This last week, I have had exams.
exam, after exam, after exam. Finally, after 8 consecutive school-days (with an included weekend) of exams, they’re over, and so I thought I’d talk about my exams, and exams in general, now I have the brain capacity to think straight.
Here’s a quick idea of how my exams went, for my own record-keeping and for your perusal:
* These exams are organised in the order in which I took them. *
Maths: I was pretty happy with this one. I definitely didn’t get full marks, but this was a great exam to start with, as during it I realised the importance of CHECKING YOUR WORK. I had made so many silly little mistakes which would have lost me marks, but I checked and spotted them, and corrected them to gain that extra mark here and that extra mark there — they add up!
Music Performance: I had to play the clarinet, which was surprisingly quite relaxing, despite being an exam; I love playing my clarinet. I got my mark there and then: 24/30, or 80%, which was more than enough for me! Additionally, I know what to work on to get full makrs in my music performance GCSE recording, which will take place in October this year.
English (Literature): I am so glad I revised for as many hours as I did — I actually knew quotes, because the question we were given was quite similar to a question I had done for revision a night or two before. Thank you, God … if you’re out there, somewhere.
History: I love history, and so I do well in exams (hopefully) because I enjoy revising for them. I find history fascinating, and I really liked the questions that were set on the Korean War, and on Germany from 1890-1945.
Biology: I failed my last biology exam so, so badly — I got, like, 17/34? I feel like this one went better though: I didn’t stop and look at any question and go, “what?”. Again, checking my work proved to be invaluable, because I realised I had answered a 3 mark description question incorrectly, by describing the process for the opposite action to the one the exam paper had stated. Good work, L.
English (Language): I enjoy English Language, because I know HOW to answer the questions. Regardless, if you can’t find anything, make shit up — that’s what I do! Analysis of unseen poetry — my worst bit — went well, which gave me some well-needed confidence.
French: Oui, c’était bon. My French teacher came to see me on Friday, and said that although she couldn’t give me my grade, I had done really well, so that kick-started my weekend with a happy boom. It was only a reading and writing test, so that’s good.
Computing: Meh, it was OK … ish. (Yep, that’s it.)
Further Maths; so, because I’m blind, I have to do exams separate to everyone else; I get extra time, because reading Braille and so forth is slower than reading print. However, the maths department failed to inform my exam-person that they had changed the exam from non-calculator to calculator. I didn’t know this either; I spent 2 hours feeling so shit about myself, to find out 1.5 hours after the exam that I should have done it with a calculator. I have to redo it on Monday.
Chemistry: I love multiple choice. It’s the best. Chemistry went well though — I knew the content, which was a first.
Music: The actual music exam, with listening and writing and stuff, went alright. Everyone said that it was difficult, and I would agree with that, but I think I did well by my standards.
Physics: I was so tired by this point, I have no idea if I got anything right, but I think it was OK. I left o question because I had no idea what to do, but aside from that, it was OK.
Enough about self-centred me, though: I| want to talk about … uh, well … me.
As Sav said to me: “The thing is year 10 exams are the biggest thing you’ve done in your life so far so you’re gonna think it’s super difficult and important”.
These exams weren’t IMPORTANT: they won’t decide anything besides a tick or a cross on a piece of paper which will arrive on my doormat in 3 weeks time (or so). The thing is, in my head, I knew that they weren’t important, but I still stressed out so much for them. It was ridiculous, but even more so because it didn’t make sense.
What i’m getting at is remember to always take a minute, breathe, and think: “How important are these exams?”
Put things into perspective — think rationally. If they’re end of year exams, sure — they’re important. But are they important in the long-term or the short-term? Will this affect anything in the future?
And never forget:nothing is more important than your own mental health and wellbeing