Gabbi: Exams during Christmas

As of writing this I have just finished my exams here in St Andrews. The official last day of exams is the 20th of December, crazily close to Christmas. I’m going to write about what it’s been like studying in the midst of Christmas and share some tips about taking exams at a different university.

St Andrews works similarly to UoA in that we get one week of study leave between lectures ending and exams starting. I spent the entirety of this week in the main library in the centre of town.

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Christmas tree in the Old Wing

The library is open only to students (you have to swipe your ID card to get in) so it’s fairly safe to leave belongings there and take a quick break. The friends I studied with would pop out for coffee or hot chocolate and a little walk around town – a good strategy to give the brain a bit of a rest and get some fresh air.

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Taking a study break by the sea

One cool thing about the library here is that you can see how many spaces are available. During revision week it was reaching max capacity with almost 1000 students but now as it’s almost the end of exams the numbers have dropped significantly.

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The student services team made and gave out over 800 study packs outside the library, these were really cute – I especially appreciated the ‘stress relief’ bubble wrap.

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My free study pack

Now that it’s getting so dark and cold it’s important to do some nice things as otherwise the stress of exams plus the lack of sun can get you down. The hall of residence I stay in did a great Christmas dinner, decorated the dining hall to feel festive and cosy.

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Christmas dinner

In preparation for exams at a different university I recommend looking through the exam guides and rules as not all universities do things the same. Here at St Andrews there are little differences such as what times you are allowed to leave the room, what colour pen to be used and a complicated anonymisation form to fill out on the front of each paper. I also found it helpful to visit exam venues before the actual exam so that I wouldn’t be stressing on the day about not being able to find it. It’s great to have friends from the university as they could answer my questions and help me out with lots of this stuff.

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Coming out of an exam to DARKNESS at 4pm

Happy Holidays!

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