The Exam Diaries

My ‘meticulous’ journal-ling of my GCSE journey from May to June 2015…


Day the First – May 11th

EXAM: Religious Studies (Ethics)

My Morning: I wake up feeling like it’s a normal day and then it hits me. Oh wait, this day isn’t normal. Then my brain decides to think “It’s the first day of the rest of my life!” but I have to shut that thought up real quickly before I turn into a Generic White Female protagonist from a cheesy chick flick. Read a Psalm about how God helps us when we’re feeling bad and feel kind of better about myself.

Arriving At School: I get to school super early. Like SUPER early. Like, so early that there are about 4 people in the cafeteria. My clock was fast. Yay. My friend is at school. YAY! Can revise with somebody… Then she starts screaming at me. She gets stressed. I am getting stressed so we pray. In the next half hour I end up praying with nearly everybody I see. Now Rianna is the prayer person, I’m PRACTICALLY the Chaplain. Isn’t this her job?

My Thoughts…

  • BEFORE THE EXAM: OK, God please get me through this exam. Please. Let it be easy. Please let there be something on Just War Theory, I studied that for an hour with Gabbster.
  • AFTER THE EXAM: Whew… Well… that was better than expected.

Day the Second – May 12th

EXAM: Biology (Unit 2 – Cells, Enzymes, Plants, Respiration etc.)

My Morning: Well, yesterdays exam wasn’t too bad. Wake up feeling like a Queen. (Which I am, so waking up feeling like myself is definitely a bonus). Also, I wake up with a smile, which is always good right? I mean, how hard can today be if yesterday’s was like that? Read another Psalm, probably the same one as yesterday. Psalm 121 is now officially my favourite one.

Arriving At School: Arrive on time. When I say on time, I mean 15 minutes later than I did yesterday. Learnt from that one. End up having a prayer circle with the Elms bunch again.

My Thoughts…

  • BEFORE THE EXAM: Yesterday’s exam was actually not bad. Let’s keep it that way.
  • AFTER THE EXAM: Uhm… where was the Biology? That exam was 70% Maths, Logic and Reasoning, 2% Biology and 100% Nonsense. Did I revise for Maths, Logic, Reasoning and Nonsense? No. I revised for Biology. LEAVES. You’re going to give me six marks for me telling you how to measure leaves?
  • Get out.

Day the Third – May 14th

EXAM: Chemistry (Unit 2 – Acids and Bases, Electrolysis, Rates of Reactions etc.)

My Morning: AQA, yesterday you betrayed me. Still really mad about that exam. If you betray me again, I am going to boycott you. Not sure how that will work out but… let’s just roll with it OK? Still really mad about that exam though. This morning, I am NOT smiling.

Arriving At School: STILL fuming about yesterday’s ‘so called’ Biology exam. Still feeling betrayed by AQA. How can they be allowed to write exams if they can’t even read and match the correct topics with the correct exam?

My Thoughts…

  • BEFORE THE EXAM: Still mad about yesterday’s exam.
  • AFTER THE EXAM: Well thank GOD because He must have made AQA realise that when you set students a two-year long syllabus with loads of key words and terms and specialist knowledge, you TEST them on ALL the content you put in the syllabus; not like 2% of it. God is on my side, the six-marker was on rates of reactions. AMEN. Jesus answers prayers.

Day the Fourth – May 15th

EXAM: Spanish Listening and Reading

My Morning: I don’t trust you anymore AQA. You made me trust you over a two-year period and you just ripped the carpet out from underneath my feet. I’m not sure what to expect really. I could end up sitting a History paper today… Wake up and pray that AQA have seen sense. This will now be my continual prayer for the rest of my AQA exams. I wake up with a sore throat and feeling a bit sick.

Arriving At School: My throat hurts. When Sazza comes in, I realise she has spread her germs. Thanks a bunch, Sazza. Love you, Sazza. Now I’m sick too. Thanks baby. I drink a carton of apple juice in an attempt to make my throat feel less like the depths of hell and more like the cooling, slippery texture of Aloe Vera… Except I hate Aloe Vera Juice. Yuck. Wait, what…? RIANNA CONCENTRATE!

My Thoughts…

  • BEFORE THE EXAM: OK, God please get me through this exam. Please. Let me stay awake. Don’t let me fall asleep during Listening because then I’m VERY stuffed.
  • AFTER THE EXAM: WHAT was that? The Listening paper made me lose the will to live. And also, about the Reading paper: What is wrong with Caroline being single? OK so maybe that is an issue in a generation where everyone thinks marriage is really important, but has anyone asked her WHY she is single? Maybe she is making a conscious choice. Did she have a relationship and mess it up? Did she have a complicated affair? Who knows. Why are her own family trying to make her feel bad about not being in a relationship? It’s ok Kazza, I’m here for you.

