Succeeding in your first year for Chemical Engineers Part I

As a second year student studying Chemical Engineering, I feel that it is only right that I give all you new first year Chemical Engineering students a heads up about how to stay on top of your studies and still be able to have a good time and enjoy your uni life at Aston.



Attend all lectures/tutorials

It is imperative that you attend all lectures as this is a really good opportunity to ask your lecturers for further clarification of a topic within the module, so make the most of it. At Aston uni, we have this thing called Aston Replay which can be accessed on Blackboard, this tends to come in really useful during revision period. However you should not use this as an excuse not to attend lectures as some lecturers do not use Aston Replay, and even the ones that do, sometimes forget to press the record button, so as such nothing that they have said gets recorded, so if you missed that lecture you’ve got a lot of catching up to do. Not an ideal situation to be in- so make sure you don’t get caught out, attend all your lectures. Remember university is optional, you chose to come to university, so make the most of it and make sure that you get your money’s worth by attending all your lectures and tutorials. Tutorials are a lot better because they are done in smaller groups, so this is the perfect time to ask loads of question, if you feel a bit shy to do so in the lectures.



Lecture notes

Most lecturers at Aston will put their lecture notes up for the following lecture on blackboard for you to have a look at before attending that lecture. Therefore I would recommend doing just that, so that when you attend  the lecture you have a better understanding of what the lecturer is talking about. Make extra notes if you need to or add to the ones that they have put up already on Blackboard and make sure that you file all your notes. This leads me to my next point which is on organisation.




Organisation is key! It goes hand in hand with time management. So make sure that from the word go you sort out all your notes, and keep them in order throughout the year  in folders or leaver arch files because it makes life so much easier when it comes to revision because that way everything you need will be in one place. It’s also a good idea to have some sort of time table to follow, it doesn’t need to be anything fancy or elaborate. Just something as simple and straightforward as setting aside a few days a week and a couple of hours  (1 or 2) on those days to spend going over your lecture notes and trying out some past paper questions to get a better understanding of that topic. This is because it is better to revise little and often, than to try and cramp everything in last minute. Plus when you learn something over a long period of time you tend to get a deeper and better understanding of that thing because you would have had more time to fully absorb the information and make more sense of it as a pose to learning it parrot fashion last minute, where you’ve learned something but there is no understanding of the thing that you’ve learnt and as a result this could affect your performance in an exam.





When you receive coursework aim to complete it within the week in which it was received in as you will find that they soon start to pile up, not so much in the first term, but in the second term they come in thick and fast. So make sure you don’t leave it too late to complete coursework as these are the one thing you have control over because it is more specific in the sense that  you’ll know exactly what the coursework will be on whereas in exams anything can come up. So use your time wisely. Make sure you do your very best in all your courseworks as it could save you from a re-sit if one of your exams within the module that included that coursework doesn’t quite go according to plan.