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Author Topic: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings  (Read 1171905 times)  Share 

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #405 on: November 23, 2014, 06:21:48 pm »
Subject Code/Name: HPSC20015 Astronomy in World History 

Workload:  2x 1 hour lectures, 1x 1 hour tutorial for 2 weeks

Assessment:  -2 short assignments (15% each)
                    -Observation report (30%)
                    -Exam essay (40%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  No, sample exam/essay questions provided

Textbook Recommendation:  Didn’t buy one

Lecturer(s): Gerhard Wiesenfeldt

Year & Semester of completion: Summer 2014

Rating:  4/5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Comments: Overall, this subject was enjoyable and interesting (for the most part). The assessments were not too difficult. And you get to finish around 2 (if you got the earliest tutorial)

The observation report involved having to attend either 2 day observations of the sun (1 hour each) or one night observation (2 hours), they’re compulsory. We had to make our own tools ect to record readings. That was all interesting and cool. The report could be written as a scientific report or creatively (journal). They provide sample essays on lms. You also had the option of writing the report in groups (max 3) however word count would be increased.

The short essays and final essay were just like any other. Nothing out of the ordinary

The only negative thing about the subject is that the lecturer was veerry boring! I didn’t attend most of the lectures, and only went to the ones discussing anything relevant to my assignment topics.

I recommend this subject to everyone, especially if you’re good at writing essays.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2014, 01:22:49 am by buzzwith »
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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #406 on: November 24, 2014, 05:49:23 pm »
Subject Code/Name: MUSI20150 Music and Health

Workload: 1x 2 hour lecture per week.

Assessment: Essay on creating a music playlist for personal wellbeing - 2000 words, 50%. Due Week 6.
                       Essay on a playlist for exercise - 1500 words, 40%. Due at the end of Swotvac.
                       10 Weekly Tasks (around 100-150 words each, though there was no word limit):
                         - Weeks 2-4 - Select a piece of music to achieve a certain outcome, and blog about your experience.
                         - Weeks 5-7 - Post in the Discussion Forum on a particular topic given by the lecturers.
                         - Weeks 8-9 - A reflective blog on how the subject has changed the way you use music.
                         - Weeks 10-11 - Contribution to a music project in the lecture. If absent from the lecture, you must write lyrics for a given backing track.             
                       Each worth 1% for a total of 10%.
Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, without screen capture.

Textbook Recommendation:  Levitin, D.J. The world in six songs: How the musical brain created human nature. London: Dutton Publishers, 2008.
                                                   I never used this book, as there was a wide range of readings given by the lecturers which covered lecture material and was free to access.

Lecturer(s): Katrina McFerran, Cherry Hense, Imogen Clark, Sandra Garrido, Jason Kenner.

Year & Semester of completion: 2014, Semester 2

Rating: 3.5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 79

I'll have to be upfront about this and say that I mainly picked this subject since it looked light, with only one lecture a week, few assessments, and no exam. I'm also not a music student, and I'd imagine that those taking this subject as part of their music degree will have a much different impression. This subject is certainly very light on material, with only a few lectures relevant to the assignments and the rest mostly material for your own personal interest. The lectures however, when they worked, were engaging, and certainly different (in a good way) from the standard dry science lecture. The assessments didn’t take up too much time either, but the fact that there is scaling on this subject makes it difficult to get a good score.

Each lecture begins with one of the lecturers leading the group of around 300 in singing a song. Yes it is slightly awkward, and yes it all seems a bit dumb, but everyone else has to do it too, and its actually a decent way to relax and take your mind off things. You sing one song for a few weeks at a time (for example, the first song was by the aboriginal band Tiddas), and you can sit up the back and do nothing if you want, so its ultimately harmless.
The lecturers mix around, with one taking the first half, and the other with the second half. All of the lectures are practitioners of music therapy, and are clearly passionate and motivated to teach their work (especially Kat). The first lecture delved into a highly psychological and completely confusing dissection of what it means to be healthy, and it never cropped up again. The high points of the subject are when they start to talk about more logical associations, such as the links between Music and Love or Violence, and the properties of the music which cause them to influence the individual. Following are various lectures on music and relationships, joy, identities, exercise, relaxation and peace, all of which had a nice blend of biological reasoning and social sciences. However the lectures did sometimes drag on, and the two hours sometimes took forever to finish. I think they knew this, since they made efforts to mix it up with activities (making up stereotypes for genres of music), and movies/anecdotes which demonstrated the applications of what we were learning to music therapy.
To sum up the lectures then, they were interesting and engaging, but often felt pointless due to their irrelevance to the assessments and their length did start to drag on after a while. The lack of lectopia capture is also strange, since the lecture slides are given out after the lecture. This is more an annoyance than anything, but it'd definitely be better if the capture was included (previous years seemed to have it, so this may not apply).

The assessment, however, was not as laidback. Having 90% of the marks locked up in essays is daunting, especially when 50% of those are due only a few weeks into the semester. The first assignment was a 2000 word essay on a personal playlist that you create. You give that playlist a context (e.g. cheering you up when you're depressed), and use 150 words per song to justify each song's inclusion, as well as if you thought it created the desired effect. This is a particularly vague task, and the only preparation you're given are the first 3 blogs that you write, which are similar, as well as the lecture material, which gives you the reasoning you need. However feedback on those are never given, so you're mostly in the dark. The introductions and conclusions are not as aimless, as clear points are given on what to write. I found it difficult to justify all 10 songs with a unique reason, as most of them overlap. You also needed a minimum of 6 references, however I ended up using one for each song as well as those in the introduction and conclusion, as it was easier to justify the songs (and increase the word count) by including sources. A common criticism given in the feedback for this assignment was that the references and justifications seemed forced, and I feel like this is a consequence of the need for 10 songs to fill out your playlist.
The second assignment is quite similar, but much more structured and therefore easier to write (especially since you now have feedback from your previous essay, though it is a bit thin). It is worth 40%, and involves a playlist again, but this time only for exercise. You rate each song based on the Brunel Music Rating Inventory-3 (BMRI-3), which determines how useful the song will be for exercise on a scale of 6-42. You then do the exercise and see if the songs were as useful as the BMRI estimated. Since each song only needs 100 words, it is quicker and easier to write, as you are given a clear structure on how to approach each song.
Another point about the assignments is that they are scaled, so most marks end up around the 70-80% range. Since you also compete with those doing music degrees, it can be difficult to get a particularly good score above this range.
The weekly blogs are particularly easy to complete, and you only need to complete them to get the mark for each (I don't think they read them at all). Each takes 5-10 minutes. For the last two, writing down your name on a roll at the start of the lecture will get you the mark (you don't have to actually do anything), and I recommend this over the song-writing that I had to do for being absent from the lectures, which can be painful (my lyrics were probably the most embarrassing things I'll ever write). Since these 10 marks are effectively guaranteed as long as you keep up, it does mitigate the scaling of the major assessments a little bit.

Final Comments:
Ultimately this is a subject which is perfect for those with an interest in music, and is good for those looking for a subject which needs almost no time commitment. The scaling however makes this a subject that is not easy to do well in, so your essay and research skills need to be competitive to be able to get a higher mark. The lectures themselves vary between interesting and terminology-filled dullness, though thankfully it’s mostly the former.
This subject is a unique experience for science/biomeds like me since you don’t really have to know anything. You just need to show up, listen and be engaged, with none of the stress that comes with the average fact-filled science lecture, making it quite refreshing. If you just want a quick and easy H1 breadth, this probably isn’t the best choice. But if you're fed up with cramming an endless stream of bones of the upper limb, and have an interest in music in general, this subject is definitely recommended as long as you don't care too much about your marks.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2015, 12:55:58 pm by danza312 »
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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #407 on: November 25, 2014, 05:22:25 pm »
Subject Code/Name: UNIB20014 Food For a Healthy Planet II

Workload: Three hours per week (2 x 1 hour lectures and 1 x 1 hour tutorial)

Assessment:  An essay (2,000 words), worth 20%, due week 8.
A mid-semester test (1 hour), approximately at end of week 6, worth 20%.
Final exam (2 hours) exam in the examination period (60%).

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen cap.

Past exams available:  Yes but without the MCQ.

Textbook Recommendation:  None.

Lecturer(s): Various.

Year & Semester of completion:

Rating: 3.5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Comments: The content of the subject is pretty easy. Anyone with a science background should pick stuff up quick. The tutes have I think a 75% attendance requirement. There are 5 forums (basically normal lectures) with guest lecturers that are NOT recorded and will be assessed. The first forum is assessed in the essay. The other 4 will be assessed in the final exam. Personally after the first forum I skipped all of them. The slides are more than detailed enough on their own (and I found the first forum the lecturer just read from the notes). Anything you don't know/understand on the forum notes you can easily google. The marking is a bit vague. You get past exams/tests and I definitely suggest doing them. This is especially true for the final exam.

