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Failing a subject: additional exam edition

Failing a subject: additional exam edition


Failing a subject is not a great feeling – but when we are offered the opportunity to sit an additional exam (AE) to pass the subject, we take it! Ada Crain talks first-hand on her experience, sharing her tips to passing her AE.

Written by Ada Crain

My first year of uni was filled with surprises including nearly failing a subject.

An additional exam, or an AE, is a mark that you may get in a subject result where you are not too many marks from being awarded a pass, so you are given an extra assignment or exam where you must get over 50% to pass the subject.

Fortunately my mark was not too far from 50% so I was given an additional exam in Chemistry 1A. Here are my tips and tricks on preparing to sit an additional exam:

#1: Use a tutor

The first thing that I did when given the AE was book tutoring sessions with a free tutor that was set for chemistry. I then went through all the work material that we covered over the session and pin pointed topics or certain areas that I struggle with.

With these topics, I found examples of the work and tried them out myself before asking the tutor for extra help with the questions I was struggling with or didn’t know how to do.


#2: Setting study times

The next thing I did to prepare was setting times during each day of the week to study chemistry, making sure that I was constantly studying and not forgetting about it with all my other assignments/exams during the session.

A technique I used to help me achieve this was having a calendar whiteboard on my wall at home, which allowed me to map out my month and know what time I had available and how far away the exam was.

This way I did not leave it all to the last minute and gave myself enough time to prepare properly to prevent having to do the entire subject again.


#3: Complete past exam papers

The last thing I utilised to prepare myself for the AE was PAST EXAM PAPERS. This is a super important one, I made sure to do at least 3-4 past papers (this depends on what your lecturers make available to you).

Don’t forget to keep checking in with your lecturer about any questions you get wrong or you are unsure about how to get to the answer. If I am unsure on how to do a certain question, I also like going back to other examples from the topic in the textbook and working on them.

Exam papers

Hopefully you don’t have to use this advice! But if you do, I hope that some of the tips and techniques that I used help you to prepare for your additional exam. Always remember that everyone learns and remembers very differently, but these are some things that helped me complete my AE with more confidence!

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