Tuesday, October 31, 2006

M263 & M253: The story so far...

Well I am know 4 weeks into both M263 and M253, and surprised that I have managed to keep up to date, seeing as everything was put on hold whilst revising for the M301 exam.

My objective for M263 is to get as far ahead as possible so that my work load is reduced for when I start M359 in Feb 2007. To achieve this I am hoping to be able to do a unit a week, which means I should have got up to unit 14 (out of 16) by the time M359 starts. For M253 I have to keep to the course time schedule as the course is all about working as a team and therefore have to take into consideration the speed at which the other team members are working to.

I am so far enjoying both courses, with studying M263 in the morning on the way to work and at lunch time, whilst studying M253 on the way home in the evening (FirstClass Personal is a god send for this).

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

M301: Finished!!!

With a huge sigh of relief, that is M301 finished after taking the exam yesterday. The exam itself was not too difficult and I answered questions 1, 2 and 4. The hard part was trying to remember specific aspects of the course text in amongst the myriad of information that we had to learn. For example one question asked us to list the 5 characteristics of a certain feature, and could I remember them? NO!!! Eventually I managed to dig up from the depths 2, possibly 3 of the characteristics, but know I have lost points on the particular question. I really do hate those sorts of questions and if I hadn’t learnt verbatim the definition of some of the keywords I would have lost at least another 4 points. In my opinion those types of questions do not you’re your understanding of the course as a whole, it is all most like having to learn the highway code before a driving test and then forgetting about it immediately after the test.

My aim has always been a grade 1 but I am now lowering my expectations and hoping for a grade 2. Will have to wait until Decemeber to find out what I actually end up with.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

OU: Silence

The reason for my recent lack of blog entries is due to the fact that I am intensely revising for the forthcoming M301 exam on the 16th Oct. Even though I have received the course materials for my next 2 courses, M253 and M263, I have not yet taken a look at them.

If anyone is interested, below is my M301 Exam Strategy and Revision Plan:

Exam Strategy
  • I feel reasonably confident with Java having just recently finished M254 “Java Everywhere”.
  • The same applies with UML having done M206 “Computing: An Object-Oriented Approach” last year.
  • Therefore aiming for high marks from questions 1 and 4, as these are my stronger areas.
  • Weak on blocks 2 and 3, but more comfortable with block 2. Therefore will look at doing question 2, even though some of block 3 might overlap into question 2.
Revision Plan - Overview
Week 1 (11.Sept – 17.Sept)
  • Review TMA’s and past exam papers, identifying common areas.
Week 2 (18.Sept – 24.Sept)
  • Revise Block 1 “Introduction to Java”. One section per day.
  • Each day of the week attempt one of question 1 from a past paper (i.e. Monday, Q1 from 2001 paper, Tuesday Q1 from 2002 paper, and so on).
Week 3 & 4 (25.Sept – 08.Oct)
  • Revise Block 2 “Concurrency 1” and bits of Block 3 “Concurrency 2”. One section per day.
  • Each day of the week attempt one of question 2 from a past paper.
Week 5 (09.Oct – 15.Oct)
  • Revise Block 4 “Basic Object-orientated Software Development with UML”. One section per day.
  • Each day of the week attempt one of question 4 from a past paper.