Holly Lunt – I hate exam term

In her first column, keen fresher HOLLY LUNT tackles the evils of Exam Term.

a level anecdote column Easter Term exam term examiner Fresher Hell history holly lunt interactive Man nathan statue of sick vomit week 1

Hello to everyone reading my first column! I think writing for The Tab could be good fun, as well as an opportunity to express my opinion. I intend to provide an engaging and (hopefully) funny insight into the crazy world of Cambridge!

For my first column, I’d like to talk about the dreaded ‘exam term’. For those of you who don’t know, exam term is the final term at Cambridge and is also referred to as ‘Easter term’.

I really hate exam term. It just has that negative vibe to it. When it’s Michaelmas or Lent you can relax, have fun, chill out, and if you forget to hand in a bit of work it’s no problem at all! But in exam term things change. There’s a pressure to complete your work because of approaching exams, and this means relaxing and having fun are almost out of the question. Likewise, if you forget to hand in a bit of work then there are probably going to be consequences.

This will become compulsory

Now by this I don’t necessarily mean you’ll get told off by your supervisor (though I do know that this has happened to some people!) What I mean is that there will be consequences for you and your results in the forthcoming exams. If you forget to hand in a bit of work then that probably means you didn’t complete it properly. And if you didn’t complete a bit of work properly then you probably haven’t learnt everything you need to learn about that particular topic. This will have ramifications in the exam hall. What do I mean by this? Well, imagine you get a question on the topic that you failed to complete work for. Chances are you won’t be able to get full marks on that question.

The pressure of exam term can get too much for some of us. I’m sure many of the readers of The Tab will be feeling the pressure of exam term right now. Because of this pressure, many of us need support during exam term probably more so than we do the other terms: Michaelmas or Lent. What do I mean when I say support? Well, most people have friendships to help provide support, others Skype their parents, I have the special group that I’m part of to keep me on track towards my ultimate goal, and some use their JCR’s welfare support.

Organisation and revision are a must in exam term (some students have upwards of four exams to do). I have a revision timetable but there’s no guarantee I’ll stick to it. In fact I probably won’t!

Pretty to look at, but probably unachievable

I feel like I have been a bit serious about the pressures of exam term this week, so I’m going to end my column with a funny anecdote from my A-level exams:

It was the History paper. The exam started, but then all of a sudden Nathan started vomiting! It went everywhere. The floor, the desks – even on his shoes. He was covered! He looked like a walking statue of sick from hell. The invigilator almost vomited as well, I think because of the smell of vomit makes you want to vomit. I still remember the look on my face when he edged his way to the exit as I chanted ‘Vomit-man! Vomit-man!’ (In my head, because obviously you can’t speak in the exam).

That’s it for this week. I’m hoping this column to be as interactive as possible, so feel free to leave comments/feedback and hopefully we’ll get a discussion going.

Holly x