First Year Exams in Maths at Warwick University
25th May - 6th June
First exam was today, and it was probability. Argh. It was not a nice exam at all, and although I'm pretty sure I've passed, it won't be a triumphant pass. Many of the questions were simply definition questions, so I think I got all of those, but many of the other sections I messed up on... I don't think it's a case of not enough revision, since the stuff that was revisable (and several questions were repeats from previous years) I got the answers to... everyone else I've spoken to has said that the exam went badly for them too, which is something I guess (rejoicing in the failure of others probably isn't very good for the soul), but this was supposed to be one of the easiest exams. I've never revised as long for exams as I have for these, and I'm still not very good at revision at all... but I would have completely flunked probability without the revision I did do. Next up, linear algebra.
A revision day, supposedly, but I spent the morning shopping and sorting out student finance stuff... nowhere either on paper or on the net could I find my SLC loan account number, so in the end I phoned the helpline, and they told me it didn't matter much, cos I'm 19. Well, fair enough... apparently, it's due in tomorrow, so here's hoping. Tomorrow is also my linear algebra exam, which shouldn't (ha ha) be too bad. There's still stuff I need to look over (currently taking a break), as well as Games & Decision, which seems to have got harder since 2003, just like probability. I'm saving more revision for the gap between Games and Analysis...
I'm done for the day, after a combined 3.5 hours or so today, which isn't a lot. But I know more or less everything that might come up on G&D, I reckon. As I did yesterday, I stopped early tonight (usually cut-off time 9pm: today, 8.30pm) because I don't want to knock out what's already there. LA is at 2pm tomorrow, giving me the morning for the finishing bits and bobs, and memorising various proofs and definitions. Wish me luck.
Linear Algebra happened this afternoon, and went well. Very well, in fact. It was a bit of a surprise to see that several of the questions were rehashes of previous years' questions - not uncommon in itself, but a first for LA - but luckily they were questions I'd done, and not difficult ones. Although we're marked for our best four questions, I decided I'd do the fifth as well, since I was done and had forty minutes or so left. Fun, fun. After the exam (which we all though we'd done well on, although I spoiled the party a bit by pointing out something about one of the questions that I'd remembered from previous answers, that others hadn't) we played frisbee, etc, which was nice... except I missed Neighbours. Tomorrow is G&D, but I might do some Diff A or 3D G&M tonight, for an hour or so. You'll never walk alone.
G&D today, which I thought was a pretty easy exam, although I realised as soon as I got back that I got a (reasonably minor) part of a question wrong. The marking system is confusing, since there are 3 questions, and says we can get full marks by correctly answering two of them, but we may answer all three. It doesn't say, however, that our best two out of three will be marked: so will I do better by answering 3 Qs and getting 2/3 right in each then I would if I answered two questions, getting nearly everything right in both? Will I do worse if I get full marks in two and a rubbish mark in the third than if I just got full marks in two? None of this was explained - my feeling is that they'll probably do some kind of Duckworth-Lewis-esque calculation... anyhow, it's Wednesday before the next exam (Analysis), so a few days' revision lie in store. Woo-hoo.
And so the most fun week of my time at Warwick begins. Wednesday, the impossible Analysis exam - 3 hours, 6 questions, an average mark of about 50% - Thursday, the joys of Diff A, and on Friday, 3D G&M (I and II). A lot of CATS in those three days. Today I've been doing some Analysis revision, as well as Diff A (also known as ODE)... the 2004 Analysis paper doesn't seem to be too difficult (only in comparison to past papers) so hopefully that trend will be continued. This is a bit of a break from an unstructured day at best... I expect Saturday (and maybe much of Sunday) will be devoted to Intro to Geometry. Limsup coming up soon.
Tomorrow's analysis, and I'm in pretty much the same situation I've been in the night before all my exams so far - not sure what to do. I've done most of the past paper questions, learnt the majority of the stuff, even gone through almost all the assignments. 9pm is my usual cut-off point, so I've currently got an hour and twenty minutes to fill, and this is part of it... having not played my flute for two terms, I keep getting it out recently, either to fill the gaps without getting too sidetracked, or to play in the mornings before exams, because I find it calms me down. Today I have already added to the 'Dude List' (you'll have to wait till the end of exams to find out about that) and algebraically worked out why Becky's email (how to tell your age from how much chocolate you eat... oh yes, and your year of birth) works. Because it was fun maths, not proving that limsup is a limit point of a subsequence... a proof, by the way, that I am going to attempt to learn before tomorrow. I've already learnt several, but this is one that I don't understand most of (and I have a feeling the lecturer may have written it incorrectly), and I find it much harder to memorise things I don't understand... I can do it (I did it for probability) but it's much more difficult. After the 3hr exam tomorrow, I've got to have the will and dedication to keep working, with Diff A coming up on Thursday... I think I may have mentioned that...
