Sunday, 27 May 2012

Stops and Starts

I can't even remember what it was like to not be in school. We've had nursery and pre-school and junior school and senior school and sixth form and now, finally, study leave at the end of it all. With a eight or nine exams to populate it.

I'm writing this on Sunday, we left school on Tuesday, and in between then I've managed to get two of the nine exams I must complete to get into uni, out of the way. I don't have another until the 11th of June, which is a nice long break, and gives me good time to get in some good healthy procrastination. It's weird being back in the exam hall. The last exam I did was my retake back in January, and the fact that I had to go to an external exam centre to do it actually made it feel like much more of a big deal than these two.

The thing is, you're just so distracted during this last term that the exams kind of creep up on you. It started about a month ago, in Maths, when we suddenly realised it was one month to go until our first Maths exam; Statistics. We sort of chatted about how horrible that was, and how none of us were prepared, and how weird it was that the exam was so soon. Then, suddenly, it was a Wednesday afternoon and I was sitting in a lesson, thinking 'in exactly 7 days I'll be sitting in the exam hall doing my other Philosophy retake.'

It hasn't really hit me yet that I've left. We've still got lots of other things coming up after exams; barbecues, balls, a celebratory evening or two, but we'll never again experience the regimented life of the school day; we'll never have to complain about dragging ourselves in half asleep on a Monday morning, never have to do any more 'homework,' never have to complain about the younger years skipping ahead in the lunch queue. I was really, really, really lucky to go to such an amazing school. Most people aren't so lucky, but I was, and I guess writing this blog in some way helps me to give back by sharing the advice they have given us. Without our head of sixth form, head of careers, form tutors and all the other staff throughout our school years, I know for a fact that we would be completely lost when thinking about the concept of university. I've been vaguely thinking about going into teaching after my degree, and if I end up being anything like as good as them, then I'll consider myself very lucky.

So, the exams. My first exam, like I mentioned, was a Philosophy retake. Lesson #1 folks - try to get it right first time, because then you'll end up with less to do in the summer afterwards! It was even harder than it had been in January to try and cram all the stuff I'd learnt a year ago back into my brain, but I think I managed it more successfully than I did back in May last year, which was a useful affirmation of the fact that my former method of revision (typing out the textbook feverishly) really was a load of rubbish. It's strange and yet very familiar being back in the exam hall, with its rattling fan in the boiling heat, and I was glad to get out of there... only to zip back home and start cramming for Statistics on Thursday. I think I did ok in that one, although I found it hard without the comfort blanket of the mark scheme immediately within my reach, which had accompanied me while I slogged through past papers. The most annoying thing is when post-exam discussion means you realise you've done a question wrong, and there's nothing you can do about it, and yet that one mistake hangs over you more than anything else about the paper. I know some people go to look up mark schemes for maths papers immediately after they've completed them, but I'd warn against it - there's no point, it's better to just forget about it until 16th August and instead concentrate on doing as well as you can in your other exams.

Anyway, that's all from me for the moment! I'm going to try and tackle the mysteries of Student Finance this evening (I know, I know, I've left it so late) so should put in an update about that pretty soon. As always, if you have any queries or thoughts, let me know in the comments!


1 comment:

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