Message from the Vice-Chancellor: First-semester exams

Posted on July 05, 2021

I know that this past year and a half have been unusual and trying at the best of times. Some of our students are halfway through a three-year programme without having experienced any of the usual on-campus activities or enjoying the surroundings on campus and walking from class to class.

As we approach the first round of examinations for the year, I would like to wish you all the very best of luck. Our students are extremely hardworking and I have no doubt that this quality of persevering towards the goal of success will stand you in good stead.

Our excellent hybrid teaching and learning model means that all the additional resources you require during this time are available on clickUP for your convenience. This allows you to revise and refresh your knowledge before exams at your own pace. Remember that a good way to be academically prepared throughout the semester is to prepare before class, engage during class, and consolidate or revise what you learn after class. This will help you maintain a good module mark throughout the term and stay on top of your assessments. However, if for whatever reason you were not able to obtain a module mark as high as you had hoped for, you can still excel at your examinations and thereby lift your overall mark.

I want to urge every student to not only study hard during the exam period, but to also look after yourself. Adhere to the national COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines. Be disciplined by having a study plan and following it. Stay at home, plan your time carefully, and get enough rest so that you can concentrate while you’re studying and writing your exams. Preparation is key when it comes to studying, so remember that you need to plan and manage your time well.

I also want to alert you all about the consequences of dishonesty and cheating in assignments and tests, especially now that much of our academic work and testing is taking place online. Cheating could open you up to criminal charges for fraud, and you can be disbarred from professional bodies and your degree can be revoked if it is discovered after you graduate that you cheated. Remember that examinations are a test of progress. This means that during the semester you should have worked consistently to ensure you have a good module mark. In this way you can go into the examinations in a strong position. It is better to do badly honestly than it is to be dishonest, get a good mark, and still not understand or know how to apply your knowledge.

I urge all students to sign the pledge for academic integrity and to commit to conducting yourself with the honesty and ethical behaviour that are hallmarks of THE UP WAY of life.

Examinations generate their own stressors; if you feel overwhelmed or anxious please remember that you are not alone. You can speak to a friend, family, a tutor, a lecturer, a Faculty Student Advisor, or your residence parents. I also encourage you to make use of our mental health services if you need emotional support. Please call 0800-747-747 or, if you want someone to call you back, send an SMS to 31393.

As we battle the current third wave and the deadly Delta variant of COVID-19, please stay at home and stay safe during the recess. You might pick up the virus and be asymptomatic, but you can pass the virus on to your parents or grandparents, and the results can be deadly. Use your time at home during lockdown to explore all the additional offers you get as a UP student that can help you succeed in the world beyond university. We have free, online training programmes to help you get ready to excel in the job market, or to provide you with the entrepreneurship skills needed to launch your own business.

Do your best, study hard to make today matter, and keep your eye on the finish line.

Over and above your hard work and good preparations, I wish you good luck!

Prof Tawana Kupe

Vice-Chancellor and Principal

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