A student doing course work

Doing course work

Preparing for course work and exams

When you're revising your materials for exams, it's also important to not just learn the facts, but also think about your opinion on the key topics, so critical thinking is very important. - Ayako

Whatever course of studies you are following in the UK, there will almost certainly be some form of assessment involved. Written assignments completed during your course or examinations are the most common methods used to assess students' learning. You may have a mixture of exams and course work, or you may have just exams or just course work. This will depend on where you are studying and what course you are doing.

In these activities you will listen to an interview with an international student who compares her experiences of exams in her own country with exams in the UK. You will also explore some common problems which students report when dealing with course work, and consider how to solve them.

Activity 1What to expect from exams in the UK

International students sometimes find that examinations in the UK are different from those they have experienced in their own countries. What are exams like in your country and do you know what to expect from exams in the UK? You are going to listen to an international student comparing her experiences of taking exams in her own country, and on her course in the UK.

Ayako, a student at a British university

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Listen to Ayako comparing university exams in her home country with exams in the UK. Move each of the points she mentions into the appropriate box, answer the three questions that follow and then check all your answers. You can listen to the interview as many times as you need to.

Exams in Ayako's home country
Exams in the UK
Course work (such as essays or reports) count too
Expect to write more using an answer booklet
Need to memorise key words and facts
Not much assessed course work
Prepare opinions as well as revising facts
Prepare with past papers and start revising early
Question style is multiple choice
Understanding and opinions matter
Use of pencils rather than pens

What view does Ayako have about the following:
-exam stress
-how to deal with it
-when to start revising for exams

Audio transcript (pdf, 12kb).

Listen to the interview with Ayako again with the transcript above if you need to check your understanding. The parts of the transcript containing the answers to the listening task are highlighted.

Activity 2Doing your course work

International students occasionally experience problems with their course work especially at the start of their studies in the UK. In this activity you are going to look at some typical problems that can arise with course work and identify ways to avoid them when you start your own studies in the UK.

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How would you deal with these students' course work problems? Select a problem from the list on left and then match it with a solution from the list on the right. When you have selected and matched all of the items, check your answers and read the feedback.

Would you like to review the main points?