I now regret emailing my final exam in at 5am and going to bed, rather than staying up until the exam deadline at 10am to double check my calculations as much as possible. Even though I wasn't alert enough at 5am to solve the final question, I could have slowly checked through the working of the first nine questions to look for 'silly mistakes' (for example, in one of the tutorials I'd lost several easy marks by using the area of a circle formula instead of the volume of a sphere when calculating a density). A couple of extra marks in the final exam might have been enough to get an HD. Although I probably also needed to pick up some extra marks in the weekly tutorial assignments, and the prac report that only scored 7/10.
To qualify for a university medal at the end of the MAstron course I'll have to get at least half HD and half D grades (in order to acheive the minimum required GPA of 6.5) - so there's a big difference between getting a D or HD. This first course was apparently quite easy compared to the rest of the courses - which could be a good or a bad thing. On the one hand I may struggle to get top marks in the harder courses, but on the positive side the other students may get lower grades and remove the need for adjusting raw marks to 'the curve'. In the final (third) year it may also be harder to get an HD in the literature review and project subjects, as the grades for those subjects will depend more on the talent and originality shown in the reports, than just putting in enough hours of effort.
The subject next semester, 'Astronomy Instrumentation', is a bit more mathematical, so I'd better spend some time brushing up on my differential calculus and intergration (I have three weeks left before next semester commences). It's been thirty years since I last studied calculus, and I haven't used it much since then, so I need to spend some time working through the revision material available from http://www.mathcentre.ac.uk/
I also want to have a first read through the textbook 'Astrophysical Techniques' during the "holiday break".
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