The first real exam

Date: 08/01/2004

The reason I had to come back early

Today was the first real exam I had at Essex. I had has a couple of maths tests previously which were conducted in similar conditions, but the test was much more organised. I had been given a statement of exam confirmation before Christmas, and had to bring this to the exam along with me. It told me the date, time and location of my exam and also my seat and candidate number.

The room being used for the exam was one of the big lecture theatres, but a few changes had been made. At widely spaced intervals, large boards had been placed in front of some of the rows of seats, each board has a number attached to it with a bit of paper. Also lots of the small chairs had been cleared out from the front of the lecture theatre and many small tables and chairs had been put there instead.

I found my seat, got out my statement of exam confirmation, registration card, pens and pencils, and got ready to work. Shortly after this one on of the invigilators said we shouldn't be carrying mobile phones, so I got up and put my mobile and coat down at the front.

The papers were handed out, we wrote down our candidate number on the front (not our names - as they were to be marked anonymously), and started working. Shortly afterwards the second setback occurred, both the pens I had been carrying refused to work, so after a bit of scribbling, I had to complete the exam in pencil. Hopefully that shouldn't be a problem, but I will post more information about it if anything changes.

Unlike in school exams, you were allowed to leave the examination hall if you finished before the exam ended. The only rule was you couldn't leave in the last half an hour, which was just when I was finishing off. This meant I had to spend the last 20 minutes of the exam doing nothing, which was pretty boring but no big deal.

From then on it was pretty standard: my paper was collected, I picked up my stuff, left the hall and discussed the exam with my friends. It all seemed to go well though I won't really know until the results come out. My next exams are in the summer, but I still have quite a few tests and things to look forward to until then.