The final exam consists of some MCQ followed by short answers on lectures and then short answers on forums. For the lecture short answers I think you have 9 options and need to pick like 6 to address. For the forum short answers you get 4 options and need to address 2 (we got lucky and one of the forums had contradictory info so we only needed to do 2 out of 3 lol). The forum you did for essay will NOT be assessed in the final exam. For the final exam you also get a double sided A4 cheat sheet. The forum portion is 25% of the final exam and the past 3 exams pretty much had the EXACT same questions. Hell, I managed to type out all the important bits from all 3 forums being assessed and stuck it onto my cheat sheet with room to spare (think size 6 font lol). That's an easy 25% right there. For the lecture questions just doing the practice questions will give you a good idea of what to expect.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2014, 05:25:17 pm by Hehetymen »


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #408 on: November 25, 2014, 05:51:16 pm »
Subject Code/Name: PHRM30002 Drugs Affecting the Nervous System 

Workload: 3 lectures one hr lectures per week

Assessment: Continuing assessments comprising LMS delivered assessments (15%) and a multiple choice question assessment delivered during the semester (15%)
A 2 hr examination in the examination period (70%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  Yes, from 2010-2012.

Textbook Recommendation:  Individual lecturers will recommend reading specific parts of different texts that are available at the library while the handbook gives two texts that are relevant for most lectures. But all this is for interest and not assessed. So I would recommend not buying the books if this is the only pharm subject you are doing and just go to the library if you really need one.

Lecturer(s): A/Prof J Ziogas, A/Prof RA Hughes, Dr Mark Habgood (1 lecture), Dr M Hansen, Prof D Hoyer, Prof P Beart, Prof B Dean, A/Prof P Crack, Dr J Taylor, Dr R Hester, A/Prof C Wright, Dr C Laska and some lady who took the schizophrenia lecture who wasn't listed in the lecture timetable

Year & Semester of completion: 2014 Semester 2

Rating:  4 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: TBA

Comments: This subject can be done either as part of the neuroscience or pharmacology major. If you are from a neuroscience background --> while the subject has pre-requisites you can contact the coordinator and he will let you do the subject without the pre-reqs. If you haven't done PHRM20001 I would recommend getting hold of a biomed student and reading their pharm notes for BIOM20002 (which is also a pre-req). This is just so you know and understand the basic principles of pharmacology which the coordinator would ask you to read up on anyway. You can look at PHRM20001 notes if you have access to them but that covers a lot of stuff not required for this subject so getting the notes off a biomed student would save you a lot of time.

So this subject was interesting and coming from a neuroscience major I quite enjoyed the pharmacology/therapeutics parts of the subject. The subject starts off with some basic neuro concepts like blood brain barrier, nerve transmission etc. as well as some topics on neuronal survival and neuropeptides. The subject then moves on to neurotransmitters with a lecture devoted to each of the 6 major neurotransmitters. These particular lectures are given are by different lecturers so they have different ways of presenting them. For example for some lectures you were expected to know the areas in the brain the neurotransmitter was made and which parts/ pathways it acted on. But the basic idea of this section was to introduce us to the actions of these neurotransmitters, how to modulate them via drugs to enhance or reduce these actions in certain disorders/conditions. The next section covered things like apoptosis and neurotoxicity and the immune system in the brain. The rest of the subject was on specific nervous system disorders like Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, Schizophrenia, Addiction, depression as well was pain, epilepsy and sleep. These lectures focused on how they may arise as well as the drugs used to improve these conditions. I really liked this part of the subject because it was disease focused and most of the lecturers presented them well.

Tutorials/quizzes/written assignments
Yes, there are tutorials. But these are during lecture times and there are four of them spread out across the semester with the last one for exam preparation. So what happens is the lecturer would email a past exam question (based on a topic covered in the preceding weeks) that will be discussed during the tute. And before the tute he will also make available a multiple choice quiz on lms generally covering all the topics covered up to the tute which doesn't count towards your final mark but you have to do it before the tute. During the tute students are expected to give their input while discussing the question and are encouraged to attempt the question beforehand. I felt the tutorials give a good insight to what the lecturer expects from you when answering their exam questions. The tutorials are of course recorded and you don't have to go to them but the lecturers often do write on the board and the students who answer questions asked by the lecturer aren't clearly heard in the recordings so you might miss out on stuff if you don't go.

The written assignments are what counts to your final mark. It's basically your answer to the question discussed in the tute. The tute questions tend to be the essay questions from the Part A of the exam which I will get to. So with the help of the discussion in the tute you are meant to write up an answer to the questions and submit it via turnitin before the deadline. For the first two written assignments, the deadline was 48 hrs after the tute but for the third one we had to submit it by 5pm the day of the tute. So not sure how the deadlines are going to be in the following years and how many written assignments are going to be done but there is definite chance that this type of assessment may continue because of the positive feedback the lecturer said he got. I reckon this was a good way to practice answering the questions for the exam so definitely take advantage of it. Each written assignment was worth 5% and was marked out of 10. You don't get specific feedback but email the lecturer if you want feedback on it and they are always happy to help.

Midsemester exam
Held in week 6. It was based on lectures week 1-4 and had 30 multiple choice questions. Pretty straightforward. Worth 15%

I've listed the names of all the lecturers above. Some of the lecturers were repeating their lectures given to PHRM20001 so for those who haven't done PHRM20001 or can't remember stuff from PHRM20001 everything is repeated so you don't have to worry about it. But this happened in like 2 or 3 lectures anyway. The rest was new content (I think). Some of the lecturers were great. They were funny and really interesting. There were others who were a bit dry but they weren't too bad. Overall, I thought everything assessed in the exams was fair and was discussed in the lectures anyway. So if you know your content thoroughly the exams should be fine. I'm not going to go into detail about each lecturer and their content because this subject has changed so much over the past few years that I think they might change a bit of it next year. Most of what the lectures talked about was generally material that could be assessed. Very rarely the lecturer would talk about something you didn't have to know for the exam and most of them were pretty clear as to what you should know for the exam. They do have diagrams that were taken from various textbooks and literature so you won't have to know all of the diagram just the relevant bits to the lecture. But if you have any questions about individual lecturers and what they would assess from their lectures I would suggest you email them directly. They were all very nice and helpful with any of the queries I had.

The exam was in two parts. The first part was the essay question/long answer questions. We had to select 4 out of the 5 given questions. Each was 20 marks and you should allocate 20 mins for each. These types of questions are what are discussed in tutes. So doing the tutes would be good practice for this type of question. Some of the questions were from individual lectures while there was one that expected us to integrate information from different lectures e.g in our exam we had a question asking us to compare and contrast neurotransmission of acetylcholine and substance P which were discussed in two different lectures but different lecturers so expect something like that. There are past exams available to work out what types of questions are going to be asked and they were really helpful. You don't have to do the past questions but just having look at them would mean you would know what to expect in the exam. Also just a hint James gave us at the last tute: the topics/tute questions assessed during the semester are very unlikely to pop up on the final exam. He did however say that only lectures not assessed in the midsem will have multiple choice questions and unless I was mistaken there were about 3 or 4 questions that were related to topics already covered in the multiple choice exam so you might want to make sure he is clear. That brings me to Part B of the exam which was 40 multiple choice questions. Again straightforward and not too hard. Nothing on there wasn't on a lecture so as long as you know your lectures well you will do fine in this section. It was 40 minutes so 1 mark=1 min. I'd suggest trying to finish this within 30 mins so you have an extra 10 minutes for part A which is worth 80 marks. Since the MCQ section was only introduced this year I think based on the feedback they got from previous years the past exams had no multiple choice questions. However the quizzes that are made available before each tute should be enough practice for this part. The coordinator also made it available during swotvac for revision. But really after 5 semesters of science/biomed I don't think you would really need any practice for MCQs :P

That's all I can think of saying right now. If I remember anything important I'll add to this. I just wanted to include some subjects that I or a friend thought would be helpful if taken with PHRM30002 due to overlapping content (that would make life a hell of a lot easier for a third year 8)) or because they complement each other. I'll add more to the list if I find or hear about any other subject that might be helpful in anyway:
  • PHRM30003 Drug Treatment of Disease
  • The uni breadth subject conducted by the pharmacology department which I can't find the name or code for (help?! :-[)
  • NEUR30003 Neurophysiology for some ion channel stuff and signalling pathways/molecules that you might come across and knowing the names and what they do already helps
  • NEUR30004 Sensation, Movement and Complex Functions which also runs in sem 2 which I took along with this as part of my neuroscience major. There were overlapping topics that are useful but can get confusing if you aren't sure which is relevant to what lectures. For example, molecule Orexin was involved in addiction in SMCF but in this subject it was covered with respect to sleep. So it might get confusing for some people but a lot of people did this subject combination and I don't think any of us regretted that choice other than the fact that the exams were one the SAME DAY!!! But if you are organised during the semester and are constantly revising you will find that these two subjects nicely complement each other in many topics that were covered: glial cells and glutamate and GABA reuptake and metabolism, alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, depression, addiction, epilepsy, pain and sleep

I hope this was helpful and sorry it's a bit later than I expected it to be posted. I didn't go into too much detail about each of the lecturers or the topics because there might be a chance that they change some stuff around next year. In terms of difficulty this subject would rate a 2.5 out of 5 where 5=braincrushing hard. The subject also might be a stepping stone for most people who are planning to do honours and is pretty well organized. Good luck with your subjects and message me if you have any questions or if something on here wasn't clear :)


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #409 on: November 26, 2014, 09:37:58 pm »
Subject Code/Name: CHEM10003 Chemistry 1

•   3 x one hour lectures per week,
•   6 x three hours of practical activities during semester,
•   1 x one hour tutorial/workshop session per week,
•   6 hours of computer aided learning during semester,
•   8 hours of independent learning tasks during semester.
Estimated total time commitment of 170 hours

•   Three equally weighted 30 minute on-line tests conducted during the semester   (6%)
•   Ongoing assessment of practical work throughout the semester (20%)
•   A three hour written examination in the examination period (74%)

Satisfactory completion of practical work is necessary to pass the subject. Independent learning tasks need to be completed in order to pass the subject.

