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Chemistry: Academic skills support

A guide to finding information in chemistry. Includes links to key resources and sources of help.

The Study Advice Team are here to help you develop the academic skills you need to successfully complete your studies. This includes support for:

  • Assignments and exams
  • Time management
  • Academic writing, including reports and using sources in your work
  • Group work
  • Presentations
  • Writing your project report

On this page are a selection of key resources which are most relevant to students in chemistry. There's much more! Explore the full range of support by following this link:

Assessment and feedback

An academic giving feedback to a studentThroughout your course of study, your lecturers and tutors will provide you with feedback on your work. Successful students use feedback as a key tool to plan independent learning and skills development.

See the tabs in this box for specific guidance on:

  • How to interpret my assessment brief
  • Making the most of feedback

For a more comprehensive review of assessment and feedback, including reflective ways to use feedback, check the Study Advice guide below:

If you are unable to view this video on YouTube it is also available on YuJa - view the How to interpret my assessment brief video on YuJa (University username and password required)

If you are unable to view this video on YouTube it is also available on YuJa - view the Making the most of your feedback video on YuJa (University username and password required)

Preparing for and taking exams

Here are 10 top tips for exam success. For more detail see the other tabs in this box or go to the Preparing for exams guide linked below.

For efficient revision...
  1. Make a plan! Check when your exams are scheduled and allow yourself plenty of time for revision in small doses.
  2. Note the format of your exams. Format may differ among different Schools and modules; make sure your information is correct and up to date, so you can prepare accordingly.
  3. Go beyond your lecture notes. You can’t revise everything in detail, so select fewer topics to focus on in more depth. Check your reading list for further reading; think how you’d use what you’ve read to answer a question. Use your module’s revision session to ask questions or clarifications of the module convenor. 
  4. Past papers are your friends! Use them to work out how many topics to revise, to practise writing quick plans and timed answers, and to familiarise yourself with exam instructions. Past papers are available on the Past Papers Archive.
  5. Take good care of yourself. Eat healthy meals, sleep properly, and give yourself time off – taking breaks will reinvigorate your brain and increase your efficiency in processing information.
On exam day...
  1. Read the questions carefully. Don’t just look for familiar key words; check again. You might find the topic you are well prepared for is worded differently.
  2. Use outlines before you start writing. Think about the key points in your answer, and dedicate a paragraph to each one. To structure your paragraph, make your point early and clearly, then give your evidence and analysis to support it, and end with a concluding sentence to link the point back to the question. 
  3. Work out your timings. Know when you need to move on to the next question. Spend longer on questions worth more marks and allow time for checking. If your exam is not timed, it is still advisable to stick to recommended timing and word count; this will help you understand the scope required to cover and avoid going off topic. 
  4. Don’t panic! Under pressured conditions in invigilated, time-bound exams, you may initially feel you don’t know enough; go over the question again and put down in a list what you do know. If you blank, take a few deep breaths and don’t push yourself to remember. Instead, move to a question you can answer and return afterwards. Chances are you will remember when your brain isn’t under pressure.
After the exam...
  1. Reflect on your experience. What strategies worked well? Use these in your preparation for the following exams.

Watch this short video (six mins) for some guidance on effective revision.

If you are unable to view this video on YouTube it is also available on YuJa - view the Effective revision video on YuJa (University username and password required)

Watch this short video (six mins) for guidance on sitting the exam.

If you are unable to view this video on YouTube it is also available on YuJa - view the Exam Room Strategies video on YuJa (University username and password required)

Preparing for Multiple Choice Questions

If you are unable to view this video on YouTube it is also available on YuJa - view the Multiple choice question exams video on YuJa (University username and password required)

Answering short answer questions

If you are unable to view this video on YouTube it is also available on YuJa - view the Answering Short Answer Questions video on YuJa (University username and password required)

Presentations

You will be asked to give a range of different presentations as part of your studies. These may be in person or online, and involve creating a slide show or a poster. Doing presentations will help you develop a range of skills in oral and visual communication. For guidance on all aspects see our Giving presentations guide:

1-1 support from the Study Advice Team

Our Study Advice Team

For quick queries come along to the daily drop-in for quick enquiries. Mon-Fri 1-2pm in semester-time at the Study Advice and Maths Support Desk on the Ground Floor of the Library.

For more in-depth support please make an appointment using the link below: