My last exam was on Thursday and I’ve never felt more carefree – But the same could not be said for just a few days ago…You may already know that there are three overlapping papers between biomed and healthsci first year (check out one of my earlier blog posts here with the whole story). BIOSCI101 is the biomedder’s non-overlapping paper and as a result, you could say I haven’t been givin’ it as much love as my other papers.

In fact, I hadn’t even mustered up the motivation to attend a single lecture since the mid-semester break (what was I thinking?!). My BIOSCI107 exam was on Monday, after which my brain had been fried, so surely, I was incapable of doing anything even slightly productive that night. That left me a mere 2 days to get my life together.

As someone who crammed and jammed my way through high school, you could consider myself with some expertise in this area, so here’s to all the overwhelmed uni students (and high school students too!)

Throwback to me being a rad highschooler


1) WHERE TO START? You’re at the point where you don’t even know what you don’t know, and opening up a past paper is just gonna make you melt into a pool of your own tears. First things first, get out your trusty old course guide. Most courses at Auckland uni have a course guide which you can buy at the University Book Store. They have learning objectives, summarised notes & key slides lecture by lecture. Have a flick through this, highlighting what you think is important as you go…

The essentials

Tip #1: Time is of the essence at this stage…so make a plan of how you’re gonna spend your time for the next couple days.


2) Find yourself a computer (and close those sneaky facebook & youtube tabs…) and log into Canvas. Canvas is what the University of Auckland uses as its online learning system. Lecture recordings are uploaded to canvas and you can keep up with important announcements as well as doing online quizzes on here too. Most university lectures I’ve been to have been taught with a powerpoint and the slides are uploaded to canvas. Have a skim through these slides which will usually have more info than what’s in your course guide notes.

#Tip 2: Write things out! Sometimes old-fashioned written notes are the way to go – it helps you to remember things (and it’s an excuse to use pretty coloured pens too).

One does not simply learn glycolysis.

3) If you’re a little confused about a certain idea in the slides, THEN head over to watch the lecture recording for that lecture where the lecturer will explain the concept more thoroughly.

4) If you’re still a little bit unsure about what that certain idea is all about, THEN grab your textbook (after wiping off the dust…).

First time I’ve touched this all year.

5) Past papers are the key to succeeding in life. You can find past papers on the University of Auckland library website or some papers offer them as practice quizzes on Canvas too. Most exams tend to have a similar style year to year so they’re well worth doin’.

Tip #3: Yes to naps and No to all-nighters. I feel the main difference between uni and high school is the giant amount of content you are expected to know and learn, so having a good sleep is 101% required to remember and process all of this. If you find your eyes are droopy and you’re fighting to stay awake, then put down the coffee/energy drinks and take a snooooze. Sleepy brain = pointless cramming.

6) Relax…and remember the lecturers are on your side – they truly want you to succeed so are not gonna absolutely annihilate you in the exams. An actual question from my BIOSCI101 Exam:

Love makes the world go round.

7) Well…it’s Friday so let’s celebrate!!!