Day the Fifth – May 18th

EXAM: English Literature (‘The Woman In Black’ AND ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’)

My Morning: YAY, we have English. Woo. I have English. This is not going to be an exam this is going to be an hour and a quarter of pure JOY. No. That’s a joke. (At least for English Literature). I wake up feeling much better than last week, especially seeing as I slept for a lot of the weekend. But my stomach hurts…? Am I beginning to die? Probably. Message the group about the exam. Am informed we get a copy of the books on our table. WHY DID I NOT KNOW THIS BEFORE? WHY DID I SPEND MY LAST REVISION SESSION WITH SAZZA TRYING TO MEMORISE QUOTES?

Arriving At School: I eat a breakfast bar. I eat another one. I think I left my lunch at home. Congratulations Rianna, you are the real MVP. I go into the Elms bunch form room and end up having an actual prayer circle again with like… 10 people. My prayer is pretty quick and concise: “God, we haven’t read the books, so please let the questions be about the parts that we have read and discussed in class.” Manage to sum up both novels with two words each:

  1. The Woman In Black – Rational Protagonist
  2. To Kill A Mockingbird – Atticus Finch

My Thoughts…

  • BEFORE THE EXAM: Woman In Black… Uhm… Rational Protagonist. Pathetic Fallacy and uhh… Rational Protag… No, I said that already. It’s scary because… Heartbeat. No wait, I mean, sentence lengths. Reflect heartbeat. OK, OK, how about Mockingbird? Uhm… Tom is the mockingbird. Boo is the mockingbird. “In the house lived a malevolent phantom.” YES, got a quote about Boo. Atticus is the moral compass. Everyone should be like Atticus. “AND THAT IS WHY ‘TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD’ IS STILL RELEVANT IN TODAY’S SOCIETY.”
  • AFTER THE EXAM: Praise God. God answers prayers. If I had to paraphrase the questions:
  1. Woman In Black – Tell me about the two scariest events in the novel and why they are scary.
  2. To Kill A Mockingbird – Read this passage containing the CORE quote in the ENTIRE novel which the whole novel and story is practically BUILT UPON and then explain something about it. Part b) WHO IS THE MOCKINGBIRD IN THE STORY OTHER THAN TOM ROBINSON? WHY? HAVE YOU, RIANNA DAVIS, MIRACULOUSLY REMEMBERED A VERY RELEVANT QUOTE WHICH YOU CAN EXPAND UPON TO DESCRIBE HOW EVERYONE TREATS BOO RADL… Oh damn, I just told you the answer.
  • Jesus loves me.

Day the Sixth – May 19th

EXAM: Drama (Morning) AND Geography (Dynamic Planet – Afternoon)

My Morning: Why do I have two exams? What am I supposed to prioritise? Which one do I revise for? Not really very good at either… Well, there’s no way I’m missing this for the world. OF COURSE, my body has other ideas. Wake up late. Not just late. Also in intense pain. Cramps. Cramps. Cramps. Could you not have at least held out until the weekend? Then I also forget my lunch at home. Congrats Rianna, MVP of the week.

Arriving At School: I get to school JUST on time. Oh my goodness, I am terrified, run into the form room, dump my stuff with Babs while mumbling a request for her to put my stuff in my locker, grab my pencil case, DASH to the cafeteria and register. Grab a breakfast bar after I realise I haven’t eaten anything this morning. Go me. Once again, MVP. Cramps are subsiding, dosed up on paracetamol moments ago.

My Thoughts…

  • BEFORE THE EXAM (Drama): OK, God please get me through this exam. I can’t write well enough in Drama to save my life. Write for me. Also, I have cramps. Please pity me and help me through this alive. Let me get my timings right, OH MY GOODNESS so much to get right. Let me pass. At least a B… Actually, I’ll settle with a C, please God, anything but below a C.
  • AFTER THE EXAM (Drama): Well… that wasn’t TOO bad. At least the questions were quite straightforward and not too cryptic for me to spend half an hour picking the actual question apart. Thanks God. Maybe I got that C after all. Let’s just wait and see.

