Room 101

Today was always going to be unpleasant, that was never in any doubt.  7.5 hours of sitting in an exam hall Room 101 feeling horribly confused was never going to be fun, but the bonus of doing geology practicals is that you get given sweets on your desk to eat during the paper, so it all evens out really.

However, today is finished, so that’s good, and I’m not dead, which is also good.  The C1 paper was alright, although we started late as we had to wait for an examiner who was late (and shall remain nameless). JJ’s question was entertaining as always, JR gave us a beauty, but NW’s was a nightmare (but everyone thought so – every person I spoke to about it got different answers from anyone else – so it could have been worse).  C2 was quite… challenging, and didn’t really go brilliantly. We also got TH rushing in halfway through to give us a page that was missing from the question sheet which was exciting.  He invigilated for us at the end, and came round with extra sweets which was really kind of him, it definitely cheered me up!  His question was pretty tricky, but he’s such a nice guy, so I don’t really mind.

Anyway, I’m back in the UL now, writing this before getting on with some O7 revision for the paper tomorrow afternoon.  Such fun!  I’d definitely not rather be eating pizza outside in the sun in the college gardens with everyone who’s already finished…

Today’s exams represent 10% of this year’s grade, and 24% of the total time spent in examinations. 15% of the marks and 29% of the time spent in exams remain.

Here Comes the Sun

The final full day of studying is upon me, and what better way to use the time wisely than to have a lie in?  Ok, so this morning’s work plan didn’t quite work out, but after a decent lunch (including some rather nice trifle) I’m now getting on with some past practical questions (or rather, trying to and failing miserably)!

Tomorrow’s going to be a bit tough, as I have 7.5 hours of exams (starting at 08:30, and not finishing until 17:45), but once tomorrow’s done, it’s only three three and a bit hour papers left until it’s finished (aside from the viva that is!), so that’s not too bad.

Most of my friends have finished their exams, so with that, and the sudden change from the cold wind and rain arrangement, to it actually being nice weather, it’s proving difficult to concentrate on the revision this afternoon!

Keep Calm and Think of May Week

Essays are now over, what a relief! The last paper was ok with only a bit of making stuff up and hoping for the best involved.

Afterwards I met up with my sister and mother as it’s my sister’s birthday today. Now I’m off to the pub to celebrate the end of essays!

Today’s exam represents 17% of this year’s grade, and 12% of the total time spent in examinations. 25% of the marks and 53% of the time spent in exams remain.

Once More Unto the Breach Dear Friends

Three essay papers done, only one left.  Thank goodness for that, I’m getting rather bored of writing essays now!  Two of the essays in this exams went alright, but the third went rather pear shaped to say the least (where “pear shaped” = made up something random and hoped for the best)…  Fortunately, I wasn’t the only person who messed this question up, and a considerable proportion of the year disliked this paper, so it could be worse!  Dinner is soon, then off to the library for the penultimate essay cramming session!

Today’s exam represents 17% of this year’s grade, and 12% of the total time spent in examinations. 42% of the marks and 65% of the time spent in exams remain.  I’ve never been especially fond of essays, and soon they’ll be over (at least until next year that is).  One more UL evening beckons, before it is only practical papers that are the problem.

Here Be Dragons

Day two of ten can safely be considered completed.  Whether it can be classed as successfully completed however is anyone’s guess, although it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting.  It’s good to get the core paper out of the way, and, with it being in the morning, I’ve still got this afternoon to get to grips with the option courses, which are the subject of the exams tomorrow and Friday.  Today’s exam represents 17% of this year’s grade, and 12% of the total time spent in examinations. 59% of the marks and 76% of the time spent in exams remain.

My book about the library arrived today, it looks pretty interesting, but I’ll have to wait until after the exams before I read it.

Before all that UL business, I think a hearty lunch is in order.

A Descent into the Maelström

The first is over, merely another eight remain.  Doesn’t sound great, but it’s a good start.  So, what question did I answer for the synoptic paper?  What could possibly be written about for three and three-quarter hours solid?  Well, I went for Exoplanets.  Turns out my astronomy keenness of several years is actually helpful!  I managed to get some random comments into the essay, including referring to “Davey Jones’ Locker”, whether aliens could speak fluent English or not, and porridge and Goldilocks and the Three Bears.  Overall it went surprisingly well.

We got sent emails today reminding us to hand in all our practical work next week.  I wasn’t aware of the fact that we needed to do this, and so there are large gaps in the practicals I’ve been able to locate. Cortisol levels are sky high at the moment, I’m not going to lie, especially with the core essays tomorrow!

For those of you who are interested, today’s exam represents 4% of this year’s grade, and 12% of the total time spent in examinations. Including the 20% of my grade that will be determined from my mapping project, 76% of the marks and 88% of the time spent in exams remain.

In other news, there was a third anonymous donation to my pigeon hole yesterday afternoon of a couple of packets of sweets.  Not sure who it was this time, but as before, whoever you are, you have my deep gratitude!

Fun things that have happened include the ordering of the Sedgwick Club stash (always nice to get some of that), and my book about the UL is now in the post (see my previous post entitled “Groundhog Day).  I also found a fiver that I didn’t know I had in a drawer which was nice.

Anyway, now that the first paper is over, it’s back to the UL for me alas.  The core paper is tomorrow morning, and with 4 essays to be written, it’ll be a morning filled with glorious fun!  Let the cramming commence!

NB: If you want to read the story after which this post is entitled, you may find it here.  It’s a good one!

The Calm Before the Storm

Today is a Bank Holiday Monday in the United Kingdom.  Well, that’s not technically true.  Today is a Bank Holiday Monday unless you’re a Cambridge undergraduate.  Some of my friends have exams today (although luckily I don’t).  As I’ve probably already mentioned, mine begin with gusto tomorrow, but the nightmares about them have already started (I’ve had three so far, hooray)!  On the bright side, owing to the totally arbitrary nature of the questions on the first paper, my revision for it this morning has consisted of me looking at interesting things in geology on the internet (and legitimately being able to say that it’s useful and relevant revision).

One anecdote springs to mind on the relationship between bank holidays and Cambridge.  One undergraduate, upon learning they had various lectures etc. on a Bank Holiday in exasperation asked their supervisor, “How come there are no Bank Holidays at Cambridge?”, the supervisor promptly replied, “Because Cambridge University existed long before the banks did”.  So there you have it, case closed.  Luckily however, the UL is open, which effectively saved my life.  Revising without the University Library is analogous to scuba diving without a tank of oxygen, it’s probably not going to end well (as the other libraries are either full, or have lots of people to talk to, the latter of which is enormous fun, but not conducive to studying at any great length)!

My exam timetable (the physical manifestation of stress), or “Satan” to its friends, looks like this (so expect a precipitous decline in the quality of prose on this blog over the next week or so!):