Getting ready for M208 and DB123

M208 workbooks
M208 study materials for the next year…

It’s that time of the year again.  Twitter is full of people posting images of all their books for new OU modules with excitement ahead of the October starts.  I was no exception with M208 and DB123  both on the cards for this year.

This year means the start of level 2 modules with M208 Pure Mathematics, which is a 60 point module (the equivalent of a half a normal university year) but also the 30 point DB123 Personal Finance as I had to complete level 1 in parallel if I was to start level 2 this year1.  So, in addition to a full time job at a start up company2 I am also doing the equivalent of 3/4 full time on a university course.

I’m a little nervous about this workload.  While I’ve got distinctions in the three modules I’ve done so far, it’s not been due to hard work on my part 3.  M208 is a step up as you’d expect for a level 2 module and this is also the first module where my result will actually count for the final degree classification.  The pace is high and I don’t think I’m going to get away with what I did for MS221.  I also have an extra module to do alongside and one that I’m not really interested in just to make up the points because I skipped the “easy start” pathway for maths.  I think this is where I’m going to struggle with motivation.

I’ve had the books for M208 for a week now, and have been studying as part of my commute.  However, with the general crush of people on both the train and tube, I’ve not managed as much as I was hoping.  The pace of M208 requires working through the books at the rate of one a week, and even though I’ve started 3 weeks early, I’ve managed about half that.  This does not bode well for my plan to get and stay ahead on M208 so I could pick up DB123 in parallel without much impact.

Still, it’s early days.  I only have a clash in the first tutorials for both modules and the TMAs are pretty well spaced out.  But I do know I’ll have to keep the pace so I don’t fall behind as there’s no room to catch up… and if you see someone on the train with OU books, please try to give them a bit of space 🙂

  1. I’m still grumpy about this – I wanted to use my spare 30 points for the really interesting level 3 modules but since I started, this is no longer possible
  2.  Which as you can imagine is not something that can be contained to normal working hours…
  3.  Indeed, I’ve been doing probably slightly less than the bare minimum and getting away with it only because this is all stuff I’ve covered before.  M208 isn’t going to be as easy I know…

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Dr Janet is a Molecular Biochemistry graduate from Oxford University with a doctorate in Computational Neuroscience from Sussex. I’m currently studying for a third degree in Mathematics with Open University. During the day, and sometimes out of hours, I work as a Chief Science Officer. You can read all about that on my LinkedIn page.