PASS exam sessions…what the?

It’s that time again, when uni feels like feeding time at the zoo. You finally handed in that final assignment, a weight has been lifted off your shoulders, you feel like you can breathe again.

But then you remember something… exams start in a matter of weeks.

How can you possibly prepare for a final exam in two weeks? You’ve been so busy you haven’t even given this any thought. Your notes are scrambled throughout your workbook, and you’ve joined the campus chaos of desperately trying to nag the last computer; that carpark; past exams papers and the one remaining textbook on the shelf.

Isn’t there something that can make all of this easier? Surely other students are feeling the same.

I’ve got good news for you. They do. And there is something that can help.

If you haven’t attended a PASS session, it’s not too late. PASS runs exam sessions (aka intensive PASS) for you to compare your notes, discuss topics you find difficult and go over weekly materials for the course. PASS sessions are prepared and run by a student PASS leader who previously achieved excellent results in your course. These sessions are free and their purpose it to provide you with all the equipment to smash that exam.

Based on my personal experience with exam PASS sessions, let me take you back to a time where an inexperienced first-year student had an exam on microeconomics.

She had no idea what on earth was going on in this class. But unfortunately, this was a core course that had to be conquered. The topics about this course were so overwhelming that preparing for the exam was difficult and she couldn’t concentrate on what were important parts.

Sometimes all it takes is someone to help shed a light on what are the important exercises and topics are for the exam. As PASS is run by past students who have previously taken the course, they know what basic topics are included in the exam.

With a failed mid-semester exam and barely a pass for her assignment, the student thought there was no way she could pass. She decided to attend a PASS exam session and received a booklet that had questions related to the whole 13-week course. She was then able to ask questions of the leader and other students if she got stuck on something which was great as everyone wanted to help each other. The worksheet helped her declutter the content of the entire course and focus on the important bits in greater detail. For a student who thought they were going to fail, you can imagine how surprised she was when she passed the course due to a great exam mark.

If you haven’t picked up on it already, this student is me…AND I PASSED THE COURSE! Not only did attending this session help with the nitty gritty, it also helped with my exam confidence by making me well prepared for my final exam.

PASS Program Coordinator Karen Cutts says that PASS exam revision sessions give students the opportunity to consolidate what they know and work with their peers to sort out those bits and pieces they aren’t quite clear about before they head into their exams. She also states that research shows the power of studying with your peers – one hour in PASS equals three hours individual study. So, while PASS exam revision sessions shouldn’t be the only preparation you do for your exams, if they are available for your course you certainly should consider taking the time to attend a session. They may just be the element that tips you from a Fail to a Pass or a Distinction to a High Distinction.

 

Regularly scheduled PASS finishes at the end of Week 12. The schedule for sessions in Week 13 and the exam period will be available on Monday, 28 May from the PASS website at https://www.newcastle.edu.au/current-students/learning/study-skills/peer-study-assistance/attend-a-session or via the Web Timetable for the course.