It's been a while since I have blogged! A lot has happened to me in last year. I was admitted into Goethe Universitaet Frankfurt to Master's program in Wirtschaftsinformatik (Business informatics), with extreme luck I'd say, since they did not see that I don't have required DSH. Then I had to learn German, and eventually got DSH 3. And I also went and still going through legal troubles to get German passport.
Last semester went pretty tough for me. Not that I managed to switch from full-time job to part-time job only in the middle of the semester, due to possibility of losing work permit and consequently ability to apply for German passport, but I also had to pass all the preparatory economics courses during that semester (because of a mistake of my academic adviser, not telling me that I have to be done with them in first 2 semesters). Oh, and all of that was in German, which I still had troubles with.
But it all went pretty well. In the beginning of June I finally got permanent residence, which enabled me to switch to part-time job, and then after a short vacation I was day and night in the library, when not at work or in the lectures. I knew I had to work hard: first, I had to catch up with the material, second, I had to spend more time on material, because it was in German, and third, I had to pass all the exams not to be kicked out. And since usually in German universities the grade for the course comes from a single final exam at the end of the semester, I also needed concentration during finals' period. So I came up with something I call the pre-exam warm-up technique.
Most of exams in Uni Frankfurt last 1.5 hours, which is pretty short, so you don't want to loose any time. What I noticed before from exams, is that when you go in, it may take up to 10 minutes until your brain becomes fully focused on material. It's like the warm-up phase that athletes need to catch their "second wind". In 1.5 hour exam that is a lot of time, it's most likely the time you don't want to loose. So I did what I learned in Thai Boxing, that when you have a fight, you warm-up BEFORE entering the ring, so that in the ring your body is already warm and on its top performance. I warmed up my brain BEFORE entering the exam, so that I start the exam with my brain fully concentrated on the subject. I usually did this by coming around half an hour earlier to university, and repeating exam material, either by last-minute memorization, or just solving/skimming over practice problems. If the exam is early in the morning, I have to mention the importance of right sleeping: it's best if the night before the exam you sleep and then wake up 1-2 hours earlier than usual. The only break that you get is when you have to remove your books/materials right before the exam, but that is negligible, your brain is already awake enough to be on its top performance, but still has energy for 1.5 hours of exam.
This especially helped me a lot with one exam, where there are a lot of question, and there is barely time to finish them all. I finished it in the last minute right before I had to give it in, and consequently not only passed, but also got a pretty good grade from it. Overall, I passed all the exams in last semester, even thought not all of them with good grades, but I still feel good about it :) A month after the finals were over, I had to take DSH exam, which I also passed, so now I can continue my master's studies without any hindrance.
A new semester started now, and I am really looking forward it, I have a lot of interesting courses this semester. Good luck to all fellow students!