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Exams - John C. Kirk

May. 22nd, 2002

12:21 am - Exams

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Ho hum, weekly round-up time. 3 main categories since my last entry, so I'll post them in separate entries, to keep things clear/simple.

So, Physics first. We've now finished the course, so we're into exam season. We get lessons up until the end of May (when they don't clash with exams), but they're just revision sessions at this point. After that, no more classes, although the teachers are around if we need help. I had my first exam (a practical) last Monday, and the second practical today. The rest are:

Astrophysics (11 June)
Waves and our Universe (13 June)
Fields and Forces (13 June)
Synoptic (21 June)

The practical last Monday went pretty well - I finished it within the time. Mind you, I was feeling a bit more confident before I started comparing answers with other people afterwards... The main problem was the wait before-hand. The original plan was that we'd have a 90 minute exam, starting at 09:30, so I'd be out at 11:00, and back in the office by noon, which is what I put in the schedule at work. Then, last Friday, we were told that there isn't enough equipment for all of us, so we'd have to do it in groups. "We" in this case is all the A level Physicists, not just our class - our group was last. So, I figured that we'd start at 12:30 (i.e. after the first two sessions), and finish at 14:00, and I emailed the office to tell them to expect me at about 15:00. The slight complication is that they didn't want us to talk to people who'd already done the exam, so we got put in "quarantine" until ours started, i.e. we had to be in college from 09:15 onwards.

In actual fact, come Monday, things went a bit differently. I got there at 09:30 (slightly late, but ok), and had to hand in my mobile phone (another anti-cheating measure). I then found out that our group wouldn't start until 14:00 - I guess the invigilators wanted a lunch break or something. This meant that we'd finish at 15:30, then I'd need to get something to eat (we couldn't go out for lunch), so I wouldn't make it into the office until 17:00. However, I couldn't phone the office to tell them this, so I had to give a phone number/message to the college staff, and get them to pass it on, which they were able to do. At about 11:30, there was an organised toilet trip - one of the lab assistants did escort duty, and about 9 of us all trooped off to the loo together, while he waited outside, then brought us back. I suspect that next year they'll be using electronic tagging... I was tempted not to bother going into the office, but I decided to stop by briefly. Mind you, this was primarily to pick up the DVDs that had been delivered there ("Buffy season 4" and "Harry Potter"), so I had a certain ulterior motive!

Today's exam went well too, and I was in the first group this time, so I didn't have to hang around. One of the experiments involved a can of Coke (working out volume of metal, thickness of can, etc.), which is familiar territory for me :)

I was reading The Sun on the way back afterwards, and I was amused by one story in particular:
http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2-2002230396,00.html
Just to clarify, that didn't happen at my college - it just got my attention since I've been doing exams lately.