Eleanor Lam
Created: 4 months, 3 weeks ago
Last modified: 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Collections can be very daunting when you have just joined university, with this year’s freshers having just sat their first collections. Don’t worry; they are purely to make sure you have understood the content that you have been learning and make sure that you are doing alright. It is best to view them as a learning opportunity. Also, they get easier to deal with, so don’t stress!

For those new to Oxford, collections are mock exams that you typically sit in 0th week (the week before term starts). These mocks will usually examine the modules that you completed in the previous term.

While collections can be challenging to prepare for, especially over the holidays, there are ways to make the process easier. The first point that should be made is, please don’t stress over them, make sure to take time off from work to enjoy your holiday and recover from the previous term (it will benefit your mental and physical health in the long run). In terms of making revision notes, I would advise that you make your notes immediately after term finishes so that the information is fresh in your mind, and that way, your notes will be of good quality and helpful to study from when you start revising. It will also help to finish any work that you didn’t complete during term immediately after term ends, so that you are not overwhelmed when you return from the vac. Thirdly, most colleges use past papers for collections, so it is hugely beneficial to look over past papers and practice answering past paper questions. However, make sure you have downloaded the past papers onto your computer before you leave Oxford as accessing past papers outside of Oxford can be complicated. Make sure that you leave yourself enough time to revise. If you know the material well, you won’t need as much time to cover the content but if you don’t, anticipate this and make sure your work schedule reflects this. Usually, starting revision at the end of -1th week/ start of 0th week will be fine for most subjects, but this will depend on the number of collections you have. Finally, don’t worry about what other students are doing; as long as your studying schedule works for you, then there is no reason to stress. It’s so easy to get obsessed over how much work others around you are doing. Still, it’s important to remember that people absorb information at different speeds and revise in different ways.

At the end of the day, a top tip is to avoid worrying over these mock exams. Collections are helpful in informing you which examined areas you are strong on, and which need a bit more work. It’s always better to make mistakes during the collections and then fix them, than making the mistakes during the final exam!