Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Prepared for Year 1Sem 2? Hopefully! (+ checking cors results beforehand)

Hello! Currently updating my blog while I'm in BKK hahaha. Boy have I been enjoying the holidays, especially after knowing my results and finally being able to breathe easier. :)

 So for those who don't know yet, you can actually check the modules preallocated to you even before Round 0 of cors bidding! Just go to nus ivle, and check your modules for that particular sem (do remember to refresh if nothing is displayed). Of course if there is still no mods displayed there, either the mods have not been assigned yet (chillax yo, don't panic for nothing! Don't be so kanchiong and check waaay before the release time. Maybe one hour beforehand will be a good est!) Or you just simply didn't get the mods (sorry for your loss HAHA). Even if you didn't get the mods you want (touch wood), you can always bid again in the next few rounds!

Most people usually get their mods especially if it's your own fac mod (aka Arts), if you get outbidded during the rounds where points from P acc are used, the mods usually cost less using the G acc. So if you really must get that mod this sem, don't worry cause the G points will (usually) save the day! :)

 Anyway, after participating in my first module preference exercise (mpe), I'm allocated bio psych, abnormal psych & PL2132! Yay! :) All the mods I requested for! Hopefully the workload won't be too heavy. But then again, it's psych we're talking about. Meh hahah. I just hope it won't be too dry, especially bio psych. I have never took bio before, except for the combined science I believe most of us went through in lower sec. I would say it is a slight disadvantage for those taking PL1110E and I will be back with my mod reviews for sem 2 to tell you guys again if having no bio background is a problem for bio psych too okay. Hahah.

 Honestly though, so what if people like us without a bio background is put at a slight disadvantage? I'm sure if we put in enough effort, we can definitely match up to those with prior bio background! It might seem difficult at first, but trust me with a strong passion in psych (assuming you're going to major in psych or actually even if you're just taking it is an elective) and the right attitude in mind, you're good to go! :)

Friday, December 26, 2014

Declaring major :(

Guess which blur person didn't know she had to declare her major till the stipulated time frame was over :( Promised myself to buck up and not be so blur and look what happened the next day. Argh.

I thought the time frame was for s/u declaration only and I did not know we had to declare our major. I wonder if there are any lost souls out there like me hahaha. This problem arises because those who plan to major in Psych can only declare after knowing if we meet the pre-requisites (i.e. B- in both PL1101E and PL2131). That means we have to wait till the results are released, and I did not know we have to declare 3 days within knowing our results :(

Sigh. Oh well, anyway the bidding points for the psych mods are like 1 point? Most likely it is because most psych mods were already pre-allocated to those who already declared their major (aka not me). Never mind, shall just declare it in Sem 2 then!

I have already sent an email to the student enquiry services and hopefully they will reply with some good news for me! -Crosses fingers-

P.s We had to declare through this GAPS thing and I didn't even know it existed till 1 hour past the deadline. Good job to me. Random, but just binged-ate lots of fries :(

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The hard decision after release of results.

Results for my first Sem were finally released yesterday. I signed up for the sms push service and set my alarm at 8.15am to wake up just to check my phone cause I heard that the sms should come in before 8am! And indeed, it came in at 7.40am.

My CAP isn't that good, just 3.5 and after much calculation using the CAP calculator (Just because I'm from Arts doesn't mean I can't do Math okay hahaha), I decided to s/u two of my B- and my CAP should be raised to 3.82 if I didn't remember wrongly. I really need to buck up because my goal is second upper honours and at this rate, I can only make it in the second lower class. :( The bell curve is seriously a major factor in determining the results man.

On a brighter note, I'm really happy I manged to meet the prerequisites for psych and I'm gonna declare psych as my major! YAY. Hopefully I manage to get the mods I declared during MDE, can save some of my precious bidding points. My Precccioooussssss. :)

As for those for didn't manage to hit the prerequisite, it is fine! Can always take the placement test coming Jun. Personally though, I feel that the placement test(s) is quite a challenge (not that I have taken it before, but it's just my personal views).

 For PL1101E, the placement test requires students to study ALL the chapters tested from midterms to finals HOLY COW. We are only tested half the amount of chapters respectively for midterms and finals respectively and it feels like there is an infinite amount of resources to memorise already. I really respect my fellow course mates that are able to memorise that huge amount of information. Those people are simply walking external hard-drives. 