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture. However, some lecturers like to write on the document camera which doesn’t appear in the lecture capture. The organic lecturer also brought in models which once again wasn’t captured.

Past exams available:  Yes, a ton on the library website. Solutions for the past 3 exams were given on the LMS. Last years exam was given as an exam wiki on the LMS for everyone to contribute to. The answers were checked and explained in the exam revision lecture during SWOT vac.   

Textbook Recommendation:  A. Burrows, J. Holman, A. Parsons, G. Pilling and G. Price, Chemistry3 2nd Ed, Oxford University Press, 2013.

The textbook was extremely helpful for physical chemistry, I would highly recommend trying to get a copy for this section of the course. There were also prescribed questions from the textbook, which was useful in consolidating the information given in the lectures.

Apart from this, you also need (co-op prices given):
•   Laboratory Manual (ca. $15) – They post this file on the LMS, but it’s better to buy it, it’s less of a hassle.
•   Tutorial Workbook (ca. $9)- This isn’t essential, they also post this file on the LMS, so if you download the file on your laptop/tablet/smartphone and bring it into the tutorial, you’ll be fine to work off it.
•   A4 duplicate notebook ($9 or from newsagent)- this may be compulsory or not, depending on your prac demonstrator.
•   Organic model kits (ca. $30)- optional. Useful for making organic molecules and understanding their 3D structure.
•   Lab Coat $23
•   Safety glasses $7 OR safety goggles (only if you intend to use contact lens) $10

Lectures 1 - 12 (Organic Chemistry): Associate Professor Craig Hutton
Lecture 1-5: Structure and Bonding of Alkanes (sp3 Hybridisation)
Lecture 6-7: Structure and Bonding of Alkenes (sp2 Hybridisation)
Lecture 8: Benzene and its derivatives
Lecture 9: Structure and Bonding of Alkynes (sp hybridisation)
Lecture 10: Functional Groups
Lecture 11-12: Spectroscopy and Determination of Structure

Lectures 13 - 18 (Physical Chemistry): Professor Muthupandian Ashokkumar
Lecture 12-14: Gases
Lecture 15-18: Energy and Thermochemistry

Lectures 19 - 24 (Physical Chemistry): Professor Peter Tregloan
Lecture 19-21: Spontaneity, Entropy and Free Energy
Lecture 22-24: Chemical Equilibrium

Lectures 25 - 30 (Inorganic Chemistry): Associate Professor David McFadyen
Lecture 25-26: Acids and Bases
Lecture 27: Trends in the Periodic Table
Lecture 28-30: Molecular Structure and Bonding (Lewis structures, Formal charge, Resonance, VSEPR – predicting the shapes of molecules, Polarity of molecules, Covalent Bonding, Valence bond theory)

Lecture 31 – 36 (Inorganic Chemistry): Dr Chris Ritchie
Lecture 31: Molecular Structure and Bonding cont… (Molecular orbital theory, Intermolecular forces)
Lecture 32: Ionic Compounds and their Solutions
Lecture 33-34: Structures of Solids
Lecture 35-36: Main Group Chemistry 

Year & Semester of completion: 2014, Semester 2.

Rating: 3 Out of 5

Okay so, this has to be the worstly taught subject that I’ve taken this year. It wasn’t too bad, but after doing fundamentals in semester 1, I think there’s a lot to improve in this subject. This may be because I did this subject in semester 2. My friends who did this subject in semester 1 didn’t have the same problems with this subject as I did.

I found the content to be really interesting (most of the time). It built up on the knowledge from fundamentals, there were some things that were repeated all throughout the course but there were more details in this subject than fundamentals. It was really helpful to have the background knowledge. 
You start off with organic chemistry, you go into the details of bonding of Alkanes including the various types of isomerism (conformational, structural and sterio). Then you move on to alkenes, including benzene, and then alkynes. You also learn a whole lot of nomenclature along the way. At first, you may have trouble visualising 3D molecules in your head, this is were an organic modelling kit or a youtube video will come in handy. You then move on to functional groups. Make sure you learn all of the functional groups, including the nomenclature. Make sure you don’t get confused between functional groups that have similar names (e.g. and amine and an amide) because you are expected to know the difference. You finish off the organic section by learning about spectroscopy. You will be expected to know how to use spectroscopic techniques to determine structure, so make sure you do some practice.

The next block of 12 lectures is physical chemistry. If you’ve done physics before, you shouldn’t find this part too difficult. You start off with gases and the ideal gas law. Make sure you know how to use this properly with the CORRECT UNITS. You also learn about Dalton’s law of partial pressures before moving on to the kinetic theory of gases. There are a few formulas here that you will need to know since they aren’t given to you on the exam. Also, make sure you know the difference between an ideal and real gas as this is a common question on the exam. After gases, you move on to thermodynamics. You basically learn about the first two laws of thermodynamics. You need to be able to calculate enthalpy and manipulate equations using Hess’s law, calculate entropy, Gibbs free energy (as well as a whole lot of other stuff which I forgot now). The last 3 lectures for this block is on equilibrium, you go into more details in inorganic chem.

So the last block is on inorganic chem. This can be challenging at times, especially buffer calculations. You learn about acids and bases, pH, buffer kA, kB before moving on to trends in the periodic table (electronegativity, electron affinity, metal character and a few more). After this you learn to draw Lewis structures and predict shape using VSEPR. You also look into the valence bond theory and the molecular orbital (MO) theory. For the MO theory, make sure you know how to calculate bond order. The second last part is on structure of solids. This can take a while to visualise. Make sure you go to the tutorial of this section, it was really helpful. And the last part is on main group chemistry. You go over the chemistry of all the elements in the periodic table so there’s a lot of memorizing to be done here !

Some lecturers really gave me a hard time in this subject.
Craig Hutton was really good. He spent a lot of time explaining the main concepts and went through heaps of examples. He also brought in a number of 3D models which I found very helpful.

Professor Ashok was hard to understand at first, but you’ll eventually get used to him. It’s best to attend his lectures since he writes on the document camera which doesn’t appear on the echo recordings. He teaches straight out of the book and uses examples from there. I don’t know why, but when he uploaded the lecture slides before the lecture he would leave out the questions. After the lecture he would upload them again with the questions which really made no sense. I also felt that he taught us things that we didn’t actually have to know for the exam. Funny thing was, he would write up a formula sheet for what we needed to know for the exam but in the exam I only remember using a few of them.

Peter Tregloan was excellent. He would get us engaged into the lectures using QP polls which was really beneficial to test our understating. His lecture slides were good as well, had everything you needed.

David McFadyen was my tutor for the while of fundamentals. I really liked him as a tutor and now I realize that this guy sure knows his stuff! He was funny at times as well. He explained things clearly and his lecture slides were really good.

Dr Chris Ritchie was easily the worst of the lot. He was really dry most of the time. He would simply just read off the lecture slides, no examples, no explanation…nothing. I think the whole cohort was really frustrated at this guy, evident by the lecture attendance. What made it even worse was that he would finish some lecture in 35 minutes after which he would go back and try to explain things again. I think the worst part was that the content was fairly new to everyone and was a bit dry. I didn’t attend most of his lectures. I found the lecture slides and the book to be sufficient.

Tutorials take place in the chemistry building. The tutorial questions were really beneficial (I think they are past exam and MST questions) but the tutors weren’t that good at explaining what we actually needed to do to answer the questions. Out tutor for organic chem was good, but the tutors for physical and inorganic weren’t the greatest. At times they would just put of the solution on the document camera without even explaining it. The tutor for inorganic, especially for the section on buffer, left us more confused than we were when we walked in!

Good thing is, the tutorials aren’t compulsory and at the end of each 4 week block, the solutions for the tutorial questions are uploaded on the LMS. So, a better option would be to do the tutorial questions at home and if you have problems you can visit the learning centre in the Chem building. You’re choice though. If I knew the tutors were going to be like this, I wouldn’t of attended most of them.

Three equally weighted 30 minute on-line tests conducted during the semester (6%)
These are basically 3 online tests that you must complete after each block of 12 lectures. Each test is worth 2%. This may not seem like a lot, but it does add up so take these seriously. If you study for these they shouldn’t be too hard.

For the first one on organic chemistry mainly tested your understanding of functional groups, nomenclature (alkanes, alkenes, alkynes) and isomerism.
The second one was the one on physical chemistry. Lots of calculations here, especially using Hess’s Law so make sure to practice.

The third one on inorganic chemistry had questions on acids and bases, buffers and Lewis structures mainly. 

These could change in future years so I would suggest doing quick revision of the whole block before attempting them. I found doing the ChemCAL’s very effective for both the MST’s and the exam so I would highly suggest you do them.

Ongoing assessment of practical work throughout the semester (20%)
You’ll have 6 practicals throughout the semester. They aren’t evenly distributed (I had 2 in the last 2 weeks of the semester -.-). Each one is worth 3.33% so take them seriously. You have to complete a pre-lab (on chemical) before you go into the prac. You have to get 80% + to get a prelab receipt which you have to write down on a tear off slip in your prac manual. Some of these pre-labs are really annoying. You would get the answer wrong if you didn’t have the correct significant figures and if you didn’t answer the question they wanted you to answer it. Good thing is you can do the pre-lab as many times as you want before your prac. I think the pre-lab is worth 1 mark out of the 10 for the prac.

Depending on the prac, you’ll have different types of assessment. Sometimes you have to answer questions while at other times you have to hand something in. You also have to write up a report for each prac. Keep it concise and to the point and you should get the marks (have a look at your prac manual for how to write one up).

The key to the pracs is to be prepared. Understand what needs to be done. The questions that you have to answer are given in the prac manual, so make sure you know how to do them. Try starting the write up at home and if you can, answer some of the questions. This will ensure that you’ll finish the prac on time and maximise your marks.

A three hour written examination in the examination period (74%)
Exam was made of two parts. Part A was multiple choice and Part B was short answer. Each part was worth 50% each. If you’re not quick and efficient, you will struggle with timing. Try not to be a perfectionist (like me at times lol) when drawing organic molecules or when doing calculations. As long as you have the main parts down you’ll get the marks, come back to them later to check them if you have time.

Part A was multiple choice. There were 2 mark, 3 mark and 4 mark questions here. It covered most of the course (including the ILTs!) There were a few tricky questions here that really required you to think. If you’re really struggling and don’t know what to do, try eliminating options. You should be able to finish this section within the recommended 1.5 hours.

Part B was short answer. Once again covered most of the course. Try to attempt all the questions and don’t spends too much time on question and you should be fine.

All in all, a fair exam. If you know the content you’ll be fine. Not many trick questions except for a few multiple choice questions. To study, revise lecture notes, do the chemCALs, do the MST again, do past papers and do the tutorial questions. When doing the past papers be aware that in the past section A was worth 2/3 of the mark and Section B was worth 1/3. I don’t know if it’ll change in the future but for us it was 50/50.

To do well in this subject:
•   Stay on top of the lecture content, try not to fall behind
•   Practice regularly
•   If your struggling with something, go and visit your tutor or the learning lab
•   Don’t forget ILTs are a hurdle requirement
•   Do the MSTs again for revision (they’ll be available in feedback mode after a week or so after you’ve done it)
•   Be prepared for your pracs
•   Do the past-papers under exam conditions
•   Don’t try to do everything perfectly in the exam. Get the main points down and move on. Come back to the question later if you have time.

Final Comments
Although a poorly taught subject at times, the content was interesting which made studying for it a whole lot easier. I think the majority of students will take this subject in semester 1, so you’ll probably have different lecturers/tutors if you do. That's all for now, PM if you need anything and last but not least, goodluck :)           
« Last Edit: May 10, 2015, 03:04:05 pm by Whynot123 »


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #410 on: November 27, 2014, 01:59:16 pm »
Subject Code/Name: GENE30005 Human and Medical Genetics

Workload: 3 x one hour lectures per week.

Assessment:  One assignment (problem based) less than 1000 words due during semester (10%); two short tests (written and/or online) during semester (each 10%); a 3-hour written examination in the examination period (70%).

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen cap.

Past exams available:  Yes, but not very good. The latest one is 2011 (the rest are 2009 and earlier but during this period it was a different subject/had a different code). There was a fair bit of stuff in them that was no longer in the course. There are also practice tests that you should do as revision for actual tests but also for the final exam.

Textbook Recommendation:  None.

Lecturer(s): Various

Year & Semester of completion: 2014 Sem 2

Rating:  4.5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Comments: This subject is recommended if you are doing genetics as a major. It isn't a required part of the coursework but many of the topics you will have touched upon in previous subjects. I'd say this was probably the easiest genetics subject (next to GENE30002 although I scored higher for GENE30002) for me. It covers a bunch of interesting stuff. I think the first few lectures deal with haemoglobinopathies (Sickle cell anaemia, HbC etc) and how they occur etc. I suggest you memorize basic details concerning how they occur (i.e. a substitution mutation swapping glutamate to valine in codon 6, glutamate to lysine, creation of a cryptic splice site, etc). This is followed by sex determination which was pretty straightforward (at the end of this series of lectures there should be some diagrams in the notes concerning FOXL2, SRY etc in a pathway format. If you can understand these diagrams then that's good). Pretty sure there was some stuff on epigenetics, a bit on CRISPR/Cre-lox, etc. Also stuff on GWAs, linkage, missing heritability (easy marks on the final exam if you just remember like 5). Also stuff on chromosome structure and how to read them (short arm = p, long arm = q, etc) which is pretty easy. There is also chromosome changes like translocations, Robertsonian translocations, (for both just remember alternative segregation = good and leaves one homozygous normal and one homozygous balanced while the two unbalanced chromosomes result in bad gametes. Adjacent segregation = all are screwed. Note the loss in fertility in translocation carriers from all those dead gametes), inversion loops, etc. There is a bit on pre-natal tests and PGD too. Should probably remember what abnormal diploids are and what they result in (hytadidiform moles, ovarian teratomas) and the fact that they indicate parental imprinting and are thus evidence of epigenetics. Triploids are also evidence of epigenetics. Also know about parental imprinting and when it occurs/is wiped (will probably be a question on this). Know an example of a post-natal test such as that for PKU or Cystic fibrosis and also what treatments may be done (CF will be easy if you have done biomed as you cover that in M2M which is done in first sem).

The assessment is 2 tests, an essay, and an exam. One test was written and worth 10% I think. The essay was worth 5% and wasn't really an essay (actually maybe they were worth 7.5% each. Not sure). We got randomly assigned a pedigree type (autosomal dominant, X-linked, reduced penetrance, etc) and had to draw a pedigree for it and explain what made this pedigree differ from other pedigrees. The other test was online and composed of 15 MCQ. Pretty easy since you can study beforehand and then use your notes/google during the test.

The exam was MCQ followed by those short answers (section B) where you have options in a box and have to fill in the blanks using those options (may be used more than once), followed by normal short answers. Some surprises in the MCQ because the practice exams were outdated. I remember one section B question was entirely on the end of one lecture on evolution concerning Bantu (I think farmers?) and something-origin hunters and their migration/admixture history. Had to guess pretty much the entire question (with some inferences based on vague things I remembered lmao). I remember there being a lot more evolution related questions on the exam than I had expected (considering we only did 2 lectures on human evolution). Some of the evolution stuff was a bit tricky (mtDNA analysis shows that the mtDNA of I think it was Mungo man is NOT basal to Homo Sapiens. Not gonna check my lecture notes but pretty sure he said their mtDNA split off really early from ours so it can't be basal). Also for the consanguinity effect I noticed a lot of people got confused. Can't remember the exact thing but between first cousin marriages or w/e, the LESS alleles of a recessive trait there are in the population, the MORE homozygotes will form. i.e. lower q/recessive allele is, higher proportion of affected children in the inbred population (read the graph and it makes sense).

All in all this subject is pretty easy if you have a genetics background (and even if you don't there aren't really any tricky concepts). The main drawback of this subject IMO is the lack of up-to-date practice exams.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2014, 02:44:11 pm by Hehetymen »


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #411 on: November 27, 2014, 02:42:08 pm »
Subject Code/Name: GENE30004 Genetic Analysis

Workload: 1 x one hour lecture per week; 1 x one hour tutorial per week; 1 x three hour practical per week.

Assessment: Written assignments/problem solving tasks equivalent to a total of approximately 1000 words (15%); practical reports equivalent to a total of approximately 3000 words (30%) (The due dates for the written assignments/problem solving tasks and practical reports are distributed across the semester); Written report on a journal paper due late in the semester (20%) 20-minute oral presentation once during the semester (5%); a 2-hour written examination in the examination period (30%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen cap.

Past exams available:  Yes, lots. There was also a sample exam with answers which was useful.

Textbook Recommendation:  Just the practical/lab book.

Lecturer(s): Various

Year & Semester of completion: 2014 Sem 2.

Rating:  4 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Comments: This subject was probably the hardest one for me out of the genetics ones (next in line to GENE30001) but it might've been because I didn't do the pre-req subject (didn't know I needed to but luckily I got a waiver or else gg extra year just to do one subject). I haven't done a practical subject since first year (excluding HSF and Frontiers but they don't really count as completely different type of practical and only had like one for both of them) and so...my practical skills are somewhere along the lines of beyond crappy.

