Exams, Stress Induced Torture

Exams. That one word has the ability to strike fear into the hearts of thousands of students across Ireland simultaneously. There’s no worse feeling than having to slave away for weeks with your books, notes, and Moodle in the hope of passing. The entire exam build up totally consumes your life for several weeks. You may as well forget about your social life because it’ll be non-existent as you study for the grades that you need. You’d do anything to avoid them but sadly there’s no escaping them. They’re essential to your academic success so ultimately, we all just have to suck it up and get on with them.

Personally, the exams I’ve done haven’t been that bad. That’s probably because I’m a first-year student and most of my subjects involved continuous assessment. One thing I did find out about college exams is that they are a lot less stressful than the last bout of exams I did (a.k.a The Leaving Cert) I hope I never have to endure anything like that ever again. If I do, it’ll be too soon.

Most of my subjects were continuous assessment so I didn’t have that many exams this term, thankfully.  Instead of intense 2 hour exams I was faced with endless assignments and projects in my first semester. The psychological onslaught of tests for me began at the end of November. I had an almost infinite number of Spanish exams; grammar, comprehensions, listening’s, opinion pieces, I did everything. I could conjugate the Preterito Indefinido in my sleep, if needs be. For those three weeks before Christmas break, I had an exam at least once a week and sometimes even two. Everything I did revolved around Spanish.

Those final three weeks were definitely the hardest part of my year. All those exams topped with assignments and due dates were a deadly concoction. There’s no point denying that I was stressed because I was. I wanted to make a first good impression with my grades and I’d like to think that after all the late nights, trips to the library and assignments handed into Iontas and Rowan that I did a good job. Only time will tell whether or not all of the stress was worth it.

I’ve been a lot luckier than most with the January exams with only one more Spanish exam in the middle of the month left to do. I know some people who have 3 or 4 exams scattered throughout the month so they can’t really enjoy their break. After everything, I’m enjoying the time off at home and I’ve left all thoughts of Maynooth University in Maynooth. Let’s hope that when the next round of exams come about they won’t be as stressful but seeing as this is college now, there can’t be any promises made.