Plan for success
• The point of planning • Essays • Oral presentations and vivas • Practicals
'And all your notes,' said Dorothea… 'All those rows of volumes–will
you not make up your mind what part of them you will use, and begin
to write the book which will make your vast knowledge useful to the
George Eliot, Middlemarch
If you've read Chapter 5, you must realise by now that the success of your exams rests rather less on how much you know, and rather more on what you can do with what you know.
There will always be a voice inside your head nagging you to spend more time reading in libraries because you feel you ought to accumulate more wisdom. It's precisely because at higher levels of education you can never know enough, that knowledge alone doesn't necessarily pay dividends. Rather than accumulating piles of notes (or feeling that you ought to), learn to do something useful with the ideas you already have. In other words, learn to plan.
Planning = making use of knowledge
If the thought of planning makes you groan, look back at the examiners' comments in Chapter 5 (see page 110): they show how few students plan their work properly.