Monday, 13 May 2013


Note cards for revision
Revision cards - hundreds of them

I have been studying for an important exam - and in those moments where I become distracted, or weary, I gaze out of the window and remember all the other times in my life when I was preparing for, or sitting, exams.  There have been many; I seem to have chosen a path in life which has required many exams along the way.
  • When I was sitting my GCSEs, I spent the morning before my English Literature paper sitting in the Oxford University Parks, kissing my boyfriend in the sunshine.  Not to the detriment of my studies though - I rocked up to school at lunchtime, sat the exam and still got an A.
  • When I was studying for my A-levels I took things more seriously.  I think they still remain the exams I studied the hardest for. 
  • At University I only sat exams in my final year.  Graham borrowed some of my notes to revise for the Cold War paper, and was very tardy at giving them back to me.
  • A week before my University finals, I packed my little tent into my car, drove to the Norfolk coast and stayed there for a few days to revise in peace, by myself.  I lay in my tent, with the doors pegged open, reading American history textbooks and American war poems in the breezy sunshine.  I was very content and came back to campus to sit my finals with a nice suntan.
  • It took me just under three years to qualify as an accountant.  During that time I sat sixteen exams, and passed them all at the first attempt, whilst working full-time as a trainee accountant.  Even though I am no longer an accountant, I am still very proud of that achievement.
  • It felt a bit as if life was just one long exam at times, though.
  • The tax exam was a bit too close for comfort - I got 51% and the passmark was 50%.
  • During my very last accountancy exam, which I sat in Hackney Town Hall, I felt my first baby move in my belly for the first ever time.  I sat there, beaming to myself, and the invigilator quietly walked over to check if I was okay.
Now I am back at University for the second time, and sitting exams for the umpteenth time.  They don't get any easier or more pleasant, but the revision drill at least feels familiar; I know what needs to be done.  Even with all my experience of taking exams, this will be my first ever biology exam and the first time I have sat an exam in a church crypt.  

The nerves are starting to kick in.

My first ever exam-in-a-crypt coming up soon
My exam venue


  1. Hoping all goes really, really well. I'm sure you'll ace them!

  2. Am surrounded by revising people (GCSEs and A levels). Tom has made hundreds of revision cards like yours so he must be doing something right. Best of British Nancy x

  3. Good Luck. You deserve to do well after all your hard work this year.

  4. You are to be commended -- that's a lot of exams. Good Luck on the upcoming exams. Not that you'll need it, but perhaps, given the venue, you'll get help from on high!

  5. I've always been an index card reviser too. Good luck!

  6. wishing you all the best Nancy. I'm exam invigilating a lot this term, so I'm seeing it from the other side, making the sure the students are in the right place, have the right paper and that they behave! I'm sure your invigilator won't have that problem with you.....

  7. NuggetDChicken14 May 2013 at 09:55

    Wish you all the luck in the world Nancy. I am sure you will not need it. I am not a card revision person myself, however I teach my cactus instead. I am sure we will both be fine on the day. My drill for 24 hours before will be stop studying about 6pm and then go NBB (Nil by Brain) until the exam.

  8. Hope all goes well. Wishing you lots of luck and all the right questions.

  9. I'm sure you'll do brilliantly! Best of luck.

  10. Nancy, I spent a most pleasurable time last night following your sewing thread, and reliving the impressed-ness of all your lovely makings. With summer approaching, and the reproaching of all not yet started projects here, I was trying to find the name of the book that you used so much when I first started reading your blog- was it something to do with weekend sewing? And I suppose I'm wondering if, in the midst of exams (which you will clearly excel in) you might remind me what it was? I am going to a sewing bee on Saturday with my machine and some friends, to make some pillowcase dresses for the Dress a Girl organisation. I pretend that this is more my motivation than BBC's Sewing Bee....

  11. The answer is obvious - spend your time in the sunshine kissing Graham. It is obviously the route to exam success.


  12. Best of luck. I'm sure you'll ace them!!! L x

  13. Good luck! Be thinking of you.


Even though I often do not have the time to reply to everybody, I really appreciate all your comments so much - thank you for taking the time to read my blog and share your thoughts on what I've written.