I’ve just enjoyed the final supper prior to completing Part II of the Natural Sciences Tripos, and a wave of nostalgia has appeared from nowhere. I’ve now returned to the UL to finish the final revision session before the final exam. I won’t miss the revision, as it’s pretty tedious, but tonight marks the end of an era.
My splendid revision companion AJ (who’s next to me revising for his Part II Chemistry – although right now he seems to be spending most of his time looking out of the window), also finishes his exams tomorrow morning.
I remember that it was with him, back in Easter Term of Part IA that we first ventured, as nervous freshers, into this venerable institution (established at some point around the 1270s judging by the dates on the “Major Benefactors” board in the entrance hall, although nobody really knows).
We instantly fell in love with this place, and revised here for the whole of Part IA, Part IB, and now Part II. However, AJ is graduating with his BA this year, to go off and do banking (or some nonsense related to finance at any rate), and so, once the bell tolls at 21:45 to close the Reading Room, it will be time to say “So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodnight” to our revision sessions together. I don’t know how many hundreds of hours we’ve spent revising in here, but it’s been a genuine pleasure. I couldn’t have done it without you!
So, today’s exam is now over, and I’m very pleased that there’s only O8 left. However, what’s rather exciting is the question as to whether there’ll be a mistake in the exam tomorrow. So far there have been mistakes in the last three that I’ve done, will the next one be kind enough as to lack an error in it? The C2 practical had a page of questions missing, the O7 practical had diagrams that printed incorrectly, and today’s O9 calculation question had an error in the equation we got given to work out magma chamber volume stuff. Anyway, dinner time soon, and then to the UL for the final evening of fun filled fact cramming!
Today’s exam represents 5% of this year’s grade, and 10% of the total time spent in examinations. 5% of the marks and 10% of the time spent in exams remain.
Well this makes a change, a morning post! I woke up quite early, having gone to bed quite early too (always nice not to have to face the harsh scream of the alarm clock), and headed to the UL. It’s proving reasonably popular these days, with 20 people waiting outside for it to open.
Also, I had a really strange dream last night. Essentially, I was in my grandparents’ garden trying to sneak up on a Capercaillie to take a photo of it (or what was defined in the dream as being a Capercaillie). In the dream it had yellow feathers on its tummy, and so was definitely not an actual Capercaillie, although the rest of it was black. I did eventually get a photo, but it was when it was running away (or strictly, swimming away, as the setting had changed to a lake by this point). Bit odd given that to my knowledge Capercaillies don’t/can’t swim, but that’s dreams for you! If interpreting random gibberish is your thing, comment below with your thoughts! For some classic Attenborough on Capercaillies, click here.
Update: Today’s exam is now done, I messed up half the first question by getting the plates muddled up (instead of treating them as diverging, I thought they were converging – not very clever…). Anyway, that little error has at most cost me 1% of this year’s total grade, but with method marks still potentially up for grabs, the probability is that <1% has been lost (so fingers crossed I won’t be close to a grade boundary)!
Today’s exam represents 5% of this year’s grade, and 10% of the total time spent in examinations. 10% of the marks and 20% of the time spent in exams remain.
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.
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.
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.
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.