Today, I finished my last ever exam at Portsmouth University! Hooray! Back to bed for me!
BUT before I go back to ‘slobbing around’ as my mother so eloquently puts it, I thought to celebrate this momentous (and long awaited) event, I would describe every exam I have ever done ever and how I felt whilst I took them. Don’t worry. I’ll keep it brief.
Richard’s Guide to Every Exam He Has Ever Done Ever!
Chapter 1 – Revision
Uuuuurrrrgggh. Revision. No one likes revision. Going over stuff you have already been taught again and again and again? That sounds like someone’s definition of insanity…
Generally, I try to avoid revision at all costs. I don’t like it. It’s boring and it makes me grumpy. My girlfriend had to keep a constant eye on me whenever I was revising for this latest exam. Whenever she left the room, she would unsurprisingly find me doing something completely different. Like trying to say these as fast as possible.
Today I bumped into two friends in town sat on the side of the fountain on commercial road. I went over to them and asked them what they were up to. They looked around guiltily and mumbled ‘Revision’ before showing me their new nail polish and their now multi-coloured nails.( I’m looking at YOU Maria.)
No one likes revision. But sadly you have to do it. So I suggest buying large amounts of chocolate and temper the sour with the sweet. Push on through it. I believe in you.
Chapter 2 – The Pre- Pre-Exam
Revision is done. Hooray! Now you just need to get the exam over and done with! But… where was it again? And what time do you need to be there?
Last night I woke up 5 times. Each time I rolled over, checked the clock (At 4am that is particularly brutal), checked my alarm was still on for the right time, and then went back to sleep.
BEING LATE FOR AN EXAM IS BAD. DON’T DO IT. I am always extremely conscious of when the exam is and where I need to be. Sometimes, it drives me a little insane. Know where to be and when! Be there early! You are only messing it up for yourself if you are late.
I know. Exam scary. No want to go. But you just have to grin and bear it. Ok, you don’t even have to grin.
Chapter 3 –Pre-Exam
The waiting…. Arrrgggh the waiting!
So let’s say you’ve arrived 15 minutes before the exam starts (which is the suggested amount of time). You see your course mates! Huzzah! People who feel your pain! They can empathise with you! Your suffering will be eased for a few seconds!
You are going to talk about the exam. You know it. I know it.
They will ask about what you revised.
They will tell you about what they revised.
What if they tell you something wrong? They will ask you about things they are unsure about. You might not know the answer to their question. You might panic. What if you forgot to revise something? What if you don’t know what the definition of antidisestablishmentarianism is?
What if you are going to FAIL all because of this ONE THING you didn’t revise? Stay calm. Be confident in yourself. Try not to freak out and make it mess up your exam.
Then you are allowed to enter the exam room. A depressed march of lost souls, you all listlessly trudge towards your chosen seats.
Then, the waiting begins again! Yaaaay!
But this time, you can see your exam paper. You can juuust about make out the first question if you stare at the front page hard enough. But don’t touch it. You’ll get in trouble.
Chapter 4 – That Exam thing
Ok now you can touch the exam paper. The invigilator has read out those rules you have heard many times and know almost off by heart, and has said the magic words. YOU MAY NOW BEGIN.
You turned off your phone right?
Wow. Those questions look strange.
You don’t remember revising that.
Oh wait maybe it’s that thing about that thing…. Better look a bit further through the exam paper and see what’s coming.
I always do this. I look through the exam paper, reading all the questions and trying to mentally work out how many marks I can CONFIDENTLY achieve. Then I try and mentally work out if that is enough to pass. I don’t know why I do that, in fact it is quite a waste of exam time now I think about it. But it gives me a little bit more confidence during the exam and if there is anytime you need confidence it is then!
Take the exam paper one question at a time. Nice and slow. You have plenty of time. Don’t get all worked up if you don’t know how to answer a question. Move on. But come back to it later!
Even a random drawing of a squirrel achieving world domination might get you some marks! Never leave a blank space! Although I would probably advise against the squirrel thing too…
Chapter 5 –Post-exam
You finished the exam! One hour early…. Hmm. Sit around and chill for a while then.
Read through your answers again! Do it! I command you!
I know. Boring. But you might be able to squeeze a few extra marks out of that exam! Maybe put a top hat on that squirrel I mentioned earlier. Everyone loves top hats!
So then you ARE finished! Whether it was one hour earlier, right up to the last second or the invigilator snatched it out of your hands whilst you desperately scribbled out your final answer, it is over. No going back.
However, now you get the second batch of fun.
The ‘After’ talk with course mates.
“What did you do for question 5a?” “What did you think of that question about the squirrel?” “I did REALLY WELL in that exam! It was EASY!” “I’m going to FAIL!”
Nothing like a healthy dose of course mates to shatter your confidence in yourself and your exam right as you get out. They might get you questioning yourself, so I advise one thing.
Run. Get out of there. Go take part in your favourite relaxation activity. You have earned it. Don’t listen to them or what they say. You’re awesome.
And that is it really. My experience of every exam I’ve ever taken ever. Ok so maybe it was a bit long. I apologise. But maybe this little entry will help you in your future exams. Help you cope with the stress a little easier. We all have to do exams, so let’s do them to the best of our ability! Oh wait, I don’t need to do exams anymore! Ok, YOU do them to the best of your ability. I’m going to have a cup of tea.
Good luck everyone!