Ba in film with television studies

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University examinations are NOT simply opportunities to repeat seminar or lecture material verbatim under the constraint of time pressure

University examination revision begins with renewed coverage of the main topics and themes of the module, but be prepared to extend your learning through additional research and planning
You have to come to the examination room with the ability to demonstrate your knowledge and critical understanding of the module in a rapid, succinct, intellectually agile, accurate and relevant fashion

  • To test your individual research skills to the extent that you are able to present more comprehensive or more considered coverage of a key critical issue

  • To give you the chance to synthesise your existing knowledge of the topics/films/critical literature covered within the module and then reframe this knowledge within the parameters of a different or more challenging critical paradigm

  • To give you the chance to develop a wider perspective on a number of themes or issues arising from the module and present this understanding in an independent and individual fashion

  • To give you the opportunity to develop new areas of understanding in relation to the main themes of the module

  • To test your ability to write clearly and accurately under time pressure

  • To test your ability to organize your critical thinking in a coherent and justified fashion under time pressure

  • To develop the means by which you can express your understanding of a range of complex ideas in a succinct but clear fashion

  • To test your ability to make an informed assessment of a wide range of critical opinion


Where to study

  • Find a quiet place to study and make sure you are sitting comfortably

  • Make sure your desk is well lit

  • Keep background noise to a minimum

  • Avoid studying in an area where there will be distractions

  • Have everything you need to do your revision to hand before you start

How to study

There is no ‘right way’ to revise, as long as the method you choose enables you to gain a solid grasp of the key issues and to consolidate and extend your existing knowledge.

  • Review and extend your coverage of key reading and viewing

  • write core ideas and facts on to cards to use as ‘prompts’

  • create memory aids such as diagrams or mnemonics. These will help you remember key terms/quotes/ideas

  • write key notes out and display these around the house where you will see them

  • record yourself reading notes to listen to

  • Look at past question papers – try answering a number of sample questions in note form under strict time limits

  • Look after yourself – Sometimes revision can become a competition – who stayed up latest, who worked longest, who’s worrying the most. But the more tired you are the less efficiently you’ll work. You need to rest as well as study, eat well, drink lots of water and make sure you pace yourself. Don’t rush, and equally don’t over-revise by doing too much too soon

Have a revision plan

  • The top tip for successful revision is to make a plan; otherwise it is easy to waste your precious revision time. It is helpful to look at your exam dates and work backwards to the first date you intend to start revising.

  • List all your exam subjects and the amount of time you think you will need for each one.

  • Draw up a revision plan for each week

  • Fill in any regular commitments you have first and the dates of your examinations

  • Use Revision Checklists for each subject as a starting point. Look at what you need to know or would like to know more about. Try to identify any gaps in your knowledge

  • Divide your time for each subject into topics, and make sure you allow enough time for each one

  • Plan your time carefully, assigning more time to subjects and topics you find difficult

General Tips

  • Revise often; try and do a little every day

  • Plan in time off, including time for activities which can be done out in the fresh air. Take a 5 or 10 minute break every hour and do some stretching exercises, go for a short walk or make a drink

  • Don’t panic; think about what you can achieve, not what you can’t. Positive thinking is important!

  • Don’t stay up all night last minute revising; being overtired will not help you to do your best

  • Eat sensibly – your brain cells need energy to function well. Make sure you drink plenty of water to avoid becoming dehydrated. Dehydration makes you tired and reduces concentration

  • It is natural to feel nervous before an examination. The more prepared you feel, the easier it will be to conquer your fears.

  • Think positively and constructively


  • Planning is crucial. Do not rush into your answer.

  • Keep your sentence and paragraph structure concise.

  • Express yourself as clearly and straightforwardly as possible.

  • Be specific. Avoid generalization.

  • Justify your arguments.

  • Do not repeat your points unnecessarily. Keep a sense of forward momentum and intellectual progression.

  • Make sure that you are answering the precise question.

  • Do not waste space with waffle or elaborate cleverness.

  • Refer to important critical reading (but no need to follow elaborate rules of referencing) e.g. ‘as Leahy has argued ….’

  • Keep textual analysis succinct and relevant.

  • Demonstrate the range of critical opinion of a given topic and provide a reasoned assessment of it.


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