Had Analysis this morning, and I think it went pretty well - certainly could have been a lot harder. My definition of 'went well' is quite different in analysis than in my other subjects, but there were a couple of difficult questions that I really got my teeth into, and I think I got almost all the marks in both cases. The first question (which was one of four from the jan paper) was the easiest of those four, which was nice, and there were a couple of true/false questions (where you had to give proof) which weren't too bad. All in all, I'm feeling pretty good - it was also great to take down all the analysis revision notes that were on my walls.
When I came back after the holidays, I literally had no idea at all how to solve differential equations - I'd more or less given up in the lectures, merely writing what he wrote without paying attention to what it was. When I got back here, I decided to actually learn some Diff A, and found that it was actually quite easy (certainly compared with the nature of the lectures, which massively over-complicated everything). Today's exam was the easiest I've seen (a running theme, it seems), and I expect to have nigh-on full marks: rather a surprise. Taking my traditional post-exam break - revision begins again after Neighbours. Tomorrow, 3hrs of 3D G&M. Fun, fun.
So, I have no exams left (this year) that don't have the word 'Geometry' somewhere in the title. It's 3D Geometry & Motion (I and II) today, then Intro to Geometry and Geometry to Groups on Monday. Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever done an exam with the word Geometry in the title before, so the next few days will be an excitement. 3D G&M was another of the exams that I thought I'd flunk big-style, but I have probably spent more time on it than any other subject - not recently, but over the holidays, and in the weeks after coming back. About a fornight ago, for example, I was well-prepared... I'm probably less so now, but enough that I don't feel unduly bothered about spending time on the Internet. Well, come on, revision the morning of the exam should simply be reminder stuff, not learning whole new stuff... although I do need to learn some things. For example, I know how to apply the theorems, but when they ask something like 'state the fundamental theorem of dimensional integration' I don't know which one they're talking about, and fundamental theorems are usually realy obvious stuff that you don't bother learning, 'cos you know it already. Ho-hum. It's a 3hr paper today (well, technically it's a 2hr one and a 1hr one) which should give plenty of time...
Yesterday's paper went pretty well, I thought - there are a few places where I fudged a bit, but only a few. Again, it appears to be more a prize for memorising past papers than it is a maths exam, since the paper was almost identical in format to last year's, and the year before that - but, hey, I'm not complaining, since most of my revision is done with past papers. Today is Intro to Geometry revision: it was the first thing I looked at about 16 weeks ago, when I started revision, and was the only time during revision that I felt pretty low, since I was expecting it to be an easy one-or-two-day revision exam, and I found that I didn't know what I was doing. So I left it for a long time. Then, when I actually started having a revision timetable (a week before exams began) I spent every morning for that week doing Geometry, working from the typed lecture notes and largely ignoring my rather feeble written notes (the course, mark you, ended sometime early last November, so it involves a feat of memory even to start revising). Anyhow, I just did the 2004 paper, and it went well: the allocation of marks is mystifying... 10 marks (out of a 25 mark question) for multiplying together the answers they give you, and getting -1, something that absolutely anyone could do. Then they give you loads of marks for something exceedingly easy, leaving you wondering whether you should have done more (but I have checked the answers on the web, and I've actually written more than them). I haven't done as much revision today yet as I'd like (it's now 3pm-ish) since I lost my keys around lunch-time, and wasn't sure whether I'd just misplaced them, or if someone had got into to my room and nicked my stuff, since I couldn't remember if I'd locked my door. Anyhow, after a long time searching (thanks David!) I got a replacement, which cost me a tenner, and means that my original keys are lying around somewhere, for anyone to pick up. But since they could only really be in the kitchen, and we've already searched it from top to bottom, anyone who finds them is doing a good job. I think I'm gonna get some sleep, and listen to my latest acquisition, Beatles at the BBC...
