Interesting, I also sometimes have dreams about exams although my nightmare involves me spending so much time on the first question and getting it exactly right that I don't have enough time to finish the paper.
I wonder if exam nightmares are common and what do they all mean...?
On a similar note, here's an interesting article about exams and the world of work.
School exams fail the office test
By Lucy Kellaway, Financial Times
Published: June 16, 2009, 23:44
Last week, I promised my daughters that whatever they do in their working lives, nothing will ever be as bad as this. It was 10.45pm and they were sitting at the kitchen table surrounded by notes on exothermic reactions and quotes from Paradise Lost. When all this is over, I assured them, what comes next will seem a doddle. GCSEs, A-levels and finals are a hell that nothing in the office will ever match.
They looked at me contemptuously and I can see why. It seems so unlikely that life's most traumatic tests should come so early; that paid work, which is serious, should leave us so relatively untouched, whereas academic work can scar for life.
Yet more than 25 years have passed since I sat finals and still I wake at night with my heart thudding, dreaming that I had forgotten to revise. In my other standard nightmare, all my teeth have fallen out, but that dream is a walk in the park compared with that moment of existential despair when you are in the school gym and you turn over the paper to find yourself unable to answer the questions.
There is no job interview, no scary presentation, no terrifying after dinner speech, no bruising negative feedback that can do such lasting psychic damage. Nor is there any work project (unless one is a corporate lawyer or investment banker) that requires such mercilessly hard work.
It's tempting to conclude that the exam system is wrong to inflict such pain for so little gain. It is not as if we remember the facts that we stuffed into our heads at the very last minute. On the evening of my finals, I could probably have told you about Wittgenstein's view on the indeterminacy of translation, but now all I can recall is the picture that was a duck one minute and a rabbit the next.
Yet that isn't why it's all a waste. Even though I've forgotten what I learnt, I am still proud to have once known it. This seems a less shameful state of ignorance than never having known it at all.
The real problem with the exam system is that it teaches lessons about work itself that you need to unlearn pretty smartly if you want to get ahead in business.
First, it teaches you that there is a fairly straightforward relationship between effort and result. In exams, if you work very, very hard in the evenings you are going to do an awful lot better than if you spend your evenings in the pub. In most office life, this is not true. The relationship between effort and reward is much more complicated.
Second, in an exam there is nowhere to hide. If you fail you may try to pin the blame on your teachers or the examiner, but in your heart you know there is no one else to blame but yourself. You either weren't bright enough, or you didn't work hard enough.
One of the beauties of office work is that there is no shortage of candidates to blame for one's failures. Management, the market, the culture, one's colleagues, the competitors, an IT failure; the options are endless. You can screw something up royally and get away with it indefinitely. Indeed, so long as you are quite senior you can bring the entire banking system down and still get a big bonus.
The third bad lesson from exams is that failure matters. If you flunk finals you don't get the chance to do it again. Real life is much more forgiving. That presentation went badly? There will be another one along soon enough, which might go a bit better. http://archive.gulfnews.com/articles/09/06/17/10323374.html