My Afternoon: Oh yes, how fabulous. Two exams in one day. I’m sure this will definitely be my best, considering how much I remember this topic. NOT. I’ll just breeze through my Geography folder and hope that whatever my eyes land upon turns up in my test. And whatever else that God will bring to my mind because otherwise, I’m not going to remember it.

My Thoughts…

  • BEFORE THE EXAM: Drama wasn’t too bad. Can we just have good questions please? I’m relying on you here Edexcel, to come through for me. I trust you. Don’t betray me like AQA did.
  • AFTER THE EXAM: …Feeling ever so slightly betrayed. A 2 mark question about volcanoes, a 6 mark question about Chad (I sooo nearly wrote ‘Sahel Belt’ as my case study, then I had to say to myself, no Rianna. Be more specific). Though, I guess it is good that I got an 8 marker about coral reef. But all those other marks…? Maybe I SCRAPED an A. Hopefully a B. I’d settle for a B for THAT paper to be entirely honest.

Day the Seventh – May 20th

EXAM: Physics (Forces and Motion, Radioactivity and Isotopes, Atoms etc.)

My Morning: PHYSICS. WHY PHYSICS. I HATE PHYSICS. But then I have this joyous realisation: this is the last day I will ever have to remember or learn anything Physics related. And now suddenly the exam can’t come soon enough. I wake up slightly groggy and tired; in a bad of a bad mood, but I don’t know why, though I suspect one of my conversations might have been the cause of this. Manage to eat some breakfast, which is good considering I have had a suspicious lack of appetite since last week Friday.

Arriving At School: The exam isn’t until the afternoon, so I don’t make a rush to leave the house. I arrive at school JUST about on time, but casually stroll through the gates. It’s great getting to go past the teachers in the corridors, especially when they ask you what year you’re in, and you tell them “Year 11” with satisfaction, as they let you pass. It is also great to see the other non-Year 11 students filter in behind you and the teacher shout, “Uhm, ladies, back outside please. Only Year 11’s can come in before the bell rings.” Hee. Hee. Feel so impressed.

  • Mostly sit through the rest of school on my laptop writing. I answer some questions on Physics but try not to discuss it with anyone, because it has taken me the space of 3 weeks to manage to learn (and retain) the entire P2 syllabus… I’m not giving anyone the chance to confuse me.

My Thoughts…

  • BEFORE THE EXAM: Right, God, I hate this god-forsaken subject. Please just help me to remember everything that I need to remember. I have a (smaller) prayer circle with the Elms bunch + my non-best friend Babs. I don’t feel as anxious as I suppose I should be about a subject that I’m not particularly good at.
  • AFTER THE EXAM: OK so… Is it a good thing or a bad thing that I feel more confident about a subject I have barely TOLERATED for the past 2 years than any of the other papers I have sat through in the past two weeks? I’m certainly leaning towards the latter. Thank GOD for AQA finally seeing sense, because that paper was a blessing in disguise. (It’s a disguise because Physics most certainly is NOT a blessing). #MiraclesCanHappen (Except for the fact that they didn’t include stars because I was HELLA ready to tell them about the life cycle of a star bigger than the sun – I even learnt about supernovas and neutron stars… I was ready for it!)
  • WOW. Just wow. (Sorry for stealing your line Poca, but never has that word been more relevant than now). Did I actually just sit a Physics paper? Is that what I’ve been stressing about for the past couple of weeks?
  • WOW.

Day the Eighth – May 21st

EXAM: English Literature (Poetry)

My Morning: POETRYYYY! POETRYYY! Am very very excited because I love poetry so much! Wake up feeling like a goddess, (which I am, since my name does mean, “Viking Goddess/Queen” so there you go!) and decide to flip through my English poetry notes. I say a prayer, (THE EXAMS ARE SOO CLOSE TO BEING OVER!) and then read another verse about not worrying and I feel so so calm. This is going to be a good day, I can actually just feel it.

Arriving At School: I get to school on time. I put everything away then go to the Elm’s form room and we have a prayer circle. Obviously, I have to make my prayer very specific, so I ask God that we don’t get “Nettles” or “Praise Song For My Mother” in our test, because they’re great poems but (no offence) they’re a bit rubbish when it comes to comparing them with other poems really. And there isn’t that much to talk about. Also, I ask that we will have a really REALLY amazing poem for ‘Unseen’ because then my life will be complete.

