25 04 2007

Today I sat a written exam for the first time since my finals in 1989.  The act of sitting at a desk, holding a pen and writing for two hours has become totally alien to me.  Actually, sitting still at a desk has become something of a challenge.

As it turned out very little seems to have changed in the last two decades.  The same set of nervous people sitting on the stairs or standing in huddles were led into the same style of large, wood panelled hall filled with small individual desks to the sound of an under powered air-conditioning system.  Invigilators still patrolled the spaces between the desks and weak bladders still had to be escorted out.  I was had the same pencil box (and in fact the same pencil) that I used for my degree and A Levels placed neatly at the front of my desk, just like my finals. 

After two hours I checked that it was a two hour exam, I was starting to panic that I should have written more.  This provoked minor panic amongst the invigilators who hadn’t realised there was a 2 hour exam in the room, every one else was there for three.  After a few minutes huddling they came over to the three or four of us and told us to stop writing and leave the room quietly. 

The only thing that seems to have changed is the mix of panic, euphoria dread and regret that I used to feel.  This time I was reasonably confident (unlike the paper I sat at uni where I searched for one question I at least understood.  Miraculously I passed that (just).  Also this time there is less riding on it.  If I fail I have wasted some of my course fee, but I feel I’ve learnt some useful stuff and had an interesting experience.  If I knew I had the next 6 months free I would probably sign up for another open university course or two.

Now I have to wait until late June to get my result.  I’m reasonably confident as I got 70% in my assignments, so only need to scrape a pass in the exam.  Hopefully by the time get the result I’ll know what I’ll be doing with VSO.




One response

29 08 2008
The open university experience « Tim in Tamale

[…] took the exam in […]

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