Writing essays and exam papers – an international student perspective


Being an international student, studying in the UK is a completely new experience. Be it essay writing or an exam, it is verydifferent – a distinctive way of preparing and bringing the learning together. But as I grow in my learning journey, I realise it enhances my analytical skills, broadens my perspective and betters my understanding of applying theories in the practical world. There’s a long way to go but I love this unique experience.

To write a good essay I look at the central theme of the essay and seek to understand what is asked from the essay topic. Once I understand, I seek further information on the subject through books, lecture notes and journals. This helps me to plan the structure.

Extensive research is really important to tackle the crucial aspect of referencing. My tutor advises me to use the Harvard style of referencing so I followed that. I was always careful with word limits, English Grammar and the deadlines. It’s difficult, but finishing my essay a day before always gives me time to reflect and do some proofreading.

Now I’ve completed all of my essays, I am busy preparing for my exam. I understand from my professor that it’s important to show evidence of wider reading and to demonstrate a high level of critical thinking to answer a question. I am having a busy time reading lots of journals, articles and books. Let’s see if I can bring a unique approach that may sound interesting and different to the professor!

Talking to close friends helps with study, they not only motivate me to keep going but they are also amazing. I love my friend from Nigeria who makes me smile with all her lovely talks on those tedious sleepless nights. I also feel grateful to have tutors who help me with any queries and deliver wonderful knowledge sharing sessions.

Wish me luck, folks!

Keep Calm – Study hard – Alan Gilbert Learning Commons

Keep Calm – Study hard – Alan Gilbert Learning Commons


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Reetu Jain

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