September 11, 2013, by Yvonne Teoh
Facing Psychology Year 2: Tips from a Veteran
So you made it past first year. Survived Statistical Methods I. Went to the zoo for animal observation (and were assaulted by Joe the Chimpanzee? No? I guess he just didn’t like my year). Well done!
Of course, some of you might be getting a bit cocky, thinking the year to come is going to be more of the same. Be warned: it is not. It is definitely not. Second year is leveling up in every possible sense.
But don’t worry: if you think smart and plan ahead, you’ll find that there’s nothing to fear. Of course everyone’s experience is different, but these basic tips should apply to everyone.
1 – ATTEND EVERY LECTURE SESSION IF POSSIBLE
Lecture sessions this year are two hours long and each covers two complete lectures. Miss one session, and you might have difficulty catching up with the next.
2 – KEEP UP WITH THE READING
Each lecture handout will come with a list of papers and textbook chapters as “supplementary reading”: there is nothing “supplementary” about them. Hunt them down, read them, and try to understand them as soon as possible. This will help you save time with revision during exam time.
3 – PRACTICE WRITING ESSAYS
Every subject this year will require at least one essay to be written during exam time, so be prepared. I like to create rough essay outlines with relevant points, arguments and references. Some prefer writing practice essays under exam conditions. Go through past exam papers (available on the Portal) and get a sense of what the questions may be like.
4 – TALK TO THE LECTURERS IF YOU NEED HELP
If you don’t understand the course content, go straight to the module lecturer, either after class or later. If you’re struggling with a concept they may be able to recommend a site or text that explains things in simpler terms. And if you’ve got personal difficulties, same deal, only go to your personal tutor.
5 – DON’T FEAR THE COURSE CONTENT
It’s going to be tougher, but it’s not impossible. It builds on what you’ve covered in year one, so it would be wise to refresh your memory before beginning the year.
Beyond these basics, it is entirely up to you how you deal with the rigours of the coming year. And of course, you can always approach your seniors. We’re friendly and we don’t bite!
(Year 2 Student in BSc (Hons) Psychology, UNMC)