics/questions you’re struggling with? Ask here

  • Are you one of those people who aren’t struggling at all? How? Please tell us how!! 🙏🏻

  • Have you been procrastinating, doing almost everything but revision? Ask the Community for tips on how to overcome procrastination

  • Have you just finished an exam or assessment? Let us know how you’re feeling 

 

Whatever you’re feeling, pop your thoughts below and vote in the poll 👇🏻

Too busy studying to get involved? Well, good for you 🤓

What's the hardest part of exams/assessments?


4 replies

Userlevel 6
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It’s been a while since I’ve done exams 👵🏻 but something I always found useful was to really plan out my time. If I had my exam schedule and had some time ahead of the exams I’d make a study timetable and try to be really strict with it. I’d always found that in school I’d just want to study the subjects I liked (usually maths) so when I went to university I made sure I had allocated time for everything so that I’d feel comfortable with all of my subjects ahead of the exams. During the exams I tried to keep study to a minimum and make sure I was getting enough sleep and eating properly, and I’d more spend spare time reviewing notes I’d made or going over some sample questions but trying to keep it a bit lighter. At that point there’s only so much you can do and I always found I performed better being calm and not knowing everything rather than in a panic trying to learn something last minute. 

Userlevel 4
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The thing that really changed how I did in exams was just doing all the examples available, particularly past exam papers. Particularly for School exams, the setters are really lazy, so after a while they repeat all the same things, meaning you’ll have seen the questions with different numbers or words (particularly in Maths!). At Uni I’d also do all the past papers and go to lecturers to see how to improve anything I was doing badly at. The lecturers set the exams and want you to do well, so if you engage with them they are more likely to give subtle hints about what’s likely to come up 😉 
I agree with @SorchaGilroy’s point about trying to avoid studying once the exam periods start, as that always just made me way more stressed than I need to be. If I had afternoon exams I almost never worked in the morning, as I knew i’d just focus on the bits I was never going to get, and make me unnecessarily stressed. 
Good luck to everyone sitting exams, I’m sure you’ll smash them all!

Userlevel 4
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Practice practice practice!!

As Ben said. exam setters aren’t the most creative beings - if you do & understand the majority of example worked answers, worksheets, past exam question etc - its highly likely that the majority of the exam paper is not going to be a surprise!

On a good day, going through a past paper question would usually go like this: 

  1. Read question
  2. Attempt question without any notes
  3. Try to fill in gaps in understanding using notes
  4. Check answer (using written solution, peer comparison, check with teaching assistants, lecture office hours etc) 
  5. Add any key learnings/silly mistake learning to a ‘cheat sheet notes’

Step 4 was the only ‘revision notes’ I would make, never just copying or consolidating out of lecture notes unless I had used and understood the theory in practice.

Massive good luck to anyone sitting exams soon!! 

Userlevel 4
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Also!! Outside of revision, my tip would be to treat exams like a sports event (bare with me...)

  • Taper properly (dont have your biggest training session the day before the big race!!)
  • Fuel well (#foodisfuel)
  • Hydrate
  • Pack the night before!
  • Treat the morning like a usual day, now is not the time to be making new habits. If you’d usually spend an hour chilling before getting the bus in - do that! If you’d usually grab a starbucks en route - do that!
  • Finally - back yourself! When the going gets tough, give yourself some positive self talk. You are capable, you are prepared, just gotta believe!!

Coach Craven - out 

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