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Blog smash to generate motivation

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Well, it's been nearly three months since I took my first two level three exams, MS327 Deterministic and Stochastic Dynamics and SM358 The Quantum World. 

I'm pleased to say that I passed my quantum exam, albeit with terribly low marks - but I'm not unhappy about that, I'm pleased. All I wanted was to pass that course, and I did. 

However, with MS327, things were not so pleasing. I failed. 

Devastating, yes, but not entirely unexpected. I entered the exam with the simple view to merely pass the thing, and whereas last year I tried my utmost to achieve a distinction, and consequently only passed, this view only served me to approach the questions with a diminished capacity. So I failed. 

Nevermind. I now have an opportunity to resit the exam, and so it is now my prerogative to study and revise to the point that I can sufficiently make up the marks that I need to get through this year. And overall, this year, I was just two points off a pass mark. It's all very doable. 

And what makes it doable is the fact that I now have a much, much better idea of how to tackle the Lagrangian questions, thanks to a man called David Evans, who worked on a practice question with me recently. I'm much more confident. 

But again, I must not become complacent. There's every chance that I won't pass this module. And what it that happens? Well, I'll have to redo the thing!! Not good. But I don't want to entertain those thoughts. I know I can pass, and I know I have to do a bit more revision to get there. 

So, in light of that, here's a little run down of things I could do, in order to maximise my chances:-

Firstly, I'm semi-banking on the hope that this resit exam will be similar to the last, albeit with slightly modified variations on questions. I think I found that with my resit of MST125 back in the day. I really hope it will be like this, because then I have the best chance at answering the questions. 

That said, I need to rewrite that last exam over the course of the next two weeks. I need to make perfect use of Sandra's exam script. (Sandra is a woman who achieved a distinction and was kind enough to share her exam answers with me.) 

I need to go through a couple (or three) of the practice exams and past papers. 

I need to rewrite and fully understand the Diffusion equation question (Q9) of the recent exam, and perhaps go over Unit 11 once more. 

I would like a flawless attempt at the Fourier Transform question, hence look for practice at this - which I have done... there are numerous problems online to look at and understand. 

In terms of the questions which I have no worries about - questions one, two, three, etc - I really need to make sure I do know what I'm doing with those. I need to remind myself about the sections in the handbook which can help me, and I need to brush up on these questions. 

What does worry me? The Diffusion equation questions, the Lagrangian equation questions, the Fourier Transform questions, and also questions involving the Continuity equation. This latter involves going through Unit 9 once or twice more, and finding more and more about it online and with the help on the website with David Evans. 

Basically, and on the whole, I need to absorb myself in this work for the next two weeks five days. The exam takes place on the 13th of September, a Tuesday, yes, but I will start to become nervous on the Monday, the very day I intend to start the exam - at twelve midnight. 

On the whole, I do not mind that I have failed that exam, because a resit is not so bad, especially since now, with the extra work that I will put in, I will have a better understanding of the questions and formulas that I need to know. At least I will have a refreshed knowledge of the whole thing, and will not have put the lot to the back of my mind, like I always seem to do with everything I've ever learned at the Open University. 

Anyway, I do not know what more I need to say on this topic. I have mentioned those areas that I need to revise and work on, and I have got them out in the open, and vocalised them, written them down, and dug deep enough to crystallise them. There is no stopping me now. Now, I just need to get it all into practice. 

Anyway, wish me luck. I may need it. 

Blessings. 

Daniel. 




Permalink 2 comments (latest comment by Daniel Frederick Best, Wednesday, 31 Aug 2022, 00:41)
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Saint Lucia

It's go time!

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Hello all, 

It will soon be exam time for me. I'm really nervous and a little stress and anxious, so I thought I'd smash out a little blog to calm the nerves, boring as it is! 

I'm not 100% ready, I'll be honest. Some subjects I hardly touched. But then others I feel very confident with. I'll get no distinction, but I'll aim for high marks and hope to pass fingers crossed! 

It feels good to write at the moment. It's currently 22:15, and the exam opens at midnight. I'm all prepared, I've had a shower, I've rolled some smokes, I've got my energy drinks ready. It just remains for me to run through a couple of equations, and make some toast at eleven thirty, and I'm good to go! 

I am good to go! 

Some people will get distinctions. I'm sooo jealous! 

I hope we get good questions. 

I don't think I've ever been this nervous for an exam. I wonder if this feeling is preparing me for my other exam on Friday morning? 

I would like to write some more, but the truth is I've nothing left to say. 

Wish me luck! And good luck to you all! 

Daniel 

xx

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Saint Lucia

I'll be fine

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Edited by Daniel Frederick Best, Sunday, 5 Jun 2022, 23:52

Hello, and blogging to de-stress. 

I want high marks for these exams, I really do. In reality, though, I'll be happy, nay amazed, if I pass. 

I'm thinking that the Quantum exam will be ten times harder than the mathematics. That's okay - it gets the hard stuff out of the way. 

My God, I cannot wait until it's all over. I cannot wait until next week. My sweet Lord! 

