Is it possible, pi, to make a short 'index' at the top of the post, with all the major headings/questions being clickable to go to that specific part of the post?Math tutorials (Monash perspective):
You'll be in a room of about 8-14 other students, working on a problem set which will cover the topics that were discussed in the previous week of lectures. These tutorials generally last from 1.5-2 hours. The tutor will generally go through some of the theory as a refresher, and may do a few problems to help you get the basics under your belt. You can talk with the people beside you, its not a test. The tutor is also available to answer any queries. Also, you will usually hand in assignments in the tute, and complete tests (if applicable) in the tute.
These tutorials aren't compulsory, but they helped a lot throughout the semester, because really, mathematics is a lot about doing problems, not memorising theory. Also, apparently, if you just
failed the unit, your attendance in tutes can bump you up to a pass.Chemistry tutorials (Monash perspective):
These usually contain more people (~70 people were enrolled in my session) but not many people show up (~maybe 15-20), as they aren't compulsory. These tutorials generally last an hour. There were two different styles of tutorials for chemistry: one involved the lecturer going through questions on a board, and the other involved tutors roaming the room, answering questions that people may have.
I found the lecturer solving problems more helpful, it shows you their thought process as they solve a problem, and what they expect. Tute questions are usually taken from past exams,so they can be a good indicator of what to expect on the exam. Chemistry labs (Monash perspective):
These are usually 4 hours long and have anywhere between 20-50+ people, depending on the unit and the year level. These sessions usually require labcoats and safety goggles (some units just require the safety goggles). In first year chemistry, you will work in pairs. However, you may be required to do a presentation on a specific prac, which will consist of larger groups. In second year chemistry, there will be times you have to work alone, so don't always rely on your partner to do the hard work! You will need some basic lab skills.
You will usually conduct experiments as per the lab manual, with a demonstrator to explain all the steps at the start, and help you during the prac if necessary. Sometimes, you will synthesize compounds. Sometimes, you will analyse properties. Sometimes, you will separate stuff. (Check out this
post for more details) Pracs will relate to topics covered in lectures - I noticed this more in second year than first year, where it was more 'vague'.
You will be required to complete a proforma (work-sheet type thing) or a lab report (depends on the unit) which is due on the day of your next lab session. Lab components are usually hurdles, meaning they need to be passed to pass the unit. There are usually pre-lab questions that must be completed before the lab session - they are signed by the demonstrator before the lab, and count for marks. In second year labs, you will need to fill in Safety & Hazard forms before the lab - these must be signed by the demonstrator as well.First year Astronomy labs (Monash perspective):
These are usually 2 hours long and have between 8-12 people. These labs are really interesting because you do a variety of activities! Towards the start, you will learn the basics of reading star charts (forgive me Allan if I use wrong words :O ) and the terminology behind them - this can be a bit confusing if you're stupid like me, but it just takes practice. Then, other activities arise, such as constructing your own spectrometer, using telescopes to spy on the Menzies building (and burn stuff with the sun!), computer-related activities related to calculation of orbits/etc (forgotten, sorry) and lots of other cool stuff! There were also role playing activities, where you get to plan your crusade to a planet with a fixed budget with a group of people. There were a fair bunch of the 'calculation labs' but really, it ties in so well with the content in lectures that it is somewhat enjoyable (when it makes sense). I can say that first year astro labs were genuinely fun, it was something different every time.