Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Revision vs Procrastination

Exam time is once again almost upon me. Next week, in 8 days to be exact, I will be taking my third and final exam with the Open University. I'm looking forward to getting through it and to that feeling that always follows me out of the exam hall of relief. Exams have become almost second nature, as in the last 5 and a half years, I've taken more than I care to remember. If I were to try and remember though, the list would include:

  • GCSEs for all 10 subjects that I took.
  • AS Levels in Film Studies, ICT, and Law.
  • A2 Levels in Film Studies, ICT, and Law.
  • Driving Theory Test.
  • Driving Practical Test.
  • Exams in various modules as a part of Broadcast Operations at Ravensbourne.
  • End of course Exam for Open University Module Understanding Media.
  • End of course Exam for Open University Module Approaching Literature.
So as you can well see, it's been a fun half-decade. I'm looking forward to getting through (and hopefully passing) this final exam for Film and Television History next week more than any other though because this marks my last (maybe ever) educational exam. While I have one more Open University module to take, Children's Literature which I have just begun, it has no exam at the end. Despite having become rather accustomed to exam procedure in the last few years, I still don't like the things. Not one bit! I hate having to cram in as much information as possible, and then be expected to spill all of that knowledge out onto the paper within a time-limit. I mean, I seriously doubt that top scientists, mathematicians, or literary scholars wrote their formulae or masterpieces under a strict time-limit of 3 hours or less.

As far as the cramming of information goes, I have also always hated revision. I think this goes back to my GCSE days, when my Dad, in an attempt to 'motivate' me, gave me the nickname TrolleyBoy, as he kept telling me that if I didn't do well at school, that a trolley-boy was all I'd ever amount to. The thing is, it was an extremely irritating nickname and actually put me off of bothering, seeing as how I was supposedly never doing enough anyway and in the end, the whole family were calling me TrolleyBoy anyway!

I don't think there is a perfect way to revise. With my A-Levels, particularly the Law one, I found that mind-maps worked well, although they took an age to create. I also find that writing notes, memorising them and constantly writing them back out without looking also works alright. No matter what though, I never do as well in the exam as I've done in my coursework which quite plainly sucks! With my Open University courses for example, the exam has pulled the mark that I worked hard to obtain via coursework down every time. I just have a sad feeling that it will happen again, which would be terrible and upsetting, especially considering that the finally piece of coursework for this module was a double-length piece that was worth double what the other essays were towards the module and that I scored a whopping 80%.

I also hate revision because the urgency of a deadline is missing.
'Surely the exam is the deadline?' I hear you all cry. Well no, not really. You see I don't have to give in my revision notes like I would a piece of coursework. It's not the same at all. Therefore I find that like many others most likely experience, I procrastinate.... a lot!

Suddenly that novel I'm reading becomes much more enthralling, or I suddenly become addicted to a new videogame, or I'll even find myself watching any old crap on the telly. I'll agree to more hours at my part-time job just to skive off of revision, or, as I've done recently, decide to begin and get ahead on my new course despite there not being any assignments due for a few weeks because this course is new and shiny, whereas the old one is nearly over and expects me to pass an exam!

I probably should get on now, after all I'm procrastinating further by writing this blog. STOP DISTRACTING ME!

I have in the last few minutes turned down the option to go into work a couple of hours earlier this afternoon. I was very tempted to go in just to get away from the textbooks, but alas, a passing grade will be worth more than an extra tenner in the long run I'm sure.

Stay tuned!

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