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Author Topic: Exam Season  (Read 1586 times)
BrKhalid
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« on: Jun 11, 2009 08:17 AM »


Asalaamu Alaikum  bro


Ahhh…..that time of time of year filled with sleepless nights and lots of over eating and over indulging to store up much needed energy.

But enough of Ramadhan (that’s nearly 2 months away) Wink


I, of course, refer to exam season…the mere words being able to put dread into people’s hearts!!!


So what were (are) your memories from that time in your life when you had to sit down and write your name on a piece of paper.


Were you one of those constant worriers or one of those annoyingly unflappable types who never got even remotely stressed and still came through with flying colours.


Any advice for those taking exams now and if you had a chance what would you do differently from back then?


I have to admit, my overriding memory of taking exams was that 5 minute period when you were all gathered outside the hall waiting to go in. The butterflies start to kick in and then some joker decides to give you a revision question which you have no clue about and suddenly your stomach starts doing even more somersaults!!!!

Some people can be real sensitive when they want to be Wink


So go ahead and share some experiences ……….. bro

Say: "O ye my servants who believe! Fear your Lord, good is (the reward) for those who do good in this world. Spacious is God's earth! those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure!" [39:10]
a_desert_rose
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« Reply #1 on: Jun 12, 2009 12:01 AM »


Ohhh exams! I've still not recovered from this year's lot but alhamdulillah they're over  Smiley

Quote
Were you one of those constant worriers or one of those annoyingly unflappable types who never got even remotely stressed and still came through with flying colours

See, I'm a closet worrier. Before an exam my brain goes into overdrive with all the crammed bits of information but on the surface I seem calm and collected. Ohh and I don't really get stressed easily which is a huge problem because I work better under pressure. I'm not so sure about the flying colours though  Undecided  I'll have to wait till July for that.

You know what scares me the most? Walking into the library two days before an exam and finding my classmates sweating and poring over textbooks in preparation. Me? I hadn't even started thinking about it! And I hadn't realised we needed textbooks! But seriously, how do people work in libraries? Ours seems like a moratorium in exam season! Much better to sit in the park instead.

Quote
I have to admit, my overriding memory of taking exams was that 5 minute period when you were all gathered outside the hall waiting to go in. The butterflies start to kick in and then some joker decides to give you a revision question which you have no clue about and suddenly your stomach starts doing even more somersaults!!!!

Some people can be real sensitive when they want to be  Wink

Uhh I plead guilty to this one. I do that, but it's really really really in the interest of other people! Really! Because it boosts the production of adrenaline which will help immensely during the exam...errm I'm hoping I'm right in thinking it increases adrenaline and not BP  Wink

Wassalam
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« Reply #2 on: Jun 12, 2009 10:42 PM »

annoyingly unflappable.

one time, the night before an exam, my mom banished me to my room to actually study, and 10 minutes later she found me sprawled on top of my unopened textbook.  she got really angry -- woke me up, and asked me to PROVE that i didn't need to study for the exam.  so you know how new textbooks sometimes still have their pages stuck together because they haven't been opened yet?  yup. that was my book. and only because of the ensuing challenge from my mom ("i would REALLY like to see how you do on this exam") do i remember my solid 96%. 

the thing is though... this kind of non-committal studying only took me so far.  and if i ever cut class then i would do very poorly on any testing experience. i used to absorb material only when it was presented to me in lecture/assignment/presentation/essay format. self study was never my forte. and yes... that is the one thing i would have done differently. i would have actually STUDIED.

i remember the 5 minute pre-test period too... and i remember the post-test 5 minutes too..

when people from all over would be like... "hey... what did you get for question 12?" ... and i remember that as soon as i would hand in the test paper, i would crazily lose ALL memory of the exam and what i wrote on it. it was uncanny, but i've realized i use this defense mechanism in ALL aspects of my life.

i need to go back to school.
timbuktu
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« Reply #3 on: Jun 14, 2009 12:33 PM »

peace be upon you

I don't remember ever feeling anxious, although there should have been one or two occasions. In the early years at school, I studied every book on first receiving them, but it was mostly cursory. Science and Maths came easy to me. History, Geography, too. But having read course books once, I was more interested in other reading material - novels, mags, and tafaseer. We had no TV then. Study after dusk was forbidden to me because of weak eyesight. During the time I described in previous posts about one of the schools for which I had to get up at four in the morning, I did my homework in school.

Somehow whatever I read in science made common sense to me, so it wasn't hard to retain. I had a photographic memory, too, until I deliberately got rid of it. At some stage I started studying in a professional way. I made notes and précis, and summarized what I read in short, simple formulas. I had a natural tendency to find correlations that would reduce available information into the smallest space. I found I could condense even the most difficult subjects into half or at most one page of basic formulas. Thus I remembered only the very fundamental concepts, and derived all necessary formulas from them. It was that quarter, half or full page of formulas that I needed to look at before exams. And I never studied the night before the exams. I took it easy then.

Finding others toiling over their studies never stressed me. They were they, and me was me. They still came to me for help.

Alas, all that is gone. I do study and try to make notes, but I am unable to retain it. Science and Maths no longer seem easy. I have given them up. To supplement my pension, I have been asked to teach, but the thought of having to study again and solve problems seems daunting.

Why has this happened? Pride has its fall. Arrogance leads one astray. Both are to be avoided. I did not. I thought I was a genius, but in truth I wasn't. I thought I was brilliant, but in truth I wasn't.

All is from Allah (swt) - the knowledge, the abilities, the successes and the achievements. When we think it is our own, we commit a sin.

BrKhalid
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« Reply #4 on: Jun 16, 2009 06:15 AM »

Asalaamu Alaikum  bro


Quote
All is from Allah (swt) - the knowledge, the abilities, the successes and the achievements


I think the older (and wiser?) you get, the more you realise how completely true the statement above is.



Quote
i would have actually STUDIED


Yeah....I found studying actually helped...go figure!!  Wink


Although I did go through a phase of different revision techniques; one of which was recording my revision notes on to a cassette (this was pre MP3 days people) and listening to myself witter on as I walked to school.

I'm not sure how much 'absorption' took place but it may have added a mark or two.  bro

Say: "O ye my servants who believe! Fear your Lord, good is (the reward) for those who do good in this world. Spacious is God's earth! those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure!" [39:10]
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« Reply #5 on: Jun 16, 2009 08:09 AM »

I finished school about 10 years ago.  Until very recently, I would have dreams regularly where I'm about to take a test, usually in something like math, and I had no clue I had a test or that I was even signed up for the course!  Terrifying.
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« Reply #6 on: Jun 16, 2009 01:32 PM »

omg! i have those kinds of dreams (nightmares) too. 

i remember in 1st year, i aced through every course... and i had a friend who i used to tutor through those initial courses. i never studied and he was ALWAYS studying. i did very well ... and he was on probation by the end of the year.

but by the end of 4th year, my study habits hadn't improved any .. and he was still ALWAYS studying ... and while my average deteriorated, his improved leaps and bounds.

he is now finishing his Ph.D. dissertation, mashaAllah. (my god, i'm sooooo old).

just goes to show that EFFORT is gold.
BrKhalid
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« Reply #7 on: Jun 17, 2009 06:18 AM »

Asalaamu Alaikum  bro


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...?  bro


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

Say: "O ye my servants who believe! Fear your Lord, good is (the reward) for those who do good in this world. Spacious is God's earth! those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure!" [39:10]
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