3 Weeks

Yup, they’re just around the corner. The Mocks, Pres, Hell, whatever you call them. I don’t know about anyone else but I can safely say for myself I’m not ready. Not even in the slightest. I’m pretty sure that with the sum of my knowledge so far I could scrape a pass in most subjects. I know, real Medicine material. I’ve sat down to study over the past week, mostly Biology and English. Which I’m fairly comfortable with. It’s the likes of my Irish folder I want to set ablaze and leave on Batt O’Keefe’s doorstep, cackling manically into the distance.

Of course, we got the studying lectures and seminars in school. Divide it into chunks. Study in half hour blocks. That’s one thing that really drives me crazy. Half hour blocks? What the hell are you smoking dude? Ok, maybe if you know everything on the given topic you could revise it. Then they start hammering on about putting down what you know first, checking for mistakes and trying an exam question. In half an hour. With Biology, it makes me want to scream. For me, I could spend at least an hour going over a chapter and getting it in there, nice and concrete and then trying some exam papers. Maybe I’m alone in that, I don’t know.

Either way, come Monday the countdown begins for our year. 3 weeks of cramming, panic and pleading with people to get copies of lost notes. Don’t get me wrong; I studied in 5th Year, did all my homework on time, studied for any tests, small or large, so I’m not freaking out about not doing ok in these exams. It’s the higher tier that scares the bejesus out of me. And time. I work weekends, starting grinds soon on them too so something is going to have to give. Failing that, you know it will be Mister X involved in the high-speed Garda chase away from Mr. O’Keefe’s house (or at least as high-speed as Gardaรญ get).

Probably contributing to this panic is that I did my HPAT Practice. 70/110. Good, bad? I don’t know I’ve been trawling the ‘net and haven’t got a clue. Section 2 was definitely my strongest, followed by 1 and the car crash that was 3. Mmmm. For now, I really just want to go crazy but it’s too icy to go running. Thanks Arctic Circle. Good luck in the coming weeks guys, try and overlook my temporary frustration..

Mister X.

11 thoughts on “3 Weeks”

  1. I study my bedroom wall in blocks… Admiration of 1980s building techniques, y’know?

    My actual study is more sporadic and with a hint of frantic desperation

    1. Oh daydreaming. Best thing to do is keep the hell away from my CDs or iPod, that “just one song” so rarely works.

  2. The sample HPAT tests can’t really be used to judge or predict actual scores. The company responsible use a highly secretive, complex scoring system. You should use the test to get used to the format and practice timing, etc, certainly, but as far as actual scoring goes, it’s not really a good indicator.

  3. No, I’m the exact same. I have been doing biology and english for the past few days non-stop. The courses on those are just so huge! ๐Ÿ™

    Kinda forget about things like Irish and Geography in the mean time… ๐Ÿ™ Lucky for me the mocks are not till the first of March soI stil have the maximum amount of freak-out/study time.

    And from my friends who did the HPAT last year, 70 sounds like a pretty decent score from the results of their practice tests but I’m not going for med so I can’t claim to be that well informed!

    1. Eeep I’m freaking out about HPAT. And unsure about whether or not to do one of those prep courses…

  4. My advice for English is: study the crap out of a female poet. Instead of having to worry about 8 poets (40 poems in total), you only need one (Rich is the only female this year, right?). Pretty much guaranteed to come up. Definitely focus on her, anyway (personally, Bishop was the only poet I bothered with. 95% certainty that she would come up was good enough for me) Cuts your workload by a lot.

    Also, have a few compositions planned out. One or two short stories mapped out, with a vague enough theme that it could apply to anything. (Writing stories is sort of my thing, so I never worried too much about the other stuff. They say they’re marked harder than stuff like personal essays, but if you enjoy writing stories it’ll be a lot easier for you than waffling about some crap you don’t care about).

    The best way to plan it out isn’t to go into meticulous detail. Just come up with a few gems which you polish up. Fancy uses of language, or cool little bits of prose. These are what impress the examiner. The same goes for almost everything on the English exam. It’s all about tricking them into thinking you’re effortlessly ingenious. Even though in reality you’ve been polishing up specific points for months.

    For example, I wrote a short story about a burglar breaking into a mansion. I did some research into how locks work, learned off some of the terminology, and came up with a few lines describing how the main character expertly picks the lock on the front door. This, of course, had nothing to do with English. But I knew it would make me look awesome, to think I could just make this stuff up on the spot under exam pressure. And that sense of ‘awesome’ can give you a lot of leeway.

    Another thing about poetry: steal people’s ideas. Read up on what contemporary critics say about the poet you’re studying, and pretend you came to the same conclusions by yourself. It’s the exact opposite of what you should be doing in college, but it works. Especially if you’re subtle about it. Original opinions are nice, but if your ‘original opinions’ just so happen to coincide with well-respected literary critics, that’s extra nice.

    And learn off a bunch of quotes.

    1. Massive thumbs up for that comment anyway Emerald! Unfortunately Eavan Boland accompanies Rich this year… I’m really going to try and cover them all, or as much as I can. vaguely and one or two in incredible detail. Never thought about researching an essay or story like that to give it more depth, definitely be noting stuff in the margins of old ones now..Don’t suppose you’ve any titles of good critical commentary of some of our poets? It’s Kavannagh, Yeats, Boland, Rich, Longley, Keats…and Walcott I think? I could be wrong on those, no Poetry Now close to hand.

    2. Nah, like I said, Rich came up the year before us (’08), so Bishop was a 95% certainty, so I focussed mostly on her. With big poets like that, it’s not too hard though. A simple Google search should turn up plenty of sites dedicated to their poetry, reviews, critical analysis, etc.

      Hah, didn’t know Eavan was a girl’s name. Since Rich came up in ’08, I’d say Boland’s definitely one to look out for. Focus on her, and Rich, and you’ll be set for poetry. Unless you fall victim to a freak occurrence, and no female comes up. In which case, God hates you and you were screwed no matter what you did. That was my logic.

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