Seriously though, the cathedral crypt is the worst place to sit an exam
That place is creepy AF
So, can someone please tell me whose bright idea it was to use this place as an exam room? Who on earth looked at that space and thought, "yes, this is the perfect place to write an essay"? The cathedral crypt is actually the worst place in the world to sit an exam. It's cold, and dark, and literally underneath a place of worship. Exam season is stressful enough without having to venture down into that place.
In the winter, it’s cold. In the summer, IT’S STILL COLD! I mean, this place is just constantly freezing. They recently brought in heaters to try fix it, but honestly it’s just not working. I mean, it’s literally underground, made of stone, and in the North of England. No amount of heaters is going to make that place feel warm.
Come rain or come shine, you’re stuck waiting outside – no matter what. This isn’t so bad in the summer, when you can spend those last few dreaded minutes cramming for your exam in the sunshine, rather than in the winter, when you are forced to shiver in the cold and can barely hold your notes because your hands are so numb. Waiting around before an exam is painful enough, without getting hypothermia.
You can never see the time. The 'exam halls' in this place are really long and thin, so if you're unlucky enough to get sat at the back you have no chance in hell of seeing the clock. There isn't even anywhere to put it on the wall, so it always has to be balanced on a chair or table. This makes matters even worse for the poor people at the back, and even if you are sat further forward, the clock will probably be wonky, meaning you'll have to tilt your head whenever you want to see the time. Not ideal.
It echoes. A lot. This place is literally made of stone, so whenever someone takes a step or coughs the sound reverberates around the hall for all to hear. To top this off, the doors are really heavy, and so slams every time someone leaves or enters the exam hall. And then that slam echoes as well. All this combined can make sitting in the crypt a very annoying and stressful experience.
When leaving your bags at the back of the room, you're forced to cram them into those weird metal cages. They're really oddly shaped, like oblongs, making it near impossible to fit anything neatly into them. The amount of time it takes you to put your stuff away will stress you out even more, and you'll cause a lot of congestion trying to get in and out of this area. And then when you inevitably leave early, you have to force your bag out of the cage that you crammed it into only an hour ago.
It's impossible to find the toilets. The girls ones are hidden away under the stairs, and god knows where the boys ones are. For a first timer, it's a test in itself to find them, and even those who have braved multiple exams in the crypt still struggle in remembering where they are.
The long, sinuous, staircase to get in and out is terrifying. Like the rest of the building, it's loud and echoey, but also difficult to navigate. You'll spend most of your journey into and out of an exam desperately trying not to trip up, or slip over.
So, basically, sitting an exam in the crypt is not an ideal experience. Most of us would much rather be in the familiarity of Mountford hall, or the warmth of the gym. Being in the crypt just makes exam season that little bit worse, but to be honest, sitting an exam is never that great no matter what room you're in.