I submitted one of the exam papers only one minute before the cut-off time. Nearly got a heart attack! Just one more minute, and I would have had to resit the paper. That would mean my foundation would be prolonged with the addition of an extra semester just to resit one paper. That, I tell you, is no small joke.
Click here to read part 1 of my final exam rush if you haven’t! 😛
Math and Physical Chemistry were a bit more challenging. As I completed the questions, I could see that my preparations were great, and helpful, but certainly not enough to meet the standards. Math and Chemistry both had seriously challenging questions. I needed more practice and more acquaintance with various question permutations. I was lacking in practice, and that is because I tend to cram for exams and not study consistently throughout the semester. However, it truly is not easy to keep studying consistently over a long period of time, not when your lectures also drain you of a significant amount of energy.
It would be good to build some stamina.
As for Biology, Physics and English, they were not easy, but relatively easy when compared to the previous two I mentioned. Biology is fun when it is an open book exam. This is because Biology cannot trick you all that much, and the concepts / ideas can be easily obtainable from the internet. When this is how it is, you are learning and discovering even as you sit for your exam. However, a strong understanding of the basics is required. I can only describe this arrangement as magical. It is simply magical to be able to search for the answers to your exam questions, using your understanding of what the question is looking for, and learning new, out-of-textbook scientific information in the same breath.
For Physics, I spent a day compiling and condensing a powerful 15 page summary of 12 lecture topics. In Physics, the ability to differentiate between the topics, and identify which topics can be applied to any random question in your exam paper is crucial. For example, knowledge from Lecture 2, Lecture 5 and Lecture 9 may be required to answer a specific question. In Physics One, the Physics course I took in my first semester, each topic has lots of overlapping concepts, and it can be difficult to answer a question when there is so much merging of topics being tested in one single question. Studying Physics is a bizarre experience, and the way the topics overlap are both a pain and a wonder.
When I told my Physics teacher about the cool overlapping, he said: “That’s not Physics. That’s science. Studying science is all about applying each science to each other; everything is correlated.”
My English paper, my final paper of the week, was a heart stopping one, and I am still worried. There were questions about the critical thinking skills and fallacies, and a comprehension piece, and finally an argumentative essay to write.
The problem lies in the essay. We had just two titles to choose from: one was about your stand on whether there was antibiotics available to treat Covid 19, and another was about your opinion on whether people should continue to work from home.
I chose the first one.
I saw the first essay title, the one about antibiotics, as a perfect opportunity for scientific learning. I wanted the same sense of fulfillment I got with Biology; I may never have many open book tests again, especially as a medical student. I saw this as a chance to learn WHILE sitting for my exam. So I did on-the-spot research, had about 10 tabs open, and devoured them at high speed, clinching on ideas that caught my attention and coming up with my own views (known as your “voice” in argumentative essay lingo) and backed them up by evidence I gleaned from various creditable sources.
By the end of it I was shaking and exhausted, but soon was struck by a major issue: our essays would be checked for plagiarism. I took elements from my research, from the internet. Was it considered plagiarizing or not? I should have been more mindful while writing the essay. I worried over it for a long time, even though my father came bounding down the stairs, expecting to see a smile on my face after the whole semester was done and my two week semester break commenced. But for a while after the exam, I worried greatly. The consequences of plagiarizing are not to be played with; we could be suspended if caught doing so. We were taught about plagiarism in our English course, but we were all still new to the topic and may not yet fully understand the boundaries of what is considered plagiarism and what isn’t. Perhaps I should have not been too reckless, in case I would accidently take too much from a particular source.
Anyway, after a while I decided it doesn’t help to worry, and I would know when the results were out. My essay, regardless, was still one of high quality, and I was delighted that I could synthesize an essay from various sources and arrange my ideas alongside other people’s so neatly like this. Plus, I learnt a bit about the controversy about whether antibiotics can treat Covid 19. Here’s a summary: scientifically, antibiotics is used to treat bacteria, not viruses, so it shouldn’t work. But some researchers have proven four antibiotics have the ability to inhibit SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing Covid 19. What do you think?
So, I went to play some piano to calm myself down. Until my exams were over, I had not touched the piano in ages. Now I’m learning a new song, though, so I’m practicing a few hours a day. With a new song, you’ve got to commit a lot of hours in the beginning. With an average of 3 hours a day, I’ve been perfecting my craft. I’m still nowhere near perfect yet, especially a part where there are lots of octave chords and my small hands can’t quite reach for the notes. It’s quite a strain to your wrist!
And now I will end this blog post on a happy note, and with more to come!
There are A TON of interesting small turning points in my life coming up! Hang on tight. Here they are:
- Blogpost #1: My English and Biology presentation (trust me, these are not boring at all.)
- Blogpost #2: My final exam results (OF COURSE! IT’S COMING SOON! Maybe in a few days. I am just — so — nervous for this.)
Blogpost #3: Commencement of semester 2 and returning to campus for “mixed learning” (mixture of online learning + physical classes)
UPDATE: Blogpost #3 is CANCELLED due to announcement by the highest education ministry that all university lessons will continue online until further notice. 😦 Hopefully the COVID-19 situation improves soon!!
Yep, we call it returning to campus, but due to Covid 19 I haven’t even studied on campus before. Besides, I don’t even know where my classrooms are.
Exciting times are coming! 😀