International Engineering Ambassadors
Insight into the life & course of international students.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

First term of MECHANICAL ENGINEERING: all about Labs, Tutorials and lectures.

Written by: ALI RIAZ

Hello everyone, it’s me Ali Riaz. You must have read my previous article in which I explained how I wanted to be a mechanical engineer and how I feel after going halfway through this course.
You must be aware that Christmas break got over and everyone is back to their studies so I thought before moving forward with semester, I should give an overview of my first term as it might be helpful to the prospective students.
Time flies very quickly. I still remember the orientation week when I was curiously waiting to start a new phase of life i.e University life and now here I am halfway through this year.

After going through the 1st semester, I have realized that first years is all about attending lectures, completing tutorials and performing laboratory work.
I think attending lectures should be your priority if you are aspiring to pass your exam with good grades. Some people might not agree with me, but I have realized that you can have a strong grip over your coursework if you attend the lectures regularly. You get all the lectures notes and all the course material online at the universities’ web portal but lectures give you some extra material which you can never get to learn if you do self-study at home. I personally enjoy my lectures, although most of the days I have to wake up before 9 to reach on time but trust me it’s worth it.

Tutorials: YOU.CANT.REALLY.MISS.THEM. It is the place where you can get the answers to all of your problems. Tutorials usually take place twice a week and they basically focus on the tutorials sheets that are given to you after the end of every week lectures. I’m focusing on their importance because if you don’t understand anything during the lecture then it’s the best place to get your queries sorted out. Of course you can’t really get the answers to your questions during lectures as professors usually deliver the lecture and leave right after that.
I found them really useful as you study in a group of almost 5 people so you can confidently ask anything in front of them as the tutor encourages everyone to speak out loud if they have any problem.
My tutor opted a very unique technique. He, instead of solving the question himself, used to make us go to the white board and give a try to the question. This boosts up one’s self-confidence.
Besides tutorials and lectures we had different labs starting from gearbox and ending up at Friction. Since many of them were related to the topics we were studying in lectures, I found them really useful. Sometime you can’t really grasp enough information about the topic just from theoretical studying, so this practical work under the supervision of post grad students can give us a ray of hope. The demonstrator/ facilitators were always there during the lab to help us out with any problem we were facing in performing the lab. At the end, marks were also awarded for the particular lab. This sounds bit scary but that’s how it works!

Last but not the least, you do get assignments after every month for which you’re given enough time so no need to freak out. Everything goes smoothly, if you manage yourself!
My overall experience with first term was quite good and hope it would be good for you if you’re planning to study here. All the best.
Give a shout out if you have any questions.



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