As for PL2131, for midterms and finals, we were allowed a cheat sheet and open book test respectively. However for the placement test, it will be closed-book! The qualitative stuff can actually be referred to from our notes, so for those taking the placement test, have no choice but to memorise everything. Once again, more memory needed. :(

But I believe, that with hard work and perseverance, anything is possible! :) So jiayou to those taking the placement test and to everyone too for the upcoming sem2! 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

O'Week '14 (Arts Orientation Camp) :)

Just thought I could share my views on O'Week 2014! I shall just do a short summary of the camp since it took place in August, and my memory isn't that fantastic sadly :(

To start off, it was one of the longest camp  I had attended, 6D/5N . And boy was it tiring. We usually sleep beyond 1am but thankfully we usually wake up around 8+am the next day, so I guess it is not that bad.

I think we only ventured out of NUS for 2 events, for Beach Day and Social Night. Beach day was held at Palawan Beach and we spent the whole day there and the sun was WOW. If you are going to spend a whole day outdoors, DO DO DO bring sunblock and apply it consistently throughout the day. I was sunburnt and the tan lines are still present up till now, even Vaseline doesn't seem to help much. Or maybe it is because I am too lazy to apply it everyday hahaha.

Best part was, the next day was Social Night where we went to Zouk! It was my first time at a club and it was SO FUN. A bus was chartered to bring us to Zouk around 11pm I think? But the number of buses were really limited and it was a really uncomfortable ride in the bus cause I had to squeeze with this couple on the two-people seat argh. People were even sitting on the floor of the bus. Back to the Social Night, we drank alcohol mixes outside Zouk which the seniors bought and around midnight I think we head into Zouk to DAAAANCE. YAY. Highlight of the camp hahaha. Eventually I think we slept close to 6am that night(morning?) x.x

Anyway, the games involved a lot of interaction (even between the guys and the ladies) such as the girls sitting on the guys' shoulders and trying to pop a balloon between two people in many different ways. But if you are uncomfortable I guess you can sit out? Oh and the cheers are really sick, totally different compared to the other cheers we learnt in our pre-uni days. I was in the R house and the cheers are just..let's just say I never knew cheers can be that explicit.

I almost forgot about the food. The camp food was the WORST food I have ever ate throughout all my camps since primary school. Some packets of food can even be missing in certain portions like vegetables wth.

To conclude, I think the Orientation camp really helps in making new friends and I still am close to my Orientation friends till now :) Especially those that enter a different fac from their rest, should really enter the camp to make friends!

Mod review for 2014/2015 Sem1

Here goes my mod reviews for my very first semester.
I wanted to give back to 'society' because I find the mods review avail quite useful in my 'research' haha. By the way, I'm planning to major in Psych! -Crosses fingers-

Expected Grade: C+
Actual Grade: B

This module can be summarized in one word: MEMORIZE. As long as you have good memory, you are good to go! This is a mod that is necessary if you are planning to major in psych. The CAs were 75MCQS (Closed-bk, duh) and a take-home assignment of 5 short-essay questions. 

I screwed up the SEQs quite badly, I only had a score of 15/25 but the mean was 20/25..So I tried really hard to make up for the loss for my final exams, which consists of 75MCQS and 5 SEQs (closed-bk). And GUESS WHAT - It worked out! I was very sure I was in the back half of the bell curve but my finals must have really pulled me up to achieve a B in the end! :) John Elliot was the main lecturer and he is a really nice lecturer, but to be honest, the lecture content is just a regurgitation of what is in the textbook. However, there are times when he gives additional info that is not in the TB. Basically, I skipped most of the lectures BUT I watched the webcasts, so as not to miss out out on any additional info ;)

Tutorials take place once every 2weeks, and I have to say this mod's tutorials are my FAVOURITE. There is nothing to prepare, just be present to watch vids and do some simple discussions within our groups. Awesome or awesome? In fact, if you miss out tutorials, I guess it does not matter much because nearing the exams, the nice lecturers will send a summary of the main points of each tutorial, yay! :)

Expected Grade: B+
Actual Grade: B-

I have to start off by saying how FANTASTIC the lecturer, Dr Stephen Lim is!! He is indeed the best leturer out of all of my mods! I have no idea how, but he manages to find time to go find out the names of as many students as he can from the WHOLE LT and tries to remember each one indiv. How sweet! :) It is really lucky to be able to have him as my lecturer :)

The exams are open-book! Yay! Nothing much to memorise but it is important to know the concepts well. The bell curve is reaaally steep for this module! (What to do?)  This mod is more qualitative than quantitative and it is mainly focused on hypo testing. 

Tutorials are used to teach us how to use this SPSS programme and we have an assignment where we must use this programme. Just discuss it with friends and it won't be difficult to score well. (Which is also a problem in itself, bellcurve remember?)

