It’s been a long time since my last post and that is because I am going through revision for an exam next month, in between that is my training for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and it will be a chance to take a break from reading my textbooks all over again. But there again reading it all over again isn’t a good way to make the most of the last days of your module. In the exam you will not only be tested but made to prove if you really are what is required of you field. As a planetary science student I plan to be a scientist and that involves research, studying and publishing. As students we need to show what we can really be in our fields, after all higher education is all about training for a specialised profession. If you aren’t up to scratch then your made up for it.
Now one of the things that is crucial to revision isn’t just rereading and recalling from memory, but practicing your knowledge through your imagination. In planetary science I have to explain the science of the planets and their constituent components and how they behave. There’s also an element to it called astrobiology which covers the science of the building blocks of life. There’s also a few mathematical problems to consider and to that you need to apply numbers to the data about the subject, like the wattage of a planet’s core powered by a specific element like potassium. To find problems to practice this with you can seek out past exam papers and practice them in mock exams set by yourself. Go through the questions in the textbooks and try them all over again if you have already done them to refresh your memory.
Another revision exercise is to watch TV programmes and films on DVD and follow them along with your textbooks and notepads in hand. One thing that film buffs and sci-fi geeks like to do with their hobby is challenge the film maker’s logic. I watch the classic puppet sci-fi works of Gerry Anderson and along the way I have picked up bits of trivia about their stories and I have also used my science to pick apart and see where the film makers have done right and where they are flawed. Thunderbird 2 for example is real enough, I have made calculations about it’s aerodynamics and lifting capability and found that it is capable of lifting those rescue vehicles to danger zone but it’s structurally flawed when it’s missing the pod. English students can watch dramatizations of the books they read and examine the differences between the film and the novel and take a look at how the actors and directors have made them live.