The experiments are well run and there are only 12 lectures with I think the first one largely being a bludge so this makes the final exam pretty easy to study for (only need like a day or two). There aren't really any prac reports. Instead each week (or sometimes second week) you get a piece of assessment that is related to the prac you are doing (such as creating a plasmid map, using Artemis to identify a protein-coding gene etc). I highly, HIGHLY recommend finding a group for these. Even if you go into the subject knowing no one, talk to the people at your table and try to set something up because a lot of these assessments are complete pains. One thing that I didn't realize until halfway through the subject (by which point in time I stopped giving a crap) is that for each assessment, the lecture immediately prior to it probably covers it (the reason I didn't give a crap was because our lecture was on Mon while our prac was on Tues...cbf being that up to date just saiyan). Thus if you're ever confused as hell during one of those assessments, look through the lecture notes that are on the same week. Having said that the practical assessments are a pain, you do learn a lot from them (the bioinformatics one sukked for me because I didn't know anyone else doing the same one so I had to trawl through databases and Artemis on my own). The plasmid map took forever but was only worth like 1.5% lol (swear it took hours). The first assessment we had I think we had to draw a flowchart on how we would perform a practical. Was kind of iffy as to whether or not we needed to include certain details (since they told us don't put in things that are obvious but wtf is supposed to be obvious?). I can say mention alkaline phosphatase and why you need it (prevents vector self-ligation). I didn't mention the why you need it part (because that seemed obvious...) and lost some marks. There was one on epigenetics which was really easy (define epigenetics, work out which of these bases would be methylated, etc). The bioinformatics one IMO was the most difficult and annoying because we were pretty much thrown in the dark. They gave us our gene and pretty much told us to use Artemis/databases to work out the structure of the largest protein-encoding gene and any relevant details. No real guides or anything on how to do this.

The oral presentation was easy for me. You should start IMO about 2 weeks before your presentation. What I did was read my paper once to get a gist. Then I read it again but typed out everything in my own words on a word document. I also took the pictures and stuck them in the document with little explanations as to what they meant. I then created my powerpoint by simplifying things even further and cutting things I didn't think were massively important (a lot of the experiments in the paper were redundant). This was a bit difficult for me because you have to cut out quite a lot. Basically by the time I was done I knew the thing inside out. There were two problems with my oral (lol). The first was I didn't practice beforehand and ran outta time. The second was I had way too much text (I normally prefer lecturers who put in a lot of text because it means less time spent listening lmao). Still got an H1 tho. On the other hand if you get nervous doing public speaking this is gonna suk for you (but luckily for you it's only worth like 5%). I actually know 2 people who skipped theirs and got sick notes (and one of them skipped his repeat too...). You definitely want to know your paper pretty well because at the end of your speech there is a person specifically chosen to ask you some questions and the lecturer responsible for your paper will also question you. I recommend you be familiar with any diagrams you put in the slides and put in a decent amount of them. This is because it prevents you from just reading your slides as you can turn around at the screen and point at the diagrams and be like "so you can see X is spreading along here and here. This demonstrates Y and is consistent with what the author's were expecting". The diagrams are meant to supplement any text you put in the slides so if you can explain the diagrams you don't even need to read the text. This makes it look like you know your stuff (which you do lol) and is more interactive because you get to wave the laser pointer around.

The journal report is based on your paper but is worth 20%. It was pretty easy but is contingent on you actually understanding your paper well. Basically summarize the entire paper in your own words but make it as dry as possible (they will give you tips on this). This is due after the oral so if you did what I did and wrote a word document on everything you can just simplify everything from that. Maybe throw in a diagram or two if you want.

The tutes have compulsory attendance. At the start of each one you get handed a marking sheet where you have to write your name and student no. They were pretty boring tbh. Basically two students present their oral and the students mark their oral (this does not contribute to their grade, it is just to let the speaker know how the student's thought their presentation was). That's it. After the first couple I just got my friends to fill my sheet for me (they live right next to uni while I have to travel like 50 mins. Tfw only subject on the day is a compulsory tute).

For the final exam the past exams are a good indicator of what to expect. If you can answer those you will probably ace it. They say that the practicals are assessed on the exam but you really only need a passing knowledge of them. In addition, most of the questions in the exam require you to really understand the topics. You will get things like how would you perform X experiment (list what types of vectors you would use and why, any features they have that are important etc).

So basically a pretty interesting subject and you learn a lot but need to put in effort. Also reminded me why I hate pracs.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2014, 03:21:05 pm by Hehetymen »


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #412 on: November 27, 2014, 03:08:27 pm »
Major: Genetics

All of the required pre-reqs are in the handbook. Cbf putting them all up as they are different for biomed and science students.

Year of completion: 2014

Rating:  4.5 out of 5

Your Average Mark: H1

Comments: Good major. I found most of the subjects easy to understand. There aren't any tricky things to learn or a lot of ROTE memory. For most of the subjects past exams were really useful. I'd say the major is easy-mid level in difficulty if you enjoy genetics but if you don't then it can be dry as fuk (for me population genetics sukks but it is bearable). Anything on individual subjects I will have already reviewed so idk not much to say. I'd say if you liked BCMB20003 then IMO this major is somewhat similar (at least GENE30002 and GENE30005) in that there is a bit of pathway memorization. I liked BMCB20003 and genetics and both felt like roughly equal difficulty for me. On the other hand GENE30004 and GENE30001 are pretty different lol. I found some of the stuff I learnt in BCMB20003 translated into the former two. Mostly just memorizing pathways and understanding them I guess.

In terms of prospects, so far I haven't had trouble getting honours offers. Of the supervisors I have spoken to, none expect me to know anything anyway (practical-wise). They have told me they will teach me any techniques etc I need to know. There are quite a few projects that involve genetics in some format (although usually only as a secondary component. Biochem and immunology seem to be the major ones I have seen). Even non-genetics projects will consider you tho if you have decent marks. Then again, I have only really looked at WEHI, MCRI, and the genetics department lol. I'm sure if you look into more institutes you will find enough prospects.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2014, 03:27:13 pm by Hehetymen »


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #413 on: November 27, 2014, 03:24:22 pm »
Subject Code/Name: FNCE30002: Corporate Finance

Workload:  1x 2-hour Lecture per week, 1x 1-hour Tutorial per week

Assessment:  70% Exam, 20% Midsemester Test, 10% Pre-tutorial Submissions (which serves as attendance)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available: Practice exams available; past exams can be searched through the past exams archives

Textbook Recommendation:  Business Finance (Peirson, Brown)

Lecturer: Henny Jung

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2 2014

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1


Topics include IPOs and equity finance, debt finance & leases, capital structure and WACC, payout policy with taxation, capital budgeting for mutually exclusive projects with different useful lives, project cash flow and risk analysis, real options, takeovers, M&As, divestitures, demergers, buy-outs, and corporate risk management.

It is basically an extension of Business Finance topics, which I think is conceptually easy to understand and has tons of real-life applications, but the nitty-gritty can be difficult to digest, especially in later topics. It builds on knowledge from previous finance subjects, but it also touches on topics in accounting (which I reckon should've been explained more, rather than just assuming that all Corp Fi students know how to compute F/S outcomes).

Henny is a very intelligent person, but due to her not being able to speak fluent English, her lectures are VERY hard to sit through (aka you can just listen to the recordings if you want). Her slides are super detailed, like 30 slides more than some CorpFi slides I've seen. Despite the information overload every after lecture, her lectures are very helpful in understanding the concepts thoroughly. She also invites guest lecturers, which is nice.

Students are somewhat 'coerced' into attending tutorials, due to the pre-tutorial (Section B) submissions, i.e. basically a set of questions you need to answer and the handwritten answers must be submitted at the start of every tutorial. But then again attending tutorials are actually really beneficial to students because (1) they don't release the answers to Section B questions, and (2) the exam questions are DEFINITELY similar to the Section B questions. Also, instant 10%!

The midsemester exam is a heart breaker. The median score was H2B, but the mode was like H3 at best. It was multiple choice format, but I found it tricky because there was a "some of the above" type of choices which was a bummer. Really hard questions + really tricky choices make for poor midsemester results. Advice: (1) know how to unlever and re-lever betas and know the details of rights and dividend issues, (2) know your options (i.e. debt & equity as options, operating lease as option, etc.) (3) focus on qualitative questions, and (4) MASTER THAT SH*T.

The final exam was definitely (and fortunately) easier than the midsemester. Three sections to the exam - Section A is 'modified' true or false, where you have to know whether the statement is true or false AND explain why it's either true or false; Section B is multiple choice, like the MST but with no "Some of the Above"-like choices; and Section C, which is a long-problem type of question, both qualitative and quantitative questions.

They remove some topics, which makes the studying much much easier. However, this means that the remaining topics must be mastered. Especially for essay questions, you need to be able to capture most of the 'keywords' they're looking for. Knowing how to do the quantitative/calculations questions is a given. Use the Section B questions as guides on how to answer qualitative questions, as they will be as difficult, or perhaps easier, than the tute questions. These calculation questions are tricky, esp for takeovers and real option analysis.

Overall, Corp Fi is not a walk in the park (for most people, at least) but it can be an enjoyable journey. Very applicable in real life, especially if you're going to embark on a career in Corporate Finance or Consulting.