On a side note, I missed out the last page of the exam paper  for finals. Argh, stupid me. The question was worth 15 marks and I believed if I have done it my grades would have went up. Thankfully I manged to scrape past and get a B- and I'm definitely going to s/u it. Such a waste :(

Expected Grade: B+
Actual Grade: B-

The content for this mod is really interesting, and even though the lecturers emphasise on how this mod is NOT like GP, I can't help but keep thinking if I knew all this info when I was taking GP in JC, I can definitely score better for GP, pfft. 

Personally, I regret taking this mod as I just can't view situations with a 'sociological perspective' which is required in this mod to score well. I just try my best to memorise all the theories from the lecture notes and TB. Oh, and the readings can range from very interesting to horribly-sleep-inducing, certain readings can be just skimmed through as I feel they did not aid me much in gaining that 'sociological perspective'. 

As for the tutorials, I think it is crucial that you speak up and just voice out your thoughts to gain class part. marks. However, I did not even speak  a single word in my tutorial hahahaha cause I really have nothing of value to add. Oh well. 

Expected Grade: A-
Actual Grade: B

Personally, I took this mod because the bidding points for SEA was too high, so I just opted for this mod to clear my Asian studies basket. Even though many people who take this mod claim it is the worst mod they have ever taken, I personally find this mod quite interesting cause I have really learnt a lot about South Asia! General knowledge whoooo.

There were two lecturers, Dr Jayati Bhattacharya & Dr Rahul Mukherji. Dr J is also my tutor! I find Dr J's lecture topics more interesting as Dr R's topics are economic-related which is really not my area of interest. Of course, it varies from indiv to indiv as I have friends who prefer Dr R's lecture topics. For mid-terms it was MCQs and a short note(close-bk). I guess it was okay, but I do not know how I fared amongst everyone else cause the mean was not revealed. As for finals, we have to write one essay and three short notes. I think it is possible to spot topics, cause it is really impossible to memorise EVERYTHING from all the topics. If you are able to do that though, good for you man. -applaud-

As for tutorials, different groups just took their turns to present on the various topics assigned to them. No offence but one word to describe tutorials: Boring. But attendance matters, so do not skip tutorials no matter what! Just one course pack is needed for this whole mod. It varies from year to year so I advise you to buy the one assigned for that specific sem and year.

I felt that I had included a lot of relevant content in my essays in the final exams and I was quite confident. In the end it didn't turned out as well as I thought it will be. :(

Expected Grade: B
Actual Grade: A-

Wow my first A! :) Even though it's technically less than an actual A, let's just make-do and be more generous yea haha.

The micro part of econs is 90% similar to H2 Econs in JC, and I heard from my poly friends who took biz in the past mentioned that the content is quite similar, just that we all had much more time in the past to absorb the same amount of content as compared to in uni. Those who take H1 Econs might be at a slight disadvantage since there is quite a lot of focus in the micro part on the various market structures. However, there are also people in the cohort who have had no economics background at all in the past (which I personally think is very courageous of them to take this mod! Haha kudos to them!).

As for the macro part, I would say from my POV that it is quite different from what we learnt in JC. In uni, there is less focus on the monetary and fiscal policies type, but more focus on stocks and bonds and the calculations. Definitely more quantitative than qualitative. But the good part is that there is no need to write essays (YAY), the exam format is more like short-answer questions. 

Lectures are webcasted but I still attended every single one of them because I don't think I can make myself sit through a 3hr lecture webcast. Yup, 3 hours! Technically it is 2hrs and 35mins of course, but does that 25 mins really make much difference? Hmm. As for tutorials, basically just present your answers on the board to get class part marks! Tutorials for this mod is one hour every week! 

The End (For my first sem, at least)

Introduction :)

Hello there!
My first semester of my uni life at NUS Arts has just ended, and I thought it would be good to just write down my thoughts (and share some module reviews which helped me a lot!) on how I am adapting to uni life.

I came from a JC and the 'mugging culture' I was forced to adapt to has helped me in some way in uni now, I guess?  Even though I jumped from Science stream in JC to Arts now, I personally do not feel a culture shock that I initially anticipated, so all is well. :) Many friends around me said that JC was much better, but I still prefer uni life as I think it takes a more self-initiated approach and it is more realistic to the worklife in a sense. Of course, the poly kids might be more attuned to this kind of education by now? I guess it differs for every individual, hahaha.

As an FASS student, the timetable is really awesome! Most of us usually have a 4-day work week or less and the feeling of not having to go to school and squeeze in the shuttle bus is really really great. One of the cons of being in Arts is that the fac is located farther away from KR mrt, and unless you are willing to walk in for at least 20minutes? (I have never tried it before), most people usually take the free shuttle bus which is horribly packed especially during peak hours. THE HORROR.

I'm just glad the first sem is over! :) Awaiting my results on 23rd Dec, hopefully everything will be alright! Shall update my mod reviews for the first sem when I receive my results. :)