It's just gone 8.10am, and I've been up for an hour, getting some last-minute revision in for today's (final) exam. If the trend of the papers getting easier continues, I'll be okay. If they decide last year's was too easy, and complicate things... I'm doomed. In Intro to Geom, I've decided not to learn anything about geometry on the sphere, since there's only been one question on it in the last two years, and we only have to do two out of three questions - it hardly seems worth spending hours learning a whole (rather confusing) subtopic, and then not answering any questions on it. However the exam goes today, I think the exam period as a whole has been a success, and I'm happy (at least until results get back...). No matter how many people said that 40% was all you needed, it was never really true, and a straight set of 40s would devastate me... but, similarly, getting a 'first' (ie 70% +) in the first year isn't, I feel, a strong indication of how well you'll do in the following years - anyhow, a first is a difficult thing to get anyplace, and apparently the maths department at Warwick is a particularly hard place to get one. Why I am spending my time talking about firsts after three or four years, when I should be ensuring that I don't fail geometry? Anyways... the magic and unpopularity of this diary means that by the time anyone reads this, it will be further updated, and you can read how well my exam went. Yes, you. Simply by scrolling down, you can find out how well it went, whereas I've got no idea right now... crazy, huh?
See? Well, it wasn't my favourite way to spend two hours, and they certainly weren't my best exams, but they went well enough, I suppose. Slightly thown when it turned out we had to hand in one answer booklet after an hour, and the second after two hours - previously when we've done two exams in one sitting, we've handed them both in at the end. I (along with seveal others) was planning to do Geom to Groups first, but because of the weird system, I had to make a last minute change of plans. Ah well. It's all over now, baby blue.
Second Year Exams in Maths at Warwick University
19th April - 13th June 2006
As I begin this year's exam diary, I'd like to make the point that this year my exams fall into two/three basic categories: there are three this week, then a break of about four weeks, then DMC, then a week, then the next seven together. So whereas last year I had an entry for every day, more or less, this time round I won't. Enough of the red tape: the exam I had this morning was Algebra I, and in fine Warwick exam tradition, it didn't go well. As with probability last year, everyone I've spoken to also found it bad, so I'm not overly worried about it, all things considered... fortunately a couple of the questions weren't bad, so (although it's impossible to predict such things) I reckon I've got somewhere in the 60s, percent-wise. Apart from being slightly distracted in the exam (darn you...) I was thinking about the whole exam-taking system: in actual exam conditions, it's rare that I'll come up with my own thinking, I rely heavily on what I've done thus far. Perhaps it's the pressure and time constraint, but the majority of my work has to be done beforehand. There are exceptions - on last year's 3 hour Analysis II exam, I was very pleased with being able to get my teeth into a question or two - but when today's questions asked things that bore little resemblance to questions I'd seen before, I wasn't sure where to begin. Hopefully I've scraped together some marks in those harder questions, by mentioning useful stuff and messing around with it a little. Actually, there was one pretty easy question that I got wrong, which is slightly annoying, although isn't uncommon. Four marks in a hundred (assuming that that question gets marked) is pretty sizeable. Tomorrow is Analysis III, which could go really well or really badly... here's hoping the former.
I've got Analysis III coming up this afternoon, so rose just after 9am to get some last-minute revision done. Although I've worked long and hard throughout the holidays, I feel I could still do with going through some stuff, looking at assignments throughout the year, and going over the proofs and theorems that I've already gone over a hundred times before. This should - should - be the easiest exam I do, so it really does have to go well... I've always said that I don't set myself targets in exams, that I go for 100% and leave it at that, but in reality I'd be disappointed with anything below 70% this year, and I really need to score somewhere in the 90s today. This is probably why I don't set myself targets, because that is really a very hard target to hit, and the difficulty of the paper is uncertain at best. I don't want to pressure myself... speaking of the exam today, the maths department here thought it wise to tell us all to meet our tutors between 10 and 12, on a day when all of us have a 2pm exam. Very clever... I shot an email off to mine, safe in the knowledge that he'd rather have that than have me actually turn up. Well, back to assignments...
