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Reflecting on My First University Programming Exam Experience

June 29, 2024
Deon Taylor
Deon Taylor
🇬🇧 United Kingdom
I am Deon Taylor, a twenty-three-year-old graduate from Houston, TX. I recently obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Bridgeport. Throughout my college career, I have worked with both hardware and software, aiming to demonstrate the use of techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.
Key Topics
  • Starting Early and Outlining
  • The Power of Note-Taking
  • Following Module Guides
  • Building Depth of Knowledge
  • Organizing Notes Effectively
  • Conclusion

The exams in October 2023 were transformative for students at the University of London, transcending mere tests of knowledge to become profound learning experiences. Reflecting on this period, I've gained invaluable insights and lessons that resonate deeply with anyone navigating academic challenges. It wasn't just about memorizing facts; it was about understanding concepts deeply and applying them with precision. From mastering Java, Python, and C++ to exploring specialized fields like Netlogo and OCaml, each subject brought its own set of challenges and rewards. Preparing early with comprehensive outlines allowed me to give my Java programming exam with confidence and delve into core concepts with clarity and focus, enhancing my understanding across diverse topics like Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Cryptography. Following module guides diligently ensured a systematic approach to learning, whether tackling complex subjects such as OpenGL and Haskell or foundational ones like Operating Systems and JavaScript. This journey taught me the importance of organized note-taking and the value of depth in knowledge, enabling me to craft thoughtful exam responses that demonstrated both breadth and analytical rigor. Moreover, taking help to solve my programming exam questions further solidified my knowledge.

Reflecting-on-University-Programming-Exams (2)

Starting Early and Outlining

One of the most valuable lessons I learned was the importance of starting early with outlining. Regardless of your field of study – whether it's Java, Python, C++, or more specialized areas like Netlogo or OCaml – creating comprehensive outlines early on provides a solid foundation for your studies. It's not just about listing topics; it's about structuring your learning journey. For me, completing outlines well in advance allowed me to delve deep into core concepts across subjects like Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Cryptography. This proactive approach not only eased the pressure closer to exam time but also gave me the space to absorb complex ideas and make meaningful connections between different topics.

The Power of Note-Taking

Taking effective notes is key to understanding and retaining information. Trusting your note-taking abilities not only aids in comprehension but also enhances long-term memory recall. Whether you're studying Scala, Eiffel, Verilog, or any other subject, synthesizing information into clear, concise notes tailored to your learning style proved invaluable during revision. Notes aren't just for recording facts; they're a personalized roadmap through your course material. I found that summarizing key points, highlighting important details, and organizing my notes by topic or theme helped me grasp concepts more effectively. Moreover, revisiting and reviewing these notes regularly reinforced my understanding and prepared me well for exams.

Following Module Guides

Module guides are invaluable resources that provide a structured path through your coursework. Whether you're navigating through complex topics like OpenGL, Haskell, or Lisp, or tackling foundational subjects such as Operating Systems, Web Development, or JavaScript, adhering to recommended learning sequences builds a systematic understanding essential for exam success. Each module guide offers a roadmap with clear objectives and suggested readings, ensuring that you cover all necessary material in a logical progression. Embracing these guides not only helped me stay organized but also ensured that I didn't miss any crucial topics or concepts. It's about trusting the curriculum and leveraging it to maximize your learning experience.

Building Depth of Knowledge

Building depth of knowledge goes beyond surface-level understanding; it involves exploring concepts from multiple angles and making connections across different subjects. Whether delving into VHDL, Prolog, GoLang, or diving into specialized areas like Cryptography, cultivating a deeper understanding allowed me to approach exam questions with confidence and clarity. I found that exploring related topics in-depth enabled me to provide nuanced answers that went beyond mere descriptions. Drawing comparisons, analyzing similarities and differences, and critically evaluating ideas became second nature, thanks to the depth of knowledge I developed. This approach not only enhanced my exam performance but also enriched my overall learning experience by fostering a deeper appreciation for the subject matter.

Organizing Notes Effectively

Organizing notes effectively is crucial for maintaining clarity and enhancing information retention. Whether you're using digital tools or traditional methods, keeping your notes structured and accessible can significantly streamline your study process. I adopted a systematic approach by organizing my notes according to module guides, textbooks, and supplementary materials. This method not only helped me locate specific information quickly but also facilitated seamless integration of new knowledge with existing concepts. Moreover, separating notes by topic or theme allowed me to track my progress and identify areas that required further review. As a result, I was better prepared to tackle exam questions comprehensively and confidently.

Preparing for university exams isn't just about memorization; it's about mastering the art of learning. Through self-reflection and strategic adjustments, I discovered methods that ensured thorough preparation and academic achievement.

As you embark on your own academic journey, remember that success comes with patience, dedication, and a willingness to adapt. May your studies and assessments be enriching experiences that propel you toward your academic goals.


In conclusion, my experience with the October 2023 exams at the University of London has been pivotal in shaping my approach to academic challenges. Beyond the assessments themselves, these exams served as catalysts for personal growth and learning. I've come to appreciate the significance of early preparation and structured studying, which allowed me to navigate through a diverse array of subjects including Java, Python, C++, Netlogo, OCaml, and more specialized fields like Machine Learning and Cryptography. Following module guides diligently and organizing my notes effectively were instrumental in consolidating my understanding and preparing comprehensive exam responses. This journey has not only deepened my knowledge across various disciplines but also honed my critical thinking and analytical skills. Looking ahead, I am confident that the lessons learned from this experience will continue to guide and empower me in my future academic endeavors and professional pursuits.

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