Throughout the past four years of my time as a student of the University of London, I have spent the best part of my summers mulling over reading lists. Don’t you all anticipate the new stationary, new books and new reading lists when exams still seem aeons away? The first day of holidays right after my last exam, I have downloaded the subject guides quite as if on autopilot. It has given me a rush of joy and immense satisfaction to discover in advance what the coming academic year holds for me.
Now that I am done with my exams, like many of you must be, my post-exam routine is a go-to activity. It is a ritual that I have perfected over the course of four years studying two different degrees through the University of London. The primary goal for this meditative process is to achieve a closure with the previous academic year. It always allows me to move on to the next task with a fresh perspective.
My examinations are over.
It is hard to believe, and right now I feel a bit lost. Suddenly my mornings are free, and although I have a to-do list for the forthcoming months (a pretty long one), there is some weirdness in this sudden lack of structure. I wanted to write here in part to counteract that feeling, but also to share with you some words of encouragement.
Hello I am Janathri Weeratunga and I am from Sri Lanka. I am currently a 2nd year LLB student with the University of London International Programmes. As many students, I too started my first year straight after my A/Ls and I was pretty enthusiastic (at least in the first few months). I was a newbie to law and I thought that it would be as easy as any A/L Art stream subject (which was a big mistake). My whole concept of university life and higher education was pretty much based on English novels found at any bookshop in Sri Lanka. So of course, without any doubt, I was imagining hard work, long walks, a bit of romance, fun and a load of new friends.
However within a few months of lectures I was forgetting all the hard work and just simply enjoying life on campus and my new found freedom. It is of course very easy to get carried away with the whole concept of “University” and the life there and I did learn my lesson in the hardest way possible. So I am writing this post now just to make sure that all of you first years know exactly what you are getting into. Trust me; an undergraduate degree in Law does require a lot of hard work . If you do not put in those long hours of work you will regret it in August when results come. We are about 3 months away from what I would describe as the most competitive exams I have ever faced.
So that’s it. All done. A BSc in Politics and International Relations. When I saw my exam results this week my reactions were relief (because I felt a bit glass-half-empty after the exams in May), joy (at getting three results over 70%) and pride at the overall First Class Honours degree I was awarded.
I won’t use the cliche “journey” but lots of aspects of my life have changed since I started the degree. Unlike full-time students that get sucked into the bell-jar of academia and pupate into “real world” graduates four years later, those of us studying through the University of London International Programmes have to blend studies with our daily realities. My academic studies – like many other distance learning students – was squeezed around the changing fortunes of one-and-a-half jobs, family commitments and curveballs like house moves.
Anytime you come home from a holiday and have to immediately use the words plumber and electrician you might feel like closing the door and heading straight back to your summer idyll. Long story, but it comes down to having no light in my office and no functioning sink in the kitchen. I knew when we returned that things were going to get a bit hectic but did not expect the need to wedge home repairs in to my schedule.
My professional office is based at home, thankfully. It gives me a great deal more flexibility that would be difficult to do without, even if I have no lighting and only limited espresso at the moment. And I did a lot of reading and studying along with my ordinary work while enjoying a change of scene. Still, the phrase Exam Registration Will Open On August 25… is right up there with requiring a plumber and an electrician upon opening the door after a few weeks away. That sinking feeling in the stomach is exactly the same. Repairs are underway as I debate the merits of registering for exams in October or waiting until May to sit my first paper.
My last papers have come and gone.
For now, I have finished.
I am certain that there are some people that haven’t finished yet.
To those people I say, hang in there. It’s almost over. Just make sure to do your best.
Keep calm. Breathe and focus.
Here are some tips for how I handle myself in the last few hours before the exam.
For the day before the exam, I read lightly and just do my best to go through some past years’ questions quickly. I don’t like to stress myself out before the exams so I read lightly. Mostly, I focus on trying to calm myself because I tend to get stressed rather easily. This works for me. But if you feel like you can and want to read more or practice more, go ahead. My tips are just how I handled it and I just want to share it out to see if other people might find them useful.
My fellow study mates!
Exams are soon upon us and so I have decided to take a break and tell you about my study pattern which worked for me during my LLB and seems to be working for me now as I read for my LLM. Hopefully it can assist you as well, especially those new to the University of London International Programmes (UoLIP).
By way of introduction, I am Philip Koonj Beharry, graduate of the UoLIP LLB programme, Class of 2012. I am currently an Attorney at Law in my home country of Trinidad and Tobago and I am also currently preparing for my first set of LLM exams with the UoLIP. My personal story can be found in this article on London Connection.
Well, there is less than a month to our exams. I just received my admission notice recently. I am sure everyone is filled with jitters. Personally, I am filled with jitters. Especially so when I realise that with each passing day, my exams are one day closer. It’s quite scary to know that your exams are so close and you still feel rather unprepared.
Well, it’s that time of the year again. It’s less than two months to our exams. I’m sure quite a few people are nervous and jittery.
Honestly, so am I. This is my final year if all goes well. However, I do feel rather nervous. I feel as if I am not focused enough, not working hard enough and not absorbing the knowledge as well as I did last year. I’m comparing this year to last year and I find that my performance is rather lacking.