Despite the stress dreams, and my uncontrollable blinking right eye I actually quite enjoy exams. It’s the opportunity to pull everything you’ve learned together, and closure to a year of studying. Over the years I’ve developed a process and there is comfort in that ritual.
Instead of hiding from the exam papers I like to embrace them. I’m nerdy and create a simple matrix breaking down the topics covered year by year. It is not so much that I am looking for patterns it’s just a good way to see what comes up, and then I use this to focus my revision. You see my weakness is that I want to revise everything instead of picking three to six topics per course. I panic. The Greek chorus starts whispering in my ear “No, you need to revise EVERYTHING what happens if there are ten essay questions on Archaic Greek poetry and you focused on comedy, seclusion and religion. YOU FOOL!”. I believe they are the same chorus responsible for my over packing whenever I go on holiday – I must work hard to resist them in all instances.
Last year I did a course on Pompeii, and did well in the exam because I put the sources front and center to my revision. Since it was an archaeological based class that made sense. If you get a question on Romans and bathing it doesn’t matter if you know everything about their ablution habits if you can’t reference any evidence of actual baths to back up your argument (and secondary sources help to). So this year I’ve gone through each course, and listed out the sources per topic. This is going to be the backbone to my revision plan.
So that’s how I am tackling things this year – how are you?