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #414 on: November 27, 2014, 04:13:31 pm »
Subject Code/Name: EDUC20069: Deafness and Communication

Workload: 1*1 hr lecture per week + 1*2hr seminar per week


-one practical assignment due mid-semester(50%);

-one 2000 word essay due during the examination period (50%)

-80% attendance requirement in lectures and seminars. So there's the option of missing (a) 2 lectures only (and therefore not writing 2 reflections), (b) 2 seminars only or (c) 1 lecture (and therefore not writing 1 reflection) and 1 seminar

-Essay "plan" for the practical assignment (see below)

Lectopia Enabled:  Most lectures were recorded, but I recall there being 2 that weren't.

Textbook Recommendation:  Journal articles posted on the LMS. You don't have to read every week's allocated reading as many of them will be irrelevant to your two assignments, but it's good to read perhaps half of them.

Lecturer(s): -

Year & Semester of completion: 2014 Semester 2

Rating:  4 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1


Deafness and Communication is quite a good breadth subject where achieving a H1 (or close to) is possible. Prior to taking the subject, I hadn't thought much at all about deafness and honestly had no idea of just how complex many of the issues surrounding it were. It was satisfying to finish the semester with an abundance of knowledge about deafness in general.


I'd encourage students to attend lectures rather than listen via echo360. The lectures are delivered at an appropriate pace (not rushed) and towards assignment time, you take away the concepts that are most relevant to your assignment topics. Most of the lectures were interesting, but I think you're bound to find one or two that are a little dry. As part of the attendance requirement, you are required to write "reflections" after each lecture, these aren't marked or anything and just consist of 3/4 or so lines perhaps summing up the key topics you took away from a lecture, or writing some questions about a lecture that you'd like to find some answers to. You don't have to physically attend each lecture in order to submit your reflections for meeting the attendance requirement, as they may also be emailed to your tutor. However, it's better to actually attend the lectures and submit reflections that way as you tend to put them off during the semester to the point where you realise that you haven't emailed 4 reflections in by week 12.


I can confidently say that i've never experienced seminars/tutorials that are as chill as the one's in D&C. They mainly consist of watching youtube videos about the lecture topics and lots of group discussions and activities (mainly with the people on your given table). Sometimes, though, I felt like what we were dwelling on topics that were quite irrelevant to the subject. For instance, we spent 2 seminars learning how to finger spell. It probably would have been more beneficial to use that kind of time in order to discuss the two assignments either as a class or from the tutor addressing us.

Practical Assignment

This was a hard assignment in the sense that you didn't know if you were doing it correctly. It consisted of a "resource" that addressed a specific target audience, such as secondary school students or primary schoolteachers, about a specific topic of deafness as covered through lectures. For instance, you could target the family of an elderly individual who has age-related hearing loss and provide them with some information about the kind of changes that may need to be implemented in order to communicate appropriately with that hearing-impaired family member. Or you might choose to target a couple who have just found out through screening that their newborn baby is profoundly deaf and provide them with some information about the cochlear implant. There are so many possibilities that you can choose, and honestly I spent most of my time thinking about what topic I would choose as opposed to physically creating my resource. In addition to the resource, you are also required to write a 500 word mini academic essay (i.e. avoiding the first person "I") that should include why the resource is relevant (e.g. if your resource is about the cochlear implant you could talk about how the number of deaf individuals that are undergoing cochlear implant surgery is on the rise and why), who the resource targets and why, and why your resource is appropriate for that target audience (e.g. if your audience is primary school students you might choose to make a children's book). Your tutor will also inform you that you must email them or hand in a plan for your resource (however, you can change resource topics at the last minute if you want to). What I took away from this assignment was that many students chose brochures or posters for there resource, so if you choose to go down that route then think outside the box (i.e. creatively) about how yours will look different from the rest. I ended up choosing to do a website, and I was surprised to be the only one in my seminar group that did that. It's not overly difficult to choose a technical approach for your resource as you can use website hosting sites such as google sites and I felt as though a brochure or poster was too constricting to fit in all the information I wanted to. With the resource, there is a designated seminar where each student speaks about their resource and why they chose their respective resource (don't worry, the oral presentation itself does not count towards your assignment mark), but it's good to be confident about it as you do put in a lot of hours for this assignment.

End of semester essay:

You are given a choice of 1 of 5 essay topics to select and the 1800-2200 word academic essay is due in the first day of the exam period. For this reason, it is good to make a start on the assignment early (e.g. plan your references and what you will discuss early in the semester), as you may find that you have an exam the day of or the day after your essay is due (not fun). Make sure your APA 6 referencing is flawless and that you read over your essay numerous times to avoid silly mistakes (for instance I forgot the word "to" about 5 times in my essay). Overall, I think the essay is harder to do well in compared to the practical assignment. I think you are more likely to get higher marks for your resource/500 word essay for the amount of hours you put in than the 2000 word essay. So that's just another reason to make a start early on this assignment and not to cram for it in the final days that it's due.

2012-2014. BSc: Neuroscience. University of Melbourne.
2015-2018. Doctor of Optometry. University of Melbourne.

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #415 on: November 27, 2014, 09:55:47 pm »
Subject Code/Name: BIOL30001: Reproductive Physiology

Contact Hours: 36 lectures and 6 tutorials

-weekly online quizzes due during the semester (35%);
-a 50 minute mid-semester test in week 6 (10%);
-a literature review of no more than 1000 words due week 9 (15%);
-a 2-hour written examination in the examination period (40%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture. <3333

Past exams available:  No. Sample exam only with a few practice questions. They would go through the questions in one of the final tutorial.

Textbook Recommendation:  Didn't buy a textbook.. maybe I should have.

Lecturer(s): Geoff Shaw, Mark Green, and many guest lecturers.

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2014

Rating:  2/5


Interesting content, hard to succeed in. If you're looking for an easy subject to get good marks in, STAY AWAY.

Your Mark/Grade: H3


I did this subject because I wanted to do a physiology subject (I hadn't done one before and thought it would be beneficial). My major is Zoology and this subject could count towards my major. Luckily before the end of the semester I switched this subject out with another one on my study plan, so that it wasn't one of the 4 major subjects I had listed.

Why does it count towards a zoology major? That's because Repro doesn't just cover people reproduction, it also covers animal reproduction. I found both aspects of the subject really interesting, the comparisons helped to highlight the range of differences in reproductive strategies and physiologies of different species. On the downside, it meant memorising a lot of information not only about human reproduction, but animal reproduction too.

This subject is not to be taken lightly. You won't only be expected to remember information, you will also be expected to apply it to new situations and reason through problems using information you've learned. What effect does adding testosterone have on the HPA axis of a castrated ram? Who knows. The subject was definitely much harder than I expected.

This doesn't mean I hated the subject.. on the contrary I found everything to be really interesting, and a majority of the lectures were really well presented. I often listened to the lectures while on the train, the content was so interesting it was like listening to a podcast. Mark and Geoff in particular were great lecturers, and I wish I did more of their subjects in my degree. Mark and Geoff were also great subject coordinators. I swear this subject is one of the best coordinated subjects I've ever had. After ever assessment Mark and Geoff were kind enough to tell us the means and medians of the marks, so we could gauge how well we went.

So what prevented me from getting a H1? I think it was underestimating how hard the assessment would be. I was only able to get really good scores later in the semester, when I had a better understanding of how the assessment works.

All in all, I would highly recommend you seek advice from past students who have done this subject you gauge how well you think you'd do in this subject. This subject is definitely no bludge subject, and if you want something that will give you a H1 will relatively less effort this is not the subject. This doesn't mean I wouldn't recommend it. The content was definitely amazing, and it is one of the more interesting subjects I have taken this year. It's just that the assessment was fairly brutal and if you are trying to choose between two subjects you should really have a good think about which subject you think you'd do best in.

I think you can do this is in your 2nd year, so I would recommend you do it then if you can, maybe don't do in it in your final year when all your subjects are intense. :)

On the whole the lectures were really well formatted. Everything that is on the slides is relevant information, and I felt that the lecture content was just enough for the time we had.

Mark and Geoff were amazing lecturers, and I always looked forward to the lectures they presented. However the guest lecturers were really hit and miss.. mostly miss. They often had heaps of lecture slides with crazy amounts of information, most of which we were expected to know. I'm grateful that the most confusing guest lectures (Implantation and DNA modifications) were not covered in detail in the exam (I think at most they were MC questions with only the easiest concepts from the lectures included).

I understand it's probably because the guest lecturers aren't as used to teaching as Mark and Geoff are, which sucks because they obviously have a lot of knowledge and they are evidently trying to condense years of research into a 1hr lecture.

Lectures were always recorded.. we only had issues when the Echo recording system went down, and even so Mark and Geoff got us an older recording to listen to.

Tutorials are held sporadically throughout the semester, like maybe once a fortnight. They were useful in that you can ask questions about concepts and lectures to Mark and Geoff and they will go over them for you, which is incredibly useful. In all honestly I think I only made it to one of these tutes, because of timetable clash, but they were still really good to listen to.

I think if you plan on going to the tutorials, you have to have some questions ready to ask and you have to be willing to ask them in front of the class.

Online Quizzes
The online quizzes were much harder than expected, especially the first few. For the first few quizzes I would highly recommend some group study, working with friends (or on your own) to go over your understanding of the content. It may seem frivolous to do this for a 5% assessment, but the early concepts are built upon for the rest of the semester so it;s worth it to get a good understanding of the basics.

