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The First Three Weeks
Students have identified the first three weeks of the COSC 1P02 as being quite deceptive. To aid the student who may have little or no computer experience, the concepts presented in the first three weeks are quite easy to understand. The ease of the first three weeks may help foster a lack of perceived pressure. This leads many to slack-off early and leave studying until the pressure is on. By week four the pressure is on. The first 1P02 midterm occurs in week five. The material covered in the second assignment is on the midterm. The student who studies under pressure needs to study all of the concepts presented thus far, as well as complete the second assignment. The student who studies consistently from the first week has already learned the concepts presented earlier and needs only a short review to solidify their knowledge and may well have completed the second assignment early.
The combined workload of all courses of a student who studies under pressure becomes difficult to manage and certainly makes excelling unlikely. Now a workload that is past a healthy or possible level is needed in order to learn concepts in a way that gains a high average and a solid understanding. This unhealthy workload will make most students stressed out, possibly sick and unproductive when they most need to be productive, the final exam period. A student may now not have time to complete all the work, and may develop enough emotional pressure to cheat rather than risk even worse marks. A consistent workload is a must in Computer Science. Even the best students won't stay ahead, however they will be in a better position to get an A.