My Thoughts…

  • BEFORE THE EXAM: It’s poetry. How hard can it be? It’s poetry. I make everything up anyway, so this shouldn’t be too hard to make up, as long as I know the poems that we get.
  • AFTER THE EXAM: Jesus genuinely loves me. Like, that was an hour and a quarter of pure JOY. I enjoyed writing that paper. The questions were beautiful, the poems we got to compare were beautiful, and the unseen poem was ACTUALLY beautiful. (“Symptoms” by Sophie Hannah). And if you a) sat the exam or b) know or have read the poem, then I think it is safe to say: LIFE NOW IS BETTER THAN IT WAS BEFORE.
  • Also that poem really got me thinking, like don’t get me wrong it is a great poem, but sitting in the exam reading that got me all depressed, like yes I’m SOO glad you have found true love, speaker, no really, I’m so happy for you. While we all sit here depressed that this isn’t us… But the poem was beautiful though.

HALF-TERM HOLIDAY…


Day the Ninth – June 2nd

EXAM: English Language (Non-Fiction)

My Morning: I wake up on time. I am in a good mood. I am happy. I am feeling very happy. Happy happy. Also, I have ENGLISH today WOO! So am very happy. Can’t eat breakfast right now because my appetite has strangely shrunk, so I just drink some tea. I read some devotion which makes me feel even happier and I feel so peaceful today. Yay. Happy.

Arriving At School: I get to school on time. Of course, what is an exam morning without Rianna’s prayer circle? We have a prayer circle – this circle is gradually getting bigger and bigger – and obviously, I ask for very specific things, like an easy exam, good articles and for us to manage our time well. I’m still feeling super confident though because it’s English… well, that’s a slight lie. I’m feeling confident for questions 5 and 6, because they’re really just Creative Writing. Oh well. Bring it on.

My Thoughts…

  • BEFORE THE EXAM: It’s English. How sucky could it be?
  • AFTER THE EXAM: Very sucky clearly. The articles were intensely sucky and I spent the last question ranting about how privileged the youth of wealthy countries are and how they take everything for granted. I’m not sure if I even answered the question, so of course I had to throw in some stuff at the end to make it sound like I knew what I was talking about. But I seem to be quite good at writing ‘sophisticated rubbish’, so hopefully the examiner likes it.

Day the Tenth – June 3rd

EXAM: Geography (Human Geography)

My Morning: Geography. Yuck. I had to wake up at 6:30, so I’m not very impressed and I seem to be in a bad mood, though I don’t know why. In fact, I don’t know much about my life right now. Am very confused. Want to stab someone. Stab stab.

Arriving At School: So I get to school ready for the exam… but there isn’t the seating sheet on the wall. Strange, I think. I go into the cafeteria and there’s barely any other Year 11’s in there. So where are they all? When I finally sit down with one of my Science buddies (who also does Geography) she breaks the news to me: THE EXAM IS IN THE AFTERNOON. THE AFTERNOON. THE AFTERNOON. As in, the NON-Morning. Which means that I woke up at 6:30 for no reason.

My Thoughts…

  • BEFORE THE EXAM: Right, I’ve been at school for the past 4 hours and myself and my friend have watched ‘The Bee Movie’ (can I just say, if you haven’t seen it already, I would DEFO recommend it… that’s a joke, don’t watch it; the person who made that movie was sinning against God and humanity to be honest, and they got away with SO much!) but we have also done some revision so please just give us questions that we actually revised!
  • AFTER THE EXAM: That. Test. Was. Sent. From. Heaven. All the questions they asked, all the things they gave us as case studies, I KNEW THEM ALL! (except for one but, *sips tea*) I knew what they were talking about! I knew what I was talking about! I didn’t have to make everything up!

Day the Eleventh – June 4th

EXAM: Maths (Non-Calculator)

My Morning: Maths. I have maths. I have maths. Shoot me now. I don’t even want to get out of bed and I’m kinda tired because SOMEONE (*cough*) didn’t want to stop messaging me. *Sips tea* but no comment. But anyway, I wake up, read a devotion and then a really inspiring text about how I shouldn’t worry and just trust in God.

Arriving At School: I get to school. I made sure to check that the exam was in the morning this time. It is in the morning. Klods comes over to our table and starts making jokes about me and Susanna (HA frickin HA, sir, you’re so hilarious… -_-) and then (OF COURSE) we have another prayer circle. I specifically ask that there are no circle theorems and that the algebra is easy and that we suddenly understand everything. Because we have revised but… let’s be real. It’s maths. Who GENUINELY understands it?