You can have you lecture notes out in front of you so I would highly recommend you have them out.

As the semester goes on the quizzes definitely got easier. In the first few I would get 50% but in the last few I got more like 80-90%.

Use up ALL your time. Don't rush, take your time with each question to make sure you get it right.

Mid Sem and Literature Review
The mid sem was much harder than expected. It consists of MC and some define the word type questions. The word might be "Chorion" and you should be able to write a lot on it (2-4 points). My mid sem involved having to label the reproductive system of a tammar wallaby (which is in the slides). Other people had to label other things.

The literature review was a bitch. You are given a paper and you have to do your own research into the topic that the paper covers. It was a bit vague about what was expected, and so many people ended up doing badly. My topic was on "Alternate pathways of virilisation" and I think I looked up like 15 papers.

My advice for the lit review is to super study the original paper they give you. Know this paper off by heart, I'm serious. I made a table with a summary of the important points for every section, which really helped me understand what went on. I would also study the diagrams and figures, since we were expected to label a diagram in my lit review test. There was also a question in the lit review on disorders of sexual development, so you should know your lecture content too.

I really didn't like the lit review because it was so much memorisation and I think only 1 of the papers I studied became relevant in my answers. Maybe I studied the wrong papers but with minimal guidance it's really not too far fetched to expect that I studied the wrong thing.

Exam consisted of multiple choice (1 mark and 2 mark questions), define the word things (like "luteal cell", oogenesis, spermatid etc) and then you have to answer 2 long answer questions. One from two different sections, but in each section there are 4 questions. It covered all the content that had been taught, including stuff from before the mid sem. The MC questions are not as specific as the ones in the quizzes, because you don't have the luxury of having your lecture notes in front of you. :P

The long answer questions were really quite general. To revise for these questions my friend and I tried to think of some broad questions they might ask, that incorporates many of the themes in multiple lectures. I think one of the ones I answered in the exam was like "How is reproduction manipulated in cows?" or something along those lines, and it was really quite good because I could draw on information from like 5 or 6 lectures, haha.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2014, 09:34:54 am by ReganM »
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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #416 on: November 27, 2014, 11:23:11 pm »
Subject Code/Name: PHYC10002 Physics 2: Advanced

Workload: 3 x 1 hour lectures per week, 8 x 3 hours practicals, 1 x 1 hour tutorial per week (#goingtotutes lol)

Assessment: Practical Work: 25%, Online Assignments: 15%, Final Exam: 60%

Lectopia Enabled: Yep, recorded lectures, not that you'll be referring to them much

Past exams available: About 5 or 6 this semester, with brief answers

Textbook Recommendation: Physics for scientists and engineers; recommended.

Lecturer(s): Dr. Andrew Melatos for electromagnetism, Prof. Geoffrey Taylor for the rest (tfw when no Jamieson right guys), one special lecture with Dr. Roger Rassool (tangent city)

Year & Semester of completion: 2014, Semester II

Rating: 4/5

Your Mark/Grade: Still waiting, hopefully north of 75 this time.

Now, this subject was on track to be my favourite. The first 6 weeks of the course are incredibly illuminating for those of us who have yet to formally wet our beaks in vector calculus and its myriad applications to physics and a very interesting extension on year 12 physics. Thermodynamics and fluid dynamics aren't super captivating, but you have to know them. What I took issue with was the teaching of the quantum physics and modern physics units, which were a little handwavey (and seriously, we're not GOING to understand quantum in first year, especially with the memorize-details-about-all-these-experiments and quantum numbers and ughhh tacked on), but this is no fault of Geoff Taylor's, just the structuring. I really liked him! Luckily, nuclear was a good finish. Additionally, the tutes and lectures aren't all that useful (not to say the lectures aren't enjoyable, but I'll get to that). In the case of the tutes it's just a lot of anti-social attempting 2 or 3 of the problems on the sheet, so that's why I gave it 4/5. As to only being my second favourite of the semester, well, it's not my fault linear algebra got so damn interesting  :P.

Now to be more specific, Andrew Melatos took us for the first 6 weeks, and they were a wild ride. This is likely to be the first time most students have gotten mathematics really all up in their physics, so for first year it's a step up. Setting up all the various integrals seemed daunting at first, but it's really not so bad with a bit of practice and understanding. I found it be to quite fast paced, but I'm sure some of you will be more comfortable than me. If you've done UMEP maths and went straight into Vector Calculus you're gonna have a good time, I'm told. Anyway, it's all really interesting and fun here, Melatos makes sure of that with his excellent lecturing presence.

Geoff took over for the rest of the course, and he was great too. Again, I thought quantum and some of modern physics was really annoying to learn, but if you have the textbook it should be fine. Anyway, my issue with the lectures is that they still don't seem like the optimal way to learn, it's not like Calc II where you walk out with expansive and perfectly sufficient notes. You could definitely learn successfully from the textbook or internet, which is what a lot of people did, but why not take advantage of the cool lecturers and all that in addition?

Since you've done Physics 1: Advanced, you know the drill. 8 x 3 hour sessions (well, our demonstrator cut us off at 2.5) with a lab partner (or a group of three in my case) and a hopefully amiable demonstrator. You get your pre-lab done on the train, and ask the boys something along the lines of "you guys read the lab manual for this one??" and you're good to go. I think loudly rapping along to phone-speakers Kanye West with my partners and disturbing everyone around us might be my favourite moment of the academic semester, haha. They're pretty interesting this semester, but I will warn you the Planck's constant prac is hell, and the flowing fluids prac is god tier. Usually the demonstrator will cut you off before a particularly difficult (in terms of time) to complete section of the prac, or Geoff Shute (this man is the king) will give you a printed out sheet of paper detailing what you should do if/when some of the equipment is defective. Pracs were fun this semester.

These weren't for me so I'll keep it brief; I only went to one. WARNING, if you have a low-ish work ethic you will almost certainly not do the sheets in your own time, but if you don't go you should definitely attempt to work through them, even in swot vac.

Online Assignments
I think these weekly assignments physics students endure are the single greatest factor increasing hangover intensity and unpleasantness at Melbourne uni, hands down. Weekly assignments sucked for me since I did four sciences this semester, so I'd have 3 - 4 assignments every weekend. THAT BEING SAID, some of the questions are very interesting. Mad props to James Richmond for choosing a bunch of (mostly) fascinating questions every week, albeit with some verbose wording. They range from sorta easy to pretty hard. Some of the answers are online too. If you go to lectures and do the assignments, you're learning the physics to a good standard, and it isn't tough to get close to 100% with a bit of focus. But yeah, these were like a painful back massage, in the end good, you can kinda get into it if you try, but a little rough at the time.

The 2014 exam was pretty decent, but good god that 2013 exam... Melatos went very very hard that year and he certainly restrained himself this time. I think it was OK, if you study and look at the practice exams you'll be okay. Word to the wise though, it's not like Calc II or something where it's all standard questions, you have to be creative in the exam to answer the electromagnetism questions correctly. The rest of the exam is still tough, but manageable with study.

All in all, I would recommend this subject instead of the normal physics. There's still a hell of a lot of physics left, but at least you've learnt as much as you can so far, even if, for most of the cohort, it'll be our last physics subject. As for me, I'm still tossing up eng vs. science (yay for getting pressured into immediately going to uni after year 12 instead of like getting money and travelling), yet this subject made a strong case for physics!

« Last Edit: November 28, 2014, 12:40:35 am by inamagneticfield »


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #417 on: November 28, 2014, 12:16:42 am »
Subject Code/Name:ENGR10003: Engineering Systems Design II  

Workload:  3 x 1 hour lectures per week in the classic first year eng PLT, 1 x 3 hour workshop per week from week 3 to week 12

Assessment: Oh god, so many quizzes, online activities, pre-workshops etc #necessary... I'll just say EXAM: 60%, NOT EXAM: 40%.

Lectopia Enabled:  Recorded lectures, bonus video lectures, completed notes, lots of resources on the LMS.

Past exams available:  I think there was like 2 1/2 this year, I didn't do any.

Textbook Recommendation:  There is a textbook, but I haven't met anyone who bought it.

Lecturer(s): Dr. Gavin Buskes (10/10 human), Prof. Andrew Ooi (rhymes with gooey), and A/PROF Shanika Karunasekera.

Year & Semester of completion: Semester II, 2014

Rating:  4/5

Your Mark/Grade: H3 (I swear this doesn't usually happen...)

First things first, this is an excellently coordinated subject, where the lecturers and the workshop tutors are doing their very best to make sure you learn, and to make you succeed. Gavin gives you a little speech about how he has no interest in a bell curve mark distribution, he wants everyone on the H1 side of the scale. And you know what, he is 100% telling the truth about this (Andrew's speech is more about how he wants to see people get a final score of 8% since it apparently hasn't been done before, hahaha). This is a subject where you have all the training you need, but since the exam is a hurdle, the rest is up to you (which I hope you read in the key and peele singing sort of voice..). As for the content, it's 1/3 digital systems, 1/3 programming, 1/3 mechanics. I liked the whole first unit and bits of the other two, so as to whether or not you'll find it interesting, guess you're gonna have to wait and see.