There's things I need to revise. I need to do some spin equations, and do some entanglement equations. The only thing I'm really confident in is the normalization equations. Some of the short questions I'll be alright. But mostly, I think I'm going to have to bullshit through! 

That's fine. I can only do as good as I can. I'm not distinction level. But some students are, and I guess I'm wracked with jealousy about them. But as Lee says, that idea, that people are in some kind of competition about who is the cleverest, is an illusion. 

I wonder if I'll be happy to study next year? The thing is that doing the actual course, doing the TMAs and reading the books, that's fine. When it comes to exams, there's nothing more stressful. 

Do you feel the same? 

In any case, I'm not trying to relate to people. 

I think, in these final few hours, where I have a little time to revise and refresh my mind, that I'm a bit fatigued. In fact, I feel like if I don't know this stuff by now, then I never will. And doing revision right now is making me mad and mentally ill. So I've decided to relax. I've been playing some guitar. I've been meditating. 

What I should really be doing is going through the parts I don't understand. 

I think I'll do that. 

In these final few hours, all I'm going to do is look through some of the past papers, and write down some solutions, and then that's it. 

I'm good to go. 

...

What if I fail? 

Well, I will be embarrassed. I've made a big deal of this course to people. People will be very disappointed. My brother will laugh at my low scores. My friends will laugh, my family will laugh. Anyway, I don't really care about that. But I'd like to pass. 

I just need to look through some old papers, write down some solutions, and I'm good to go. I'm sure the questions will be fine. 

I'll be alright. 

I'll be fine. 

Thanks guys.

Daniel

xxx

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Saint Lucia

Worried about exam

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I am heretofore... drunk!

And now, without a moment's further ado, we are have drunk Daniel!

I am worried about this exam. 

I am petrified about this exam. 

So petrified am I that, lord only knows how petrified I am! 

There. I think I said it. I said it all man. I said it all man. 

Daniel

x

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Saint Lucia

Exam dread

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Hello, 

Something is bothering me about this upcoming exam. I feel really nervous, dissatisfied, despondent and unhopeful. I'd like to work out why. 

I know what I've got to do to make me happier - that's if I was doing four or five hours practice a day. And with two weeks left to go, that's really what I need to do. 

So why don't I do that? I think this really despondent, unhopeful feeling has something to do with it. I just need to get organised. 

It's these days. The exam will come and by that point I'll have no other option but to sit down for four hours and do my best. But I need to practice. 

My dread is causing me stress which affects my ability to study. 

Really, all I need to do is to get a heads up on a few little topics. The big one is Unit 19-21, i.e. systems of particles, circular motion and rotating bodies and angular momentum. 

There's a little situation with Conservation of momentum that my head is struggling to deal with, even though it's relatively simple. 

I can only hope. 

I just need to work on these last units. 

So what I'll do is, I'll restudy those units, i.e. I'll take notes, and do some exercises and examples, and finally some practice exams. 

What really gets to me is that there are some people on this module who are already there, and are able to work and revise without thinking about doing other things the whole time. I feel like I'm the worst student here. 

Bottom line: as long as I can sit here for the entire day, maybe take one or two guitar breaks, then I'm bound to get something done. 

They say not to concentrate on concepts too much, and merely to practice. I really hope I'm prepared on the day. 

I leave it there. 

Daniel,

x

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A plan of action

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Edited by Daniel Frederick Best, Tuesday, 20 Apr 2021, 23:47

Hello!

I feel the entry of a blog is close to my pursuits, and necessary, in that I daresay I have not truly done much in the way of active construction for a while now, and yes, necessary could be the word.  

The things which I must blog about now, these things which perturb me, are all very palatable, and sensible to the ears or eyes of a reader, especially one for whom the prospects of examinations are present. 

I have not worked. Or perhaps I have, yet I feel that I have not done enough, and this is intended in the representation of mathematics. Yes, I have read, and read profusely and diligently, widely and comprehensively. Yet when it comes to the actual implementation of having done some mathematics, I am afraid I fail to be able to say I am pleased with my output. 

I think it could extend to the concept of any physical output, and in that sense a blog post could be the best way in which I will able to approach the situation. It will certainly get me in the zone, I hope. 

But the blog post of current - this one - well, it is finished already. I have already said that the task of writing mathematics has been subdued by me of late. I have already said that a blog post may get me started. However, I think it may help to devise a plan. 

That is, I have completed all necessary TMAs bar one, the last, TMA08, and I am working on that now. I am a week ahead in the reading. I have completed the first of twelve questions on that TMA. Now I must complete the second question, which is about Unit 20, which is about circular motion and contains a rather complicated derivation that uses the reverse chain rule, and which I am not familiar with. I must get my head down on that. 

But the good thing about this unit, Unit 20, is that it pertains to a very question that was asked me by a friend, Charlie, last year, and pertains to the motion of an inverted pendulum. I thought last year that I would be able to answer his question (which was admittedly unformulated, yet contained an interesting model), yet I could not. And it was not until recently that I realised I was able to approach this question by using the mathematics of Unit 20! In fact, this unit could teach me very much in the way of mechanics, and I am pumped to learn about it. I am encouraged and motivated. I will get into it. 

