Thursday, May 26, 2011

Exam Day!

Today was my history exam. It's one of those things that, though you spend a ton of time preparing for it, you never expect it to actually arrive. On one hand, I was glad to get it over with. On the other, I wanted to study for the rest of my life.

My exam was at 2:30, and I decided to find the test location and study away from any possible distractions for an hour beforehand. I found the room and was told by another girl who happened to be there (who was also American) that I needed to know my seat number. I did not know my seat number. Thankfully, they post these outside the room... except that neither of our class' titles were up there. We found out later that those lists were for the exams that had happened at ten this morning. Finally, the proper lists were posted and we could find our numbers.

Everyone showed up really early, and as there are about one hundred and fifty desks in the exam room, that's a lot of people to have milling around for forty-five minutes. When 2:20 rolled around, we were let into the room, but only after we showed our i.d.s, because people often sneak in just to take a test for fun :p We had to leave our bags on the side of the room before going to our assigned seats. In addition to my history class, there was a German class and one other that I don't know the name of.

The booklets we used look a little like PSSA booklets, but with less annoying bubbles to fill in on the front. The guy running the exam time bears the title of "invigilator" which, to me, sounds like someone who leads you in a really intense workout routine or someone who will kill you with a machine gun if he catches you cheating. (The last page of the test bore the sentence "This is the end of the booklet If you need more paper, please ask the invigilator." My exam-addled mind, however, read it as, "Please ask the alligator.")

The exam room is the sort of thing you would only expect in the movies. Besides the obscene number of desks and people, there was a clock hanging on a big post as well as a chalk board that had the start and end times (written in miliary time) for each individual exam.

When we were finally allowed to start, I turned to the questions page and immediately saw that I shouldn't have studied so much. While I wouldn't have been able to answer all of the questions in essay form, I definitely could have done more than the required two. I was really nervous because it was an essay exam, and the last one I took (back at Arcadia) didn't go so well. However, the last one was also on a subject I didn't like. I liked this one, and once I quickly outlined what I wanted to talk about in each essay and began to write, it was just like all of the other essay exams I've done: tedious and not very enjoyable, but not terrible either. I think I did all right- there was a lot more I wanted to say in my first essay, but I had already used up an hour on it and had to move on.

I used an hour and forty-five minutes of the time, but couldn't leave because everyone has to stay in the room for the last fifteen minutes. So I sat there and listened to the rain pour outside (it's been a terrible rainy day today) and felt the tube roar underneath me (kind of loud and distracting during an exam, especially since it happens every two minutes or so.)

When we were released, I think I heard everyone audibly sigh as they left the room. Those exams are ridiculous- not necessarily because of their level of difficulty, though they are hard, but because they scare you into studying so much that to emerge from the exam alive feels like the sweetest freedom you could ever have.

I am very happy to be completely finished my junior year of college, even if it does mean I have to be a senior in the fall. Now I can just enjoy my last few weeks in London without worry about homework or studying. I got some yummy Indian food on Brick Lane to celebrate and now I am going to... well, do whatever the heck I want because I can!


Anonymous said...

You have not only completed your junior year, but ending it achieving many things you wanted to do.. and some of them, even while studying abroad.
Your summer has begun.

Aziza said...


I've been reading your blog for a long time and I must say I love it!

It is really interesting to me, especially since I will be in London starting from September, studying for a Masters degree!

If it's not too much to ask, can you help me and other people like me with a couple posts regarding your stay here? Things like what not to forget at home, what to do while you're here....etc. What do you think?

Have a nice summer!

Anonymous said...

Sure, Diana. Now that I have free time, I can definitely do that!


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