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Exams for S383 and MST326

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Exams are coming up. 

And not too soon, I can tell you. 

I have five days to organise myself for the S383 The Relativistic Universe exam, which I will open at twelve midnight on Tuesday night. There are things for which I am prepared, things for which I am not prepared, and things for which I will never be prepared even if I studied for another year. 

I hope to pass; I am desperate to pass. But I will never get a distinction - I'm not clever enough. And people say, "You're only as clever as you think you are!" But I don't think that's true. I know I have my limitations. I wish I were special at these things, but I'm not. There are people who are special; but I'm just not one of them. So I hope to pass, and I hope that we are given the questions which I can happily answer, such as those about tensors, and those about Schwarzschild metric, and those with simple plug and play equations. If I were keen (which I guess I am, but need motivation and inspiration to come from somewhere right now), then I'd sit down and work through the following: 

  • Special relativity - I'd work through several past paper question ones. 
  • Connection coefficients - I'd work out how many some metric or other contains - I'd work out why they equal zero in flat spacetime metrics. 
  • Riemann curvature tensor - I'd work out the derivation - I'd work out the manipulation. 
  • Einstein field equations - I'd work out some manipulations of these. 
  • Accretions discs - I'd brush up on knowledge about these.
  • Gamma ray bursts - I'd brush up on knowledge about these. 

I suppose that's only six things to work on. When it comes to actually doing the past paper exams, I know that this is what most students are doing: They are working through questions and honing their knowledge. I have not done as much. But nevertheless I feel almost ready. I feel that my mind will change, and my motivation will kick in the second I click onto the iCME81 link. I do feel ready, in a way, but I must take heed of these things I have written above, and spend Sunday, Monday and Tuesday thinking about these things. 

But this evening (Thursday 1 June), and Friday and Saturday, I must do my utmost to get on with writing down some equations for the MST326 exam which takes place in exactly one week. I must work through: 

  • Statics - by doing some past paper questions, or understanding their answers. 
  • The Chain rule - there's a section of a question, a step that I know I'll have difficulty with. 
  • Navier-Stokes equations. 
  • Div, grad and Curl. 
  • Some water waves. 
  • some other things. 
  • Mainly the chain rule...!!
  • Separation of variables and Fourier series. 
  • Fourier series actually!

Those are the main things to work on. Actually, as long as I have down the chain rule step that's been bothering me, I think I'll be alright. 

I have a revision session tomorrow in town, with two students from the module. We're meant to meet at Foyles in Charing Cross. But I'm not sure I'll make it. I woke up at eight o'clock this morning, had a cup of coffee, some breakfast and a cigarette, then fell back asleep until four o'clock in the afternoon. If I don't sleep tonight, there's no way I can wake up to go there tomorrow, now is there? But I do want to go. I want to ask them about these steps. 

So that's it then! This evening, and Friday, and Saturday, I will work through some past papers, writing down some answers, getting a feel for the questions, then Sunday to Tuesday I'll work through some Relativity, and that's that. 

There! What's to worry about!? 

Daniel
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Permalink 3 comments (latest comment by Daniel Frederick Best, Sunday, 4 Jun 2023, 04:21)
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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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