And in this final TMA08 there are twelve questions to answer, twelve problems to solve, and the bulk are revision questions. I must say, and in no uncertain terms, I am shitting myself about the exam. And I guess that is the cause of this post - I really am worried. I am tense, and unnerved, and nervous, and my worry is causing me to sleep a lot. The exam takes place in June on the 11th, which is a Friday. I am thinking about sleeping through the previous day, and waking up just in time to begin the exam as soon as it becomes published, at 12 o'clock midnight. That way, I shall have a calm four and a half hours of peaceful work, and it will pass, and I shall pass the exam! And all will be well. 

I must remember to think about a practice run in terms of using my scanner. That is certainly causing me a little worry. How long will I have to scan in my work? The exam is supposed to last three hours, and we have an extra one and a half for the purpose of scanning in work. How long can I get away with, if the scanning takes less time? This is what I want to figure out. 

And then, once the TMA08 is finished, I will have two or three weeks to delve into revision. I plan, now, to use the time to write as much mathematics as I can, and this involves at least twenty one examples of equations, corresponding to the twenty one units, but also more than twenty one examples. I want to know this course through and through, inside and out, every nuance and secret of the knowledge. I think I can do it. 

So, in short, the plan is: 

  • Finish TMA08 - Do Q.2., and read accordingly, and do Q.3., and read accordingly. And do the other nine questions, reading accordingly, in the manner of gaining a start on revision. 
  • Practice using my scanner, and uploading to PDF - I did this well enough last year, but it would put me at ease if I did this sooner rather than later. 
  • Revision - This involves writing my own version of the handbook, with formulas, notes, procedures and examples within. - It involves writing and performing a sufficient amount of practice questions, and actually doing the mathematics!! - I shall write a list, and consolidate my learning. - I shall do and redo the practice quizzes. - I shall reread my prior TMAs. 
  • Do the exam - This involves waking up at an appropriate time to make a start as early as possible. 

There, I think I've covered everything. 

Now to make a start, on that reading! 

Daniel

x

Permalink 1 comment (latest comment by Jan Pinfield, Wednesday, 21 Apr 2021, 08:44)
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Saint Lucia

Worries, fears, plans - unnecessary or otherwise...

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Hello, welcome, I welcome you, 

And this will be, since I have not the time available, possibly my final blog before my exam, and this is an early morning, Thursday the fourth of June, and my exam will take place on Monday the eighth of June. I therefore have four days including the rest of this one to prepare, and I must admit I have been extremely lax in the performance of calculations and equations, and still have yet some remaining reading to do in the name of revision. I must study to completion the rest of Unit 25: Particle physics. Being a most diligent and thorough person, my technique has been that I have basically rewritten the content of course material out in my own words in its entirety, and I wonder at the thought of the use of such an endeavour, such is true. In fact I know, from past experience with study, my failing has been complacence, and this way of working is the best way I can think of that will crystallise my understanding in all areas. In theory, the equations should go well, for I feel a grounding has been gained in the conceptual and definitive areas of such topics. That is, I know what all the equations represent; that is, I know about their connections in terms of derivatives. On paper, it seems, the story could be quite different. Hence this should be a short and concise blog - an outline of the situation. Dickens would be merry, and would drink his merriment. 

I must plan, to the letter, the entire engagement of the upcoming test, and probably not without a loving impression. After all, one wishes to carefully plot time in the most decisive manner, in the sense of a happy experience to be had. Planning is a task through which all fearful concerns can at least come to dissipation. And I wish to outline my thoughts as to the venture.

  • Sleeping: the exam goes ahead at 00:01 on the morning of June the 8th, and I have found my days normally begin at about nine or later. I wish to organise it so that I am out of bed by at least 02:00 that day. This means going to bed at least eight or ten hours prior, at four pm on the Sunday, which means staying up the night on the Saturday before. I say it now, and planning shall fruit, yet I yearn for the taste! 
  • Refreshment: I venture to ensure the supply of several cans of energy drink (Monster, from the garage across the road), perhaps some packets of crisps or nuts and chocolate bars, and at least a whole fifty gram pouch of tobacco, of which I shall pre-roll thirty or forty cigarettes, and happily keep them within grasp, but only for the reasons of the celebration of the day. I shall need milk, and a good supply of coffee. Nescafe Gold blend should do the trick, and can be procured from Iceland in refill packets, and also the convenience shop where they do the off milk. 
  • Studying: Due to the few hours remaining, the organisation herewith should incorporate no more than 48 hours of serious practice, that is outlined as to which topics I should cover, and know in their entirety, and be confident in their working. I should get my fucking head down on this effort, such is the case, and I know it to be true. I've been so lax, yet time has been its usual relative demeanour, and goes fast or slow as and when it pleases. This must be done. 
  • Privacy: I must put my phone in airplane mode, and not answer calls. I must not answer texts. I must concentrate. People will phone, people will knock at my door, something will happen. 
  • Comprehensiveness: I must be diligent and thorough, and persistent, and clever. 
  • I must be philosophical, and scientific. 

These cannot be the only plans, yet all else is within grasp, I feel. 

I must close now, and go to bed, and dream of future credence. 

I bid you farewell. 

Daniel 

xxx


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