So I've had the exam, and it could have gone worse. Rob seems to think it was only slightly less enjoyable than a white Christmas, and I have to say I don't quite share his enthusiasm, but I think it went OK - pretty sure I didn't get in the 90s, as I'd hoped, but otherwise I can't complain too much... there were a couple of proofs I hadn't learnt, but I didn't do the question with one of them in, and managed to talk my way through the other to get most of the marks for it, I hope. The odd thing is, although today's was a lot better for me than yesterday's, it feels a bit worse, since everyone found yesterday's terrible (and worse than I did) whereas the majority of people - of the three I've spoken to - found today's probably a bit easier than I did. It's a bit touch and go for a couple of questions, and again there's something I'm kicking myself about (although what I wrote was actually true - mostly - and the thing I was kicking myself about yesterday, I now think I got right) so, bearing in mind I find it impossible to judge how well I've done, I would hope to have got somewhere in the 70s, maybe scratching 80s if I'm lucky... I need to stop predicting like this, cos I'm gonna look a right fool if they come out loads lower... so that's the last prediction.
Another day, another exam (I'm sure I used that last year), this time Combinatorics. Although I kinda messed up a couple of ten-mark questions - one of which should be pretty easy, but I always seem to get wrong, another that I wouldn't have had a clue how to do before this morning, when I looked over it - I think it went OK. I was quite pleased with the way I set about some of the questions, actually working things out from scratch a couple of times, and I reckon I've picked up marks on every question, even if I haven't got full marks on several. As well as the two 10-mark questions (which I could have got right, but I doubt) there was a show-that question that I couldn't get out properly, but came pretty close. As promised, I'm not going to make a prediction, but I'm not too concerned, after something of a short hour of the soul last night. The assignments I didn't do too well on, but due to the fact they're only 10% and my first two were good, and only the best four count, again I'm not too worried. Now I've got to start the revision process all over again...
Yes, Day 38. The last exam I had was on Monday (today being Friday) and since I neglected to update then, I might as well do so now. It was DMC, and took the form of three essay-type questions, although since they were all to be done in two hours, they obviously weren't proper essay length. Indeed, I wrote about 3.5 pages for the first, 2.6 for the second and 2 for the third question, which could have been worse, I guess - of course, Simon managed about twice that. I've rarely been able to tell how well essay questions have gone, so I can't really say, but I reckon it didn't go too badly. The essay I did during the year counts for half the module, and I got 81% in that, so although I doubt I did that well in the exam itself, it'll help me out. The next one up is Differentiation on Tuesday, so I'll see you then.
The first exam of the peak season was today, Differentiation, and I feel it went very well. Lost a few marks here and there, but generally I was pleased with the paper, and had time to answer all five questions. Next up, Algebra II... it's gonna be a busy day tomorrow.
One thing I forgot to mention about the Differentiation exam yesterday was that, for the first time I can remember, I saw something on an assignment sheet, thought to myself 'Hey, I bet that comes up; it's not come up on the previous papers', learnt it... and then had a big smile on my face when it actually did come up! Loads of times I've learnt stuff painstakingly, only for it to be totally absent from the exam, but yesterday I hit the jackpot, and so gained a bunch of marks (a fair few, in fact... 7 or so) that I wouldn't have had a chance with otherwise. Neat. Today is the day I'm gonna try and learn the infamous Algebra II course... just as soon as I return from the newly-opened Earlsdon library.
Algebra II went badly, but then I expected it to go badly, so there you are. I think I can sum it up best by saying that I think I passed. It's gonna drag my score down a fair bit, but otherwise no harm done. The Jordan Basis question, which I was banking a lot on, came out as the version I wasn't sure how to deal with, but I reckon I got that question just about, and got most of the marks on another one, so I'm not too worried about failing (although it is still a distinct possibility). The exam was as odd as ever John Moody (the lecturer) is - has anyone seen that bit in the Simpsons when Mr. Burns says "What's the smallest amount of money I can think of? One thousand dollars." Well, Moody is more along the lines of "What's the smallest number of marks for a question I can think of? Five." Cos none of the questions were worth less than five marks, and there were two worth 25, one worth 20 (there are four sections, worth 25 marks each, to give you an idea). One of the five-mark questions was simply summing up the rest of the answers to that section... I'm rather banking on generous marking, which the assignment sheet marks do suggest is probable. Anyways, all along this was the exam I was gonna do badly in, and while I don't like it, I don't think it's going to unduly bother me in the upcoming exams: they are different kettles of fish where, once again, I'll be aiming for 100%.
