8 things I learnt from these exams
I find practice examinations very important in my preparation for the externals. I don’t know the results of these ones yet, but I’ve learnt a few things. I list them here:
- For crying out loud, kid, actually study. Not everything is as memorable as you think it is.
- Don’t go to sleep at half past midnight on the night before a morning exam. You’ll spend the exam fighting its onset. And believe it or not, fighting sleep does make it harder to do the exam. So, whatever you’re doing the previous night, get enough sleep.
- Do not, under any circumstances, equate ½ × 15 × 15 to get 15. It doesn’t work like that. It just doesn’t. So get the stuff right.
- Know your vocab. A sound knowledge of vocabulary is an essential part of learning a language — so they’re gonna test it.
- Don’t try to use the side of your pen cap to rule straight lines. The spine of your other booklet doesn’t work either. Use a ruler. And, for that matter, bring a ruler. You actually need it in your physics exam.
- Understand the texts. You can’t expect to know a few bits and pieces and put them together to make an essay. The criteria require an understanding of the things.
- Life gets harder when you’ve got nothing to write on. So, if they say to bring some, bring refill. It doesn’t help to run around desperately trying to find some seconds before the exam. If you need it, bring it.
- And did I mention actually study? Revision helps. Over-confidence doesn’t. So stop mucking around and try.
With any luck, I’ll remember these lessons for externals.