My first blog update of 2006 is going to be a bit of a rant. A bit? Quite a lot, in fact.
I'm currently in the middle of my revision period for two exams, one of which is English literature. Two things are bothering me about this exam; the first is a problem I have with all essay based exams (my other exam is multiple choice so it's not much of a problem) and the second is about a certain piece of literature.
Part one: the essay based exam.
I've taken a lot of exams since I started high school, I've written a lot of essays under pressure. The more that I did it, the easier you'd think it would get. It doesn't. If there's one thing I've noticed about this type of exam that has gone from an annoying niggle to a full scale pain in the backside that I feel the urge to rant about on the internet ( ) it's this: why is it that these exams test how fast you can write instead of what you know? Write three essays in under two hours? *fruitcage* off. If you want me to tell you what I know (which can sometimes be a considerable amount) you're going to have to give me time to write about it.
I'm a slow writer, but I know what I'm talking about; just because I can't cover a whole side of A4 paper in 10 minutes doesn't mean I have to suffer because some *albatrosses* can. Since I've started university I've walked away from a lot of exams feeling terribly upset, and one of the reasons for that is the horribly disheartening feeling of looking at someone else turning over pages and pages of tiny writing while I'm only getting to the bottom of page two. If I wouldn't get thrown out for causing a disturbance, I'd scream, I really would.
I was in tears of frustration the other night about this, the fact that there's nothing I can do about it is the most upsetting thing. The university will offer help for anything that hinders your exam performance such as dyslexia, but unfortunately 'bad hand eye co-ordination leading to slow writing' isn't one of them. I can't appeal for them to change their exam method just because of me either.
I attended one of the exam briefings that was held before christmas and the lecturer was good enough to give us a much better picture of how to actually write an exam answer, ie. ignore introductions and conlusions and focus on answering the question. Thanks a lot, telling me that before my first year exams would have been helpful too . I can't actually complain though, since now that I do know I'm feeling slightly better prepared, but I've still got this overwhelming feeling of dread.
Anyway, on with the next part of this giant frustrated ramble, which I can try and disguise as an actual literary review...
Part two: Paradise Lost.
If I wanted to read the bible, I'd have picked one up and read it. Why the pointless re-tread? 'Trying to explain the ways of God to men'? Did you b*llocks, mysoginistic w*nker that you are.
If only I could write the above as an exam answer, sigh.... To be honest, I can actually write a critical analysis from that viewpoint if the right kind of question comes along, you can tear any piece of literature to pieces as long as you can articulate the argument well enough.... *crosses fingers*