The last time I got confused in an exam and rushed to finish, before realising that I had an extra half hour, was GCSE English, I think. Back then, I realised about halfway through the exam, whereas today, in Stochastic Processes, I had somehow got it into my head that the exam was an hour and a half, rather than two hours. It was after about 85 minutes that I remembered, giving me 35 minutes to leisurely check through my answers again, and rewrite my answer to 3(d). All in all, I feel that I may have got as much above 70% in Stochastic Processes (which was today's exam, by the way) as I got below 70% in Algebra II... I hope so, because that means I'm guaranteed a pass in the latter. To focus slightly more deeply into today's exam, I was pretty comfortable with the first two questions (not 100% sure about bits at the end of the second one, but reasonably sure) and the third wasn't too bad for the most part. 100% is a possibility (although not altogether, since 5% of the marks come from small tests throughout the term). I was chuffed not to have to do a question about renewal theory, since I don't really get it, although once more I spent hours learning and revising stuff that I didn't do - branching processes, more particularly, which was a massive part of the module that I didn't answer a question on. Tch. Next up is Number Theory on Monday...
Another exam went well today, with Number Theory pretty much as good as I could have hoped. If I were to predict - which I'm not going to - somewhere in the 90s is likely, and probably higher rather than lower. So I'm well chuffed. Of course, it's only a 6 CAT module, thus worth half the amount of most modules this year, but it's good to get it under the old belt. I face ahead of me a short break in which to get Metric Spaces and Wector Analysis sorted, the latter probably the one I have most difficulty with after Algebra II.
Two exams left, and they're both a little odd, exam-wise. Most of the modules we have here, I can give a reasonably accurate approximation of what will come up on the test; at least, if a particular part is going to come up, the question will probably be recognisable. Well, sort of. But for Wector Analysis, I haven't really got a clue what kind of things will come up, and I have difficulty recognising what part of the course they'll want me to use. There are different types of integral, with different bits thrown in or not, depending on factors I can't quite puzzle out. So, should I use a unit normal or a regular normal? Do I need the Jacobian determinant? Do I use a line integral or a scalar integral? What do I do with the real and imaginary parts? It's all rather confusing, and judging by past papers, I may well struggle with the questions. The other exam coming up is Metric Spaces, which is a different kettle of fish - this module isn't too challenging, I feel. There are always a fair few marks for definitions and a couple of easy proofs, but a lot of it requires you to think on your feet, rather than memorising answers - this, of course, is how maths should probably be, so maybe 'memorising' was the wrong word back there. We need to be familiar with a particular method of proof, for example, in most modules, but in Metric Spaces they might ask you for an example of something that you really have to think about... keeping two-dimensional Euclidean space at the forefront of your mind is always a good idea, but there's no sure way. Anyhow, CU tonight, so tomorrow will be Metric Spaces revision, as will Friday morning, for the Friday afternoon exam. Then it's Wector, with particular emphasis on complex analysis, up to the exam on Monday afternoon. Then freedom.
The latest exam I had was Metric Spaces, which didn't go as well as I'd hoped it might - certainly a harder paper than the last few years. I'm slightly miffed that the Contract Mapping Theorem was taught in both Metric and Differentiation, but neither paper asked any questions to do with it. Obviously the papers can't really ask us about everything we've been taught, but it's incredible just how much is missed out in the exams. Anyhow, tomorrow is Wector Analysis, my last exam - not sure how this one is going to go, at all. There are often a few easy marks, for finding curls or verifying gradient vector fields, but then other questions that can go either way - this module is based too much on application, meaning that we often have to try and understand graphical representation, which I maintain sullies the beauty of mathematics. In fact, every year there are questions -plural - requiring us to sketch graphs, which I've always hated, and haven't really had to do since A-Level. What's the point, anyhow, I'd like to know. Against my better judgment, I put together a spreadsheet predicting what mark I'll come out with this year, although it can't really be trusted, since my predictions are poor at best. Anyhow, according to this I'm likely to come out with low to mid seventies, which I reckon I'd take, although I'd prefer a little higher. Another spreadsheet tells me that, if I got 72% this year, say, I'd only need 66% next year to get a first overall. Indeed, if I get 60% this year - and, realistically, I should get a fair bit higher than that - I'd need 72% next year to get a first overall. Except, of course, that they don't really hand out firsts for 70%, they base it on a slightly more complex system... I think. Not sure what it might be, though.
