In search of…EXAM SUCCESS
14 April 2010
Buried amidst a pile of paperwork, lecture-handouts and scantily read textbooks, sits a forlorn-looking final year law student, who, in an ironically timed moment of inspiration, chooses to write about his last-ditch attempt to salvage a respectable degree classification.
Yes, dear reader, it’s that time of year again. It was as if it were yesterday that promises of hard work ‘this time’ rung fresh in the Autumnal campus breeze. That fresh, optimistic gust has developed into that all-too-familiar putrid blend of stress, three-showerless days and Red-Bull.
When blankly staring out of the window, desperately searching for a bright idea, I got thinking about the various types of student that emerge in exam season and the different tactics that these individuals use in order to get through an extremely tough time of year.
The following list is not exhaustive, please feel free to compare, criticise or even add your own. If I may also add that any similarities to actual students are merely coincidental, though I’m sure that you can all find a likeness or two somewhere…
The friend-in need (FiN)
The ‘out-of-the-blue’ text beginning: ‘heya buddy/pal/matey/anything that softens the impending request’ is the sign that the friend-in-need is lurking somewhere close.
Whether it is to borrow your textbook, notes, essay, or shirt off your back, the FiN is a desperate soul, willing to resort to extortion, or worse, a cringe-worthy compliment in order to get what they want.
The friend indeed (FI):
The friend indeed has worked, all year, attended every lecture and arrived, prepared for every seminar only to sacrifice it all in one moment of generous weakness to his needier counterpart. The FI can often be found with a chip on their shoulder, but knows that, having done their good deed they now hold leverage, which is always useful…
Despite managing to attend every social function this year, which is more than can be said for their attendance in lectures: once, hungover. The sly-dog rarely admits to work, claiming to be utterly unprepared for every exam, yet a Zen-like tranquil aura suggests otherwise. Judging by the wry smile that emerges on the face of the sly-dog when the results are out, you know the game is up: ‘OMG 68%?!’ Yeah right.
Huddled in the corner of the library, sits the insomniac. Often overheard mumbling inane nonsense, in-between frequent bathroom breaks (courtesy of a caffeine overdose), the insomniac has been working for one week, is wound-up tighter than a spring, and is ready to snap. Approach if you dare…
After a year of promising personal tutors, graduate recruitment, and their parents that this year was THE year, the optimists, in April, are in their prime, convincing even themselves that a 1st class honours isn’t out of the question. Deluded? Lets hope not!
‘Well I have organised my folder; annotated, read and colour-coded all of the extra reading; arranged 1,000 revision cards into alphabetical order; and have just popped in to see my tutor to collect the exam practice questions I wrote. I still feel that I am forgetting something though…’ The kitchen sink perhaps?
Being the ONE person from the year group to have actually secured a training contract (and in September, the lucky devil!) has left the smooth-talker with an inflated sense of self worth and a far more relaxed attitude to final exams. Revision? Why bother?
As jealous onlookers viciously speculate as to what exactly this individual had to do in order to secure this most coveted position, the smooth-talker nonchalantly discusses diamonds, Aston Martins and exotic holidays that will surely all become de rigueur in only a few years’ time.
And who am I? Well, arguably a blend of all six, with an added touch of:
The Procrastinator will resort to any measure to delay the inevitable onset of work and difficult learning. In order to achieve this, they will go to extreme lengths to postpone revision such as blog writing. Oh, wait…
Until next time. xx