Arya’s 5 simple tips to succeed in the upcoming written exams

As we’re getting closer to the exam period at TU Darmstadt, you might have been wondering how you can succeed in the upcoming written exams and achieve a better result overall. How can you perform more efficiently in the written exams, in their new format, especially during these corona times? Here, I’ll guide you through some useful and simple tips to significantly enhance your productivity during the revision period and help you with your studies. As a student at TU Darmstadt, I would like to share with you my easy-to-follow tips.

Arya,
3rd Semester, Master Tropical Hydrogeology and Environmental Engineering

One unusual study tip I find remarkable is the use of the so-called “recap sessions”. The sessions function like a study group in which you can ask one of your seniors, who has already done the exam, to assist you and give you some hints for solving the problems and answering the related questions.

Portrait TU Darmstadt Ambassador Arya
Picture: August Strotz

Tip 1: Reviewing past exams

My first suggestion is to review past exam papers, copies of which are sometimes provided by the professors in each department or even published on their website for students. The past exam papers may also be called “exercises” or “questions to think about” and may appear at the end of the lecture slides. Sometimes these copies are referred to as “exam with date”. They give you a better insight into what you can expect to come across during your exams. These include: the main format of the questions, the range of the topics involved and some key points of interest that your professor is likely to ask you to discuss. Of course, reviewing the past exams along with studying each chapter carefully can help you to be completely prepared for a written exam and achieve a higher grade

Tip 2: Recap sessions

“Recap sessions” may be relatively unknown as a method, but I find them to be an amazingly useful and a great tip for achieving your academic goals. Just like in a study group, these sessions allow you to gather with your classmates and to think about solving the exercises together. The main difference with the “recap sessions” is that they give you the opportunity to connect with your seniors, who have already done the exam, and can assist you and provide some hints for solving the exam questions. They can also advise you which areas to improve on or read more about to become familiar with a topic. I took part in this great opportunity last year and found it amazing how generous they were in sharing their knowledge on the best techniques to use and giving me some useful hints to take note of in order to answer the question and get a better grade in the final written exam.

Don't know any students from the higher semesters? Then ask your student council or your mentors. They can help you to make contact with more senior students.

Tip 3: Effective scientific and grammatical writing

Sometimes I found it difficult to write and properly articulate my answer, even though I am able to mentally answer the question without issue. I noticed the same problem occurs often with other students during the exam and their grades suffered since they were unable to appropriately express what they meant in the correct written format. Luckily, I was able to tackle this issue due to the generous expertise and amazing team at the SchreibCenter am Sprachenzentrum (Writing Centre at Language Centre) of the TU Darmstadt. Their team is always available to help students like me to write using the appropriate scientific language, to become familiar with the common terms and words widely used in academic texts, and to enhance my language skills in general.

Tip 4: Literature access and review

You can access literature online at the University and State Library (ULB).

In order to be completely prepared for the written exams, I need to review the up-to-date literature, media, reports and articles as well. Luckily, with the help of technology we can easily access these materials online and do not need to rely on the traditional formats which are often limited and sometimes do not provide up-to-date literature on a specific topic. As a student at TU Darmstadt, I can use the Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Darmstadt (University and State Library) for free to borrow physical books, magazines or any reports related to my topic. Additionally, they offer a great online feature to get access to the electronic media with some very easy-to-follow steps using my Athene Card. I can download the literature or view it online. Their database is always being improved and utilises a powerful search engine with advanced search options that you can easily use directly from the website.

Tip 5: Overcoming the unnecessary stress

Stress is inevitable during the exam period, and it may, in some cases, negatively affect performance. No one likes to experience this and we have all certainly faced it before. I strongly believe that doing some sport or routine physical activities can help overcome stress during these periods. Frequent movement at home or outside will boost your productivity, help you to focus on your main goals and be motivated to continue studying.

It may happen that at some point you feel unable to mentally cope and need some guidance and expert assistance. TU Darmstadt provides students with this opportunity free of charge to aaccess confidential services through the Central Student Advisory (ZSB) and Psychotherapeutische Beratungsstelle (Psychological Counselling Services) at Studierendenwerk.

In addition to all these services, International Student Services (ISS)provide support for almost every topic that, as an International student myself, I felt I needed assistance with, especially when I encountered various problems during my studies. The team will be happy to help you with non-academic topics or tell you who to contact, no matter what question you have. Various appointments are offered on their website. You can come to the digital counter every day from Monday to Friday and ask questions, or you can register for a consultation hour in which you will receive individual and detailed advice. Alternatively, you can take a look at the website for the University Didactic Centre (Hochschuldidaktische Arbeitsstelle). There you will also find helpful tips and workshops on stress management and learning techniques.

Portrait TU Darmstadt Ambassador Arya
Picture: August Strotz

Arya

Hey there! I’m Arya and I’m a master’s student at TU Darmstadt. I’m studying Tropical Hydrogeology and Environmental Engineering and I’m currently in my third semester. I’ve always been passionate about innovation, teamwork, Start-up work environments and how to keep nature safe and sustainable. These elements form the main topics for our master’s program and they match my ambitions and goals for the future. This ultimately encouraged me to apply for the programme at TU Darmstadt, whose home is also known as the “city of science”.