It's always nice to bow out on a high note, and yesterday's Wector Analysis allowed me to do just that, since the exam was far easier than I could have hoped. I think I may have messed up aspects of the final question, but I was muchly chuffed with lots of marks for basic things like finding curls, potentials, divergences etc, and a whacking eight marks for the Cauchy-Riemann equations and their applications to complex differentiation. I was also pleased to see that only one question made us sketch things, so I dutifully made something of a hash of that - I'll have the marks for doing the actual maths, and lost a few for not putting the arrows onto the graph very well. But at least we didn't have to do things like sketch catenoids, which came up last year. Anyhow, I'm free now, and await results day (whenever it is) with bated breath... who knows which way it'll go?
Third Year Exams in Maths at Warwick University
23rd April 2007 - 20th June 2007
The finals began much as my exams tend to begin every year, it seems - with disappointment. In the first year I was horrified by the Probability exam, in the second year I was unhappy with how I'd done in Analysis III, and this year I think the Modern Control Theory exam could have been a lot nicer. Indeed, it's the hardest exam for some years I'd say (compared with the first year, in which I thought most exams were the easiest they'd been for a few years) - question 1 is usually a doddle, but today I couldn't do it. This was a fairly common theme... but I'm confident that scaling will sort a few things out. Oh, I'm not going to be making any predictions this year, partly because I'm horrendous at predicting anything, but mainly because the scaling system makes any prediction totally nonsense. Anyways, that was MCT - tomorrow is Intro to Topology, which I foresee going pretty badly. Previous papers haven't been too difficult, but this year the amount of Metric Spaces content is likely to go down, and be replaced with very hard questions about covering spaces, which I don't really get. I think I'll be getting up early-ish tomorrow morning to do a bit of last minute cramming... this is a module that I never truly felt I'd got on board with, although there are glimpses of understanding. Wish me luck.
The topology exam actually went well today - so well, in fact, that I left the exam half an hour early, which is a first for Warwick exams for me. And lots of people left before me - yesterday, when people left early, I assumed it was because they couldn't answer anything. Today, I assumed it was because they were finished. So, having slept for a bit, I'm going to do a bit of Measure Theory for my exam tomorrow morning. Then I'm gonna watch the United match.
This morning was my third exam in as many days, and I'm pleased to report that it went well. Despite Mr. Measure Theory saying that he wouldn't ask any 'messy' proofs, and that we shouldn't memorise any proofs, I'm glad I did, because they sure as heck-fire came up. He also didn't limit himself merely to the proofs where he hadn't made a complete hash of it - this morning, in last-minute cramming, I came across a proof that I thought might come up, but since he'd said it badly and I'd copied it down even worse, I decided to leave it. And, of course, it came up as an 11-marker. So I just didn't do that question. Anyways, although I wasn't 100% sure about some of the definitions (there are so many to remember, and many are quite similar, so even the basic ones are a bit of a struggle) and there were one or two other things I'm not confident on, all in all I couldn't really have hoped for better. I decided to stick this one out to the end, rather than leave early (Ant pointed out and error I'd made after yesterday's exam, and while I don't think I'd have picked up on it in the time, you can't be too sure) and it's a good job I did, since in the third check-through I noticed an error in one proof that I hadn't even noticed during the entire revision period. Swish. Tomorrow afternoon is Groups & Reps, which is as unpredictable as the halls.
I've had my last exam for a while, with Groups and Reps today, and I was pleased to find that Dmitriy reined in his general craziness as much as possible. There was only one proof of the ones I'd memorised, and sadly it was one of the ones I'd memorised least well, so I don't have full marks there... indeed, I ended up not even being able to answer one part of a question, which was worth 5 marks. So not too bad. Anyways, I can now start all over again, for the next bunch. Ho-hum.
And so my exam diary makes its long-awaited return, a delay caused at least partially because I didn't want to have to calculate what day I'm up to. If it's not Day 34, I apologise. Anyways, today was Galois Theory, lectured by Daan Krammer, the man who brought you Combinatorics last year. I'm afraid he's not a very good lecturer, although it may be a coincidence that it was also not a very good exam. As I said above, I've long given up predicting my marks, so who knows what I've got, but although it's not going to be bad enough to cause any serious damage (I don't think), it won't be pulling my average up any.
