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Tips for second years: what to do this summer to prepare for third year

Tips for second years: what to do this summer to prepare for third year
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SO, second year is over and that means one thing…final year and, if you’re unlucky, the dreaded dissertation. With the final year of university counting for around 70% of your overall degree, it’s definitely worth putting in some hours this summer to get yourself ready to start third year in the best possible position.

  1. Work out what marks you need to be getting to get a 2:1 or 1st overall

This is pretty easy to do, and the best way is to make a spreadsheet of your grades from second year, and then throughout the year, you can add in your marks from your third year modules. Look back at all yours essays from previous years and study the feedback. What do you need to improve on this year?

  1. Start reading

Most universities put the reading lists for modules online, so you should be able to find out what the required reading is for your upcoming modules. Set aside even as little as fifteen minutes everyday to read, and by the end of summer you’ll have saved yourself a lot of work come term time.

  1. Get your dissertation question sorted

When your lecturers tell you to work on your dissertation over summer, they really do mean it! As a piece of totally independent work, the buck stops with you to get your dissertation done. Over summer, think about what you want to do your dissertation on and if you can, try to narrow this down to a specific question or area. Ask yourself what do you want to get out of your dissertation? To improve your knowledge on an area you’ve already studied or to try something completely new?

  1. Start planning your goals for after university

Final year is made even more stressful by the dreaded job search throughout the year. Minimise this stress by making a list of all the application deadlines for the grad schemes, jobs or masters courses you’re interested in. This way, you can plan your time wisely come term time.

5. And….relax!

You’ve got a busy year ahead so it’s important to remember to take some time out from studying and make sure that you’re fully rested mentally and physically.

Susannah Keogh Susannah's a final year student at the University of Exeter, where she studies Philosophy and Politics. She edits Exeter's student newspaper, Exeposé and has written for the Independent, MTV and The Huffington Post.

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