The lecturers are awesome for this subject (YES, EVEN SHANIKA despite what a lot of lazy kids who have no drive to practice programming might tell you) and the notes are sufficient, so you can rock up to the lectures and sit back and relax and learn. I would recommend going, even though I never went to one after week 6 or so due to laziness and some other stuff. Not much else to say, this subject keeps a nice pace, neither fast or slow. People talk negatively about the MATLAB unit year after year, but I thought this time around the lectures were OK with nice examples. I'm almost 100% sure the criticism comes from this sort of attitude: "UGHH WHAT DO YOU MEAN I HAVE TO BUY MATLAB AND ACTUALLY PRACTICE THIS MUST BE THE LECTURER'S OR THE COURSE'S FAULT". But yeh, you gotta practice programming. End of story.

These are fun. Excellently coordinated, and very social. You get to apply exactly what you learn in the lectures, and have a good time doing it. An excellent part of the subject. Usually you get to leave early, but some weeks can be incredibly rushed, taking up the full 3 hours and barely finishing.

Do these REALLY need to be so hard? Weekly group assignments, and when they are tough they are tough. If you have a smart person or smart friends you'll be fine.

The exam is a hurdle, so unless you want to repeat ESD in the summer four days of the week while your mates are at the beach, study hard. Now my review is going to deviate into something of a cautionary tale. Keep up with ESD, or I promise swot vac will be stressful. Granted, the exam is very fair, no matter what the fail rate is (usually around 20% I think), the exam you sit is completely fair. It's just a matter of whether or not you've studied, and to get a high score, how much of the 10 mark programming and/or circuit question you get done. So if you haven't been contributing, this is where your rekt meter goes up. I was losing sleep before the exam, because I kept getting the 'blessing' (it was really a curse) of having smart, clearly defined leaders in every group that were content to let me do about 20 - 30% of the assignment. I stopped going to lecturers, and had no idea what was even happening for a lot of the units. Needless to say, swot vac was stressful, having to learn about 8 weeks of content in 2 nights before my exam. Luckily I did okay.

But yeah, keep up with the assignments (that means do them!), and take solace in the fact that the exam you sit won't be so hard.

The stupid pre-workshops, stupid peerwise. These suck. Easy marks though, so do them.

From mates, I've heard PASS was super helpful, so if you're looking to ace ESD II I'd look into this.

All in all, this subject is pretty cool. Killer lecturers, killer workshops, hard assignments, mostly interesting content, stupid mini-assessment that practically begs you to forget about it, and whenever you're needing a little conversational material with the ladies you can always segue into "so do you KNOW about the 7-4 hamming code?". I didn't do as well as I wanted to, but that's on me and nobody else.
This subject kinda feels like Clint Eastwood is training you for a big fight, holding your punching bag and so forth, but at the end of the day you gotta step up and win the boxing match alone. And try not to get punched in the back by the exam.
I would recommend this subject, it's an exciting true beginning to an engineering career (ESD I pls).
« Last Edit: November 28, 2014, 12:31:24 am by inamagneticfield »

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #418 on: November 28, 2014, 03:42:09 pm »
Subject Code/Name:  PATH20003 Experimental Pathology

Workload:  1 x 1 hour lecture per week, 1 x laboratory (3 hours) or workshop (2 hours) session weekly.

Assessment:  Performance (10% - continuously assessed), 5 x practical reports of 1,000 words each (15% each = 75% - submitted fortnightly), one hour multiple choice exam (15%).

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  No past exam papers since it was the first time that the subject was offered, but there was a sample exam.

Textbook Recommendation:  None, but Robbins & Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease would be helpful. Pubmed is also useful.

Lecturer:  Jo Russell

Year & Semester of completion:  2014, Semester 2.

Rating:  4.5/5

Your Mark/Grade:  H1


Considering that this was the first time that the subject was offered, it was very well-organised and was a good complement to PATH20001. The topics covered are in a similar order to those of PATH20001, so again, it does make sense to do both if you are that way inclined.

In no particular order, the subject's content comprised haematology (namely, Haemophilia), forensic pathology, genetic disease, reversible and irreversible injury, and immune complex-mediated disease. Five topics and five reports - simple enough. The reports were supposed to be approximately 1,000 words each, but you will inevitably exceed the word limit. Despite University Policy indicating that penalties apply when the word limit is exceeded, demonstrators were quite lenient. That being said, waffling will prove costly. As always, check with your demonstrator, and I am sure that they will tell you how much you should look to write.

The lectures were helpful in indicating the content for the following weeks' practicals and workshops, and contained information pertinent to the exam.

Each week, there was either a practical or a workshop. They alternated on a weekly basis, and each practical corresponded to a workshop and vice versa. In the workshop, there was usually a series of questions to be answered that related to the practical.

The exam was exactly as it was billed to be; entirely multiple choice with questions relating back to the five topics covered, as well as some general pathology and practical technique.

Overall, it was a fantastic subject. The only reason I gave the subject 4.5 instead of 5 out of 5 is because I prefer Arts subjects, even though I am enrolled in Science. (So, take it as a 5/5.)


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #419 on: November 28, 2014, 08:32:44 pm »
Subject Code/Name: ACCT30001: Financial Accounting Theory

Workload: 2x 1-hour Lecture, 1x 1-hour Workshop

Assessment: 70% 3-hour Final Exam, 30% 1.5-hour Midsemester Test

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  No - Matt doesn't provide any past midsem/final exams, just a few practice questions which may or may not be helpful

Textbook Recommendation:  Financial Accounting Theory (Scott) - yep, recommended (must read, actually) as some answers to final exam questions can be found on the book, also, it's really helpful as it does contain examinable topics that could not be put in the lectures due to time restraint

Lecturer: Matt Pinnuck

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2 2014

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1


FAT is like the driest subject ever (as if accounting's not dry enough, let's put some theory in it). Previous accounting subjects are waaay more interesting than this. However, FAT is quite a good subject in that it gives accounting students a firm foundation of what accounting is and why it exists. It's not your typical debit-credit financial accounting stuff - it's all theory.

The course tackles topics on behavioural finance such as market efficiency, rational decision theory, behavioural biases, risk aversion/neutrality, etc. and is essentially made up of 2 components: adverse selection (valuation objective) and moral hazard (contracting objective), both of which are problems associated with information asymmetry and connected with the purpose (or rather purposes) of financial accounting information. It also seeks to explain why inefficient financial markets and managerial labour markets impact demand for accounting information (cost and fair value) and accounting regulation. I guess you're bored already just reading this.

The good thing about lectures is that Matt is a really lively and funny bloke. He loves to crack jokes (even though nobody else laughs with him), but yeah, he does keep the lecture hall alive. Attending lectures is really not necessary. But take note of what he says (warning: he talks fast), whether or not it's included in the lecture slides -they're very important, and sometimes, what he says off the slides is more important than what's actually written on the slides. Overall, lectures are not that interesting but at least it's not THAT boring.

Workshops are good in that there's really some in-depth discussion going on among the class (I found that 3rd year students are more opinionated and are less shy to contribute to tute discussions). Workshops have structure, which is always good. My workshop leader (Priyanka) is lovely, she always gives super important summaries at the start and runs through more important 'exam-like' workshop questions. Attendance to workshop is not required, and solutions to workshop questions are uploaded weekly, but workshop discussions give really good insights which can be useful in the exam.

Midsemester exam's pretty easy, average and median score was H1. One just really has to exert an effort to deeply understand the theories - important people, argument, evidence, implications, counter-arguments, etc. There's not a lot to study for the midsem, and the computation questions are pretty easy (basic CAPM). The midsem is all multiple choice. Some people seem to find multiple choice better, but IMO it's harder than essay-type tests!

Final exam is definitely much easier than the midsemester. In our case, it was a 13-question essay-type theory (and some computational) questions. The unfortunate thing is ALL TOPICS are equally examinable, so lots of studying must be done. Again, one must be able to 'master' the theories by heart. I even made an intricate diagram of topics, which is useful due to the fact that almost all FAT topics are interconnected. One piece of advice is when you're studying for the final exam, try to incorporate each topic with previous topics. What they look for in exam answers is (1) how in-depth you have explained the theory appropriate for the situation, and (2) how well you have inter-related that theory with other theories discussed in the subject. There were also some questions which ask you to regurgitate lecture slides, especially the strengths-weaknesses type of questions - thus, you need to be able to memorise key points of comparison, and be able to write it in an exam question. Calculations are easy, it's mostly Bayes theorem and expected utilities so mastery is just the key. We were also asked to make an 'ideal-conditions' balance sheet and income statement, so just be ready with that. Again, the only difficult thing about the exam is studying for it. Once you've studied well, it's just a matter of writing down what you've learned.

The only thing I would have asked is for Matt to give out past exams, or at least give MORE practice questions. And also to stop being a chatterbox (he likes to talk too much to the point that often he couldn't finish the lecture slides on time).

Again, despite the dryness of this subject, I love this subject because it made me realise the essence and importance of accounting, and why accounting and accountants exist in the first place. It kinda gives you a sense of purpose as a future accounting professional *or perhaps it's just my cheesy self*.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2015, 03:17:32 am by jtvg »