Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Study, Study, Study!

Hi everyone!

School's been back for over a week now and Christmas officially feels over for another year!
We got our timetable this week for "prelims" (a mock exam which you use to see how well you are doing, predict the grade you will get in the final exam and also for any appeals in case you fail due to extreme reasons or can't sit the exam) and I have realised just how much work I really need to do!

I have found myself becoming very stressed out the past couple of weeks and I do believe that school has a part to play in that. I got that wound up I ended up rather unwell, and so today (Monday) I have had to give myself a "time out" from school and lie in bed. I was awake the whole night - no exaggeration. I have had no sleep and been awake for almost 24 hours. Not good. So I am exhausted. Currently, I'm laying in bed with a homemade hot cinnamon-chocolate (basically just a hot chocolate but with a spoonful of cinnamon too!) uploading a video and writing this post!

However, as grand as that may seem, I am going to do some school work as my "time out" is from the school building and environment, not my education!

I am so unorganised when it comes to studying! I can tell you that my prelims start the week after next and that I think I have on February 6th, but ask me what subject, room and time, I do not have a CLUE! If I can't even organise that, who knows how I organise my studying!

Truth is, I don't really study. I don't feel that looking over notes or rewriting them in different formats (bullet points, mind maps, flashcards etc.) help me - although they probably do. I feel that I get taught something in class, or write up notes I missed if I'm absent, and I just have to hope I remember it. There's nothing that feels right. You'd think after three years of exams I'd have found something.


But it doesn't matter. It's honestly not worth the stress.

If you're like me, and you are worried about exams, studying and how this affects your future, I beg you; please don't panic. Whilst right now it may feel like these exams determine your future, I promise you, in the long run, it doesn't matter. So, a couple of employers may say "hmm you don't really have as high a qualification as this other candidate", if you show capability to do the job - or whatever it is - they will higher you. Chances are, like myself, your school will be a major factor as to why you are feeling this way. My school prides itself upon having one of the highest percentages of pupils going to university straight from school, and so they practically take the two senior years (5th and 6th) and try to force them into uni.

I for one, do not know what I am going to do come August, when summer is over and I don't have a career in mind. All I know is uni and college are not for me. Because of this, my own guidance teacher (you know? the teacher that you are meant to tell all your problems to, the teacher that is trained to deal with pupils respectfully and help them with basic problems such as deciding a career path all the way up to having learning/medical difficulties) basically said I am going to sit on the couch living off benefits in front of my whole class once. And be it as a joke or completely not meant that way, it wasn't something I appreciated. Just like the time I told her I wanted to do musical theatre and she brushed it off as a stupid idea by saying "my niece tried to do that and failed so if she can't do it then what's the point in you trying?"
Sorry, I'm going off track.
If we want to be honest with ourselves, just how good are current exams at determining our intelligence? Take higher English for example. There are two papers to sit:
Critical Essays
Close Reading
For me, in the critical essays paper, I need to answer a question on a poem I have studied and a question on a play. To pass, I need to have a good structure (introduction, organised paragraphs and a conclusion) have detailed analysis and most importantly: QUOTES
I'm sorry, but I need to memorise a bunch of quotes and analyse what they mean in an organised way to get an English qualification?
It's all a memory test.
Close Reading isn't much better
Read two passages, answer questions about imagery and word choices and describe how that makes you know what the writer thinks about a specific subject.
The only time I need to know how to do that is if I
A) want to become a journalist/author with decent writing ability
or B) an English teacher
I guess the point I am trying to make is that, while qualifications are important, they don't determine 99% of your life. Who you marry or become friends with isn't affected due to you passing your exams. and exams don't test your intelligence. They test your ability to memorise things and write it down in a certain amount of time when you are under pressure. So don't worry about them. Work hard and study if you want, but in 5-10 years time, will your qualifications mean anything?
Without including the fact you'll have life and job experience, if you look at me, the exams I sat in 2012 have already been abolished - nobody sits "standard grades" anymore.
Sorry for the long winded post. I think I've gone delusional/lost my mind from the lack of sleep!
See you next week!
~Emma xx
Ps. New video! Friend Challenge featuring http://rebeccasramblingrants.blogspot.co.uk/ 

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