My Thoughts…

  • BEFORE THE EXAM: Right, I need to get at least 80% on this paper. I need to do as best as I can. Don’t forget to answer every question. Don’t leave any questions out.
  • AFTER THE EXAM: WHAT WAS THAT. WHAT WAS THAT. Someone please tell me what that was. They tricked us! They tricked us because they made the first 10 or so questions relatively easy and then BAM. They ask us some long question about grain filling up some cylindrical cone shape and then they give us some LONG spiel about this girl who eats two orange sweets and then completely disregard the spiel in the question… WHAT.
  • I was finally coming to love maths. Now I remember why I do not like it.

Day the Twelfth – June 8th

EXAM: Maths (Calculator)

My Morning: I will never have to revise maths EVER again. My brain hurts from all the revision I’ve been doing from the weekend but I am happy in the knowledge that never will I ever have to remember how to use these dreaded theorems and reasonings ever again. I wake up, read a devotion and then dash out of the house. Can’t even eat again. WHOOP.

Arriving At School: Yes, from now on every exam is in the morning, so I’m alright. No rush this time. I get to school quite early then sit in the canteen with my buddies. We do a bit of very quick revision (Babs asks about ratios) but then we end up having some a discussion about how old each of us (the Astellians) are emotionally, and what this then means. This is what we conclude:

Babs is the eldest. (70+ years old) She is allowed to have a relationship.

Susanna is the second eldest. (20 years old) She is allowed to (but doesn’t want to) have a relationship.

Rianna (c’est moi!) is the second youngest. (3 years old) She is not allowed to have a relationship.

Ewnte is the youngest. (Negative 9 months, i.e. a fetus) She is not allowed to have a relationship.

After which, we realise that this is really not helpful, and as much as it is fun to discuss such things, WE HAVE AN EXAM. We have another prayer circle. Whoop.

My Thoughts…

  • BEFORE THE EXAM: Well the last paper didn’t go very well, so as long as I do my best on this then I should be able to get the A that I have been working so hard for in Maths this year.
  • AFTER THE EXAM: God answers prayers. For some reason, everyone hated it, but I thought that test was LOVELY.
  • I was finally coming to love maths. Now I remember why I like it.

Day the Thirteenth – June 9th

EXAM: Geography (Decision-Making)

My Morning: I just feel so inspired because I have my FINAL Geography test today, meaning never again will I ever have to revise for this WRETCHED subject. I drag myself out of bed and am in a slightly bad mood (not sure why, this happens a lot though LOL) but I read a really encouraging text about how God knows our troubles and will help us with them, so feel slightly better.

Arriving At School: GEOGRAPHY. No, but seriously, what is decision-making? I am going to appeal to the board because we were only informed about a month ago by our teachers that we had ANOTHER unit to sit, in addition to Physical and Human Geography. This is not fair. God bless our souls, we are all going to die. Seriously. What do we do? I pray with Ewnte, seeing as she is the only one of my friends who does Geography with me (Ewnte, what were we thinking?!) and then we go in, but not feeling very confident.

My Thoughts…

  • BEFORE THE EXAM: God help me.
  • AFTER THE EXAM: God help me.

Day the Fourteenth – June 11th

EXAM: Religious Studies (Philosophy)

My Morning: IT IS THE LAST DAY OF EXAMS, I AM SO EXCITED, ALL THIS STRESS IS ALMOST OVER! I wake up in a really great mood; not only is it the last day of our exams, but RE is one of my strongest subjects in terms of exam performance and confidence, so I’m feeling really good about myself. I have to say a prayer of thanks to God for bringing me through all these exams; TRUST ME. It was a miracle, because I’m pretty sure I would have given up halfway through.

Arriving At School: I get to school. THIS IS MY LAST DAY OF WEARING THIS DISGUSTING UNIFORM. I am so, so, so glad that my exams are almost over, in about three hours, I will be a free woman! (Girl, actually, because legally I’m not an adult… yet) We have a HUGE prayer circle, we don’t just pray about the exam today, we also pray about the grade boundaries and that God will make them REALLY low so that we can all get our target grades and beyond. After all guys… we wouldn’t want to be OFF-TARGET. Otherwise they might put our faces on a board to show how much of a failure we are… oh wait. They did that already.

My Thoughts…

  • BEFORE THE EXAM: IT IS ALMOST OVER.
  • AFTER THE EXAM: IT IS OVER.

Fin

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2 thoughts on “The Exam Diaries

  1. Pingback: Sorry This Took So Long | A Work In Progress

  2. Pingback: An Effective and Concise Summary of the Dates Hereof and Thereof The Affairs Undertaken and the Ventures Thereupon | A Work In Progress

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