I was supposed to be revising for Problem Solving today. But then I decided that I could do it all tomorrow. So that's the new plan. Since my next two exams are both morning ones (I think), I can fit in plenty of cramming in afternoons - by Friday, I'll be relaxing. Although I've got a fair few things planned for Friday...
Thanks to my parents, who set me straight on when my exams actually are - this means that after Problem Solving tomorrow I won't have a lot of time for last-minute Algebraic Number Theory revision, but it shouldn't matter too much. I've done only minimal revision for Problem Solving, since the course material is tiny, and it's more about writing well. The exam I'm not looking forward to is Probability Theory... it's a tough one. These next three days are about 20% of my degree.
So it's Problem Solving this afternoon, and I've spent a sizeable portion of this morning looking for my calculator, which I would have sworn was on my desk. It's unlikely that I'll need it for the exam today (indeed, it's not even assured that I'd be allowed it), and I probably won't even need one for my Probability Theory exam on Thursday, but it would be nice to know where it is. Especially considering I only bought it for my assessment centres (during which, although they told us to bring calculators, they were provided throughout). Now, my room is not the largest, and I've looked everywhere it could be - at least twice, and mostly four or five times. It's all rather perplexing... as far as the exam goes, I'm flicking through the index of the book and turning to pages that say something either blindingly obvious or probably false. These I occasionally jot down. Some revision. This morning, I also remember that a lass I met at an AXA assessment told me a lot of her friends did Problem Solving because they thought it would be easy, and ended up getting pretty poor marks. Sweet.
Two exams since last we spoke; yesterday Problem Solving, and this morning Algebraic Number Theory. I'm pleased to report that both went well. The former was relatively predictable - so much so, in fact, that the problem for which we had to write a rubric had apparently come up a couple of years ago. Fortunately for Ant and Chris, they had done the problem that morning, so were well prepared - I had not, although since I'm pretty happy with how I did on it, I'm happier this way. But I may be emailing the lecturer querying the wisdom of such repetitive setting. Today's Algebraic Number Theory was about as easy as I could have hoped for; there were one or two bits I messed up, and a few shaky parts of proofs, but by and large I'm very pleased. Question 2 was largely about a topic I'd got wrong on assignment sheets, and since the answer sheets provided were useless, I still didn't know how to do it. So after spending a while on that question, I realised that the first part of Question 5 was in fact a proof I knew well, just written in an odd way, so I did that one. Tomorrow is Probability Theory, which will be a tough exam, so I will be doing a fair amount of revision today.
Probability Theory today did not go very well, but then I wasn't expecting it to, so I'm not really disappointed. It wasn't so much the course material - a lot of questions were surprisingly definition-based, and I nailed them - it was the assumed previous stats knowledge. I really ought to have it, I guess, but since I'm a maths student rather than a stats student, I'm not as immersed in it as the majority of people sitting the exam are. Anyways, I don't think I'll have dragged my average down too far, and I have a nice three week break now... until my next exam. Which is also stats.
An impromptu entry this, since I don't actually have an exam for another week or so. But I thought I'd update you on progress; it transpires that everything in Maths of Random Events has already come up in Measure Theory or Probability Theory, so there's really very little for me to do now. Which means that revision isn't happening a great deal. But in academic news, I got my Problem Solving assignment back the other day, and despite at least half the comments being negative, I was awarded a Grade 1, which was rather better than I was expecting, especially since my commentary wasn't very good. I was a trifle unimpressed by his complaints about the brevity of aspects, since that was wholly due to me cutting hundreds of words out to meet the draconian limit. But anyways, as the first significant returned grade (I'm not counting assignments - at least partially because I've got 56% on my Galois), it's a step in the right direction.
I am, at last, a graduand. Weeks after most finalists finished (although the day before Rich and Iain trudge their last), I sat my Maths of Random Events exam, and upped and left. The exam itself wasn't too bad; I confused myself quite a lot on one question, which seemed to be awarding two marks for a lot of work, and the questions either side of it (which were linked in). But it could certainly have been a lot worse. So that's it, my Warwick career is over, and I've only got to wait the week or so until results come out to see how I've done - after last year, I make no predictions, but in a vague, tentative kind of way, I reckon it's not been too bad.