How to survive exams
hasn’t first semester flown by! Most of you will be finishing off those
last few assignments (hopefully without having to pull too many
all-nighters) before buckling down for exams. Examination time can be
very stressful, so what should you be doing to come out in one piece
without becoming drained and run-down right when you need to be
functioning at your best?
You need to study hard, of course, but
you also need to look after yourself properly at the same time. Regular
healthy meals, decent sleep, regular exercise as well as some time-outs
are essential to maintaining your health and well-being over the exam
period. These activities will help your concentration and maintain your
Have regular short breaks to stretch and refresh.
Drink plenty of water (and less caffeine) and eat fresh, healthy food.
Cramming until late in the night will not help your concentration or
stress levels the next day, so make sure that you get a good night’s
sleep. Exercise is really important too – you’ll study much more
effectively if you take the time to get some exercise a couple of times a
Avoid feeling overwhelmed by breaking your study down into
manageable components. Preparing a study timetable at the start of the
study period can help. Try alternating topics (for example, study
statics in the morning and maths in the afternoon) to avoid boredom.
Make sure you also schedule some relaxation time to avoid burning out.
Preparing your own summary of the course material is another good
strategy, as it’s easier to remember your own words than someone else’s.
Double check the time and location of your exam – after all
that preparation, you wouldn’t want to be late or go to the wrong venue.
Long debrief sessions at the end of the exam are rarely beneficial –
you can’t change the result, so take a short break and then start
focusing on your next exam.
Best of luck!
Dr Jessica Andrewartha is chair of the Young Engineers Australia National Committee.
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Water competition to bolster winner’s cash flow
first prize of nearly $15,000 is up for grabs in technical services
consultancy AECOM’s Urban SOS: Water competition. The competition, which
is in its third year, challenges undergraduate, graduate and
postgraduate students to provide innovative solutions to water resource
issues. In addition to the prize money, nearly $24000 in professional
services and/or cash will be made available to a charitable organisation
to help make the winning project a reality.
The competition is
open to teams of up to four students. Topical areas can range from
potable water access, to sea level rise, to storm and wastewater
The submission deadline is 29 July. The competition
culminates in November in London, where the top three teams will present
their proposed solutions to a jury. To apply for the competition or to
obtain further information, click here.
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Bright student minds compete in design awards
committee behind the 2011 Australian Design Awards – James Dyson Award
(ADA – JDA) has announced its 12 finalists. The award, which seeks to
acknowledge projects from tertiary students of design in Australia,
requires students to submit an innovative, practical, aesthetically
pleasing and environmentally sustainable design for a product. In
accordance with industrial designer James Dyson’s philosophy, the
submissions need to exhibit complete design – that is, to display
efficiency, aesthetics and innovation.
The awards presentation
ceremony will be hosted on 22 July in Melbourne, where the winner will
be announced. To view the list of finalists, or for more information on
the ADA – JDA, visit the website.
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University rolls out Rover replica
operational model of NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover was recently built
for the Powerhouse Museum by University of Sydney students and
academics. The robot, which is being applied in the musuem’s red
planet-emulating Mars Yard, is intended to give high school students a
direct experience with robots used in interplanetary exploration. The
battery-operated, six-wheeled all-terrain vehicle bears the same size
and appearance as NASA’s Mars Rovers, and was developed by the
university’s Australian Centre for Field Robotics (ACFR). Visitors to
the Powerhouse Museum will be able to watch the rover traverse simulated
Martian terrain and run experiments similar to those undertaken on the
red planet, while also observing students and academics conducting
planetary robotics research with the rover. According to ACFR
representatives, the researchers have implemented novel algorithms into
the rover which could potentially find their way to Mars in the near
future, such as autonomous rock sampling, analysis and classification.
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Postgraduate information event
University of Technology Sydney (UTS) is hosting an information evening
on 15 June for all students interested in postgraduate engineering
studies. The evening is designed to give prospective students a detailed
overview of UTS’ postgraduate engineering courses, and will afford
attendees the opportunity to meet academics and discuss study options.
For further details or to register for the event, visit the website.
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Engi-near and far work opportunities for graduates in Queensland
benefits of international industry experience were discussed at a
recent seminar delivered by four Queensland engineering graduates. E.S.
Cornwall Memorial Scholarship recipients Jonathon Dennis, Nicholas
Craig, Aidan Roberts and Reena Kwong each received the scholarships in
2008 for overseas industry placements.
The scholarship provides
each recipient with $3000 per month for up to 18 months to pursue a
program of work that typically consists of employment with an overseas
electricity supply authority, manufacturing company or research
organisation. It aims to provide its recipients with the opportunity to
travel abroad and garner engineering work experience in foreign locales,
and is open to engineering graduates from all Queensland universities.
For more information on the E.S. Cornwall Memorial Scholarship, click here.
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Australian geomechanical research award
Pournaghiazar, a final year PhD student of the Centre for
Infrastructure Engineering and Safety within the UNSW School of Civil
and Environmental Engineering, has been awarded the Australian
Geomechanics Society Research Award for his work on cone penetration
testing of unsaturated soils. The cone penetration test is a widely used
tool for evaluating the engineering properties of saturated soils while
in-situ. Pournaghiazar's research specifically addresses its use in
unsaturated soils where, at present, no reliable methods for cone
penetration test interpretation are available.
The Sydney and
Newcastle Chapters of the Australian Geomechanics Society offer the
award each year for research in geotechnical engineering or engineering
geology. The award aims to provide a forum for research students from
NSW universities to showcase their research to the wider geotechnical
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Scholarship kickstarts studies for Indigenous students
Indigenous Australian students were presented with the Jeff Dobell
Memorial Scholarship by the former prime minister Bob Hawke to assist in
their pursuit of engineering studies. The scholarships, named in honour
of Engineering Aid Australia (EAA) founder Jeff Dobell, are offered to
alumni of the Indigenous Australian Engineering Summer School (IAESS)
who enter engineering courses at university.
The three winners
were Edward Hyland, who is enrolled to study civil engineering at UNSW;
Nathan Smith, who will study engineering at UTS; and Jesse Vinson, who
is also enrolled in an engineering course at UNSW. Each of the three
students received a cheque for $3000 towards their studies.
is an annual week-long program organised by EAA to showcase engineering
as a prospective career to young Indigenous Australians.
(l–r) EEA CEO Peter Berry, Jesse Vinson, Bob Hawke, Edward Hyland and Nathan Smith at the awards ceremony.
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