My Exam Experience

Socrates quote: Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.

The more I studied, the more I realised I loved learning.

To be honest, before the exams, I was very worried. I felt unprepared but at the same time, I knew that if I was given as much time as I needed, I probably still feel unprepared.

This was as prepared as I can get.

I was scared because I was afraid that I would fail and failing means that I would have to repeat the year. The thought of repeating the year frustrated me. Doing this all over again felt overwhelming and because of that, I nearly had a meltdown.

However, as the exams came closer, the more I revised, the more I felt like the subject and I clicked.

It’s like a sudden clarity. 
Suddenly, I can see it in a new light. 
Suddenly, it all makes sense now.
I wouldn’t say that I completely understood it but I could see what it was trying to say now.

It’s odd. I spent my entire year learning and constantly revising, only managing to understand parts of this knowledge. But as the exams came closer, all these parts suddenly merged and now, I understood better.

In the end, the exams came and I found it rather challenging.

Each exam paper was different from the past years. They were different and they were tricky. It was interesting. I was caught off guard several times but I tried my best each time. Whether or not that is enough to pass, that, I don’t know.

However, I really learnt not to rely so much on past exam papers because the questions were really asked differently and not how I expected them to be. Well, past years are still important for practice but they cannot be used to gauge the next paper questions.

But what really made me frustrated was that for some papers, I didn’t have enough time to complete certain questions, or that I realized I had made a huge mistake the moment the examiners took away my paper.

When it’s your own mistakes, it’s hard because you blame yourself and you are angry with yourself. You beat yourself up and feel absolutely stupid. It’s a bad place to be.

I needed to stop blaming myself even though I made mistakes. I had to simply accept it and move on.

The only reason I could accept my mistakes and move on is because as the exams were happening, I began to realize that I love the subjects that I am taking and that love for those subjects was growing.

Once I gained sudden clarity of the subjects, the subjects suddenly became fun and interesting.

For example, I took Mathematics 1. All my life, I hated Mathematics. I was never good at it and so, it felt extremely hard. That was why I freaked out when I found out that I have to do Mathematics 1 without a calculator. I didn’t even like Mathematics with a calculator, I don’t think I can survive Mathematics without a calculator. I was mad and furious.

But at the same time, I had no choice. So I just studied and tried my best.

Even though I worked hard at it, I felt like it was still very difficult. However, when the exam came closer, I realized many things that I didn’t realize before. I wouldn’t say Mathematics became easy but at least, it wasn’t as complicated as I thought it was.

When the exam came, it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. It was doable. I don’t know if what I did was enough to pass but I truly did my best.

For the first time in years, I felt that Mathematics was not as daunting as it is. My hatred for Mathematics died off and that is really a shock to me because I spent all my life hating it.

Therefore, being in this course has truly pushed me and changed me.

As much as I found the course difficult, I realized that it was good for me.

The exams ended and all in all, it was an interesting exam experience.

So now all I can do is wait for my results.

I truly do not know if I will pass or fail.

But I can only hope for the best.

Carmen is studying the BSc Economics and Management in Malaysia.

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