Your Handy Exam Survival Guide

First Year @ La Trobe Blog

 Exams are about the worst thing a student has to deal with. Other assessments may be long and painful to deal with (especially honours – after living with two students in their honours years, oy, long and painful), but the cramming and memorising required for exams is more akin with ripping off a bandaid. Fast. Makes you want to scream.

The good news is that you will be harder on yourself in the lead up to your first exams than your academics will be. See, the secret is that universities wouldn’t exist without students – so they need you to pass. The main aim of exams is to test your knowledge in a high-pressure situation, so you can build your ability to think on your feet. There will be loads of times in your career where you will need to think fast and exams are a great practice run for…

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The Power of Networking

First Year @ La Trobe Blog

University is probably the one place in your whole life where you will be offered so many different kinds of study and work experiences and opportunities to meet interesting people. Sure, you will meet and greet throughout your career, but nowhere else will you have such variety thrown at you in such a heavy concentration.

It is important to tap into that opportunity early, to develop your networking skills and your ability to sell yourself, so that when you graduate you have a good set of contacts to call upon for jobs. That career ladder isn’t going to climb itself.

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Those Other 6 Months of Uni

First Year @ La Trobe Blog

INTERNSHIPS! VOLUNTEERING! TRAVEL!8708348-white-passenger-plane-is-landing-away-in-the-blue-sky

The downhill stretch of semester is upon us and you are probably caught up in a mass of assessments and a backlog of readings to do before your exams. Hard to think past week 13 right now isn’t it? Unless 8 weeks off is your motivation!

With roughly 8 weeks off in winter (even if 4 of those weeks need to go to exams and finishing assessments), and then November through February free in summer, there is up to half a year to fill – for the next three years. 18 months of endless opportunities.

Some of you will be lucky and not have any exams, or maybe just one, some of you maybe unlucky and have four. The ideal situation is none or only early exams in order to free you up with more downtime.

It’s high time I take you through some of the…

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Rocking your Final Essays and Exams

First Year @ La Trobe Blog

It has been a tough journey for me to master assessments.

During my first time at uni, I constantly missed deadlines, misunderstood the tasks, researched inefficiently and answered assessments incorrectly – if I did them at all. I never dreamed of asking an academic for help. There were pieces missing from the puzzle I can see now. I didn’t have good study habits, or know how to put together assignments properly, and as I sunk further behind I was too busy spinning the web of excuses of why I was missing the next deadline, that no teacher ever got the chance to realise just how bad I was at academia.

No surprise I got to second year and the head coordinator, on finally discovering my case, told me that because I had either not received or learned from the feedback I got in my subjects, I had not learned to…

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Start Early: Getting Involved at Uni & Career Planning

First Year @ La Trobe Blog

It’s very easy to just meander through three or four years at uni, just studying, working, hanging with your friends, and eating pizza. But what happens when you graduate and you find yourself competing against thousands of others for a job? Your success will ride a lot on the mix of your grades, your extracurricular history, and your previous work experience. Plus your ability to sell yourself – convincing those employers that based on said background, you are the surest bet.

This is where the handy offices of Student Enrichment and Careers can help you out. By getting involved in some of Student Enrichment’s various programs, and speaking with the experts behind the Career Hub, you can feel sure that even as a first year, you are taking the first steps needed – both in semester and through all those winter and summer breaks – to build your foundation base…

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It’s that time again folks! Better late than never! 

For all you would-be writers out there, who can’t wait to start blogging, we want to hear from you! All first year students are welcome to apply!! Both those starting their first semester and those who already started in March! We need you all! Continue reading


First Year @ La Trobe Blog

Before we can completely take the step from readings and classes to essays and assignments, there are two necessary steps to learn about: the library and literacy. You need to be able to navigate the library to make the most efficient use of your research time and efforts, and then you need to be able to build it into a workable argument that will become your essays. La Trobe puts a lot of effort into making these resources effective tools for you to benefit from. So do spend some time at least previewing them to see what will be most useful to you. And look no further than here for your first starting point.

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Mastering Assessments Part 2: Submitting Assignments

First Year @ La Trobe Blog

In follow up to my previous blog about writing assessments, here I conclude with the points of issue for submitting them: referencing, statement of authorship, Turnitin, deadlines, essay boxes versus online submission, and finally a note about special considerations. Figure them out early and you need never encounter an issue when it comes to handing in assignments.

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Mastering Assessments – part 1, writing them

First Year @ La Trobe Blog

At first impression writing an essay or report is no easy feat. So difficult in fact, that they are broken into stages with equal amounts of help out there to master them: research (see the library); planning (see time management); note-taking and writing the draft (see Academic Literacy and Learning); plus further research and editing, then referencing (see library); before finally submitting (see turnitin). Then there’s help if you can’t make deadlines (see Special Consideration). In the lead up to my application for university, I even did a bridging class that revolved around mastering essay writing, section for section.  Before that I couldn’t write an essay at all, early evidence of my first degree indicates I knew nothing more than how to photocopy copious amounts of irrelevant information, killing trees and orang-utans in South-East Asian rainforests as I went.  I lacked any ability to turn…

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