herald

Thursday 24 January 2019

How I ran out of time when a tough day sprang a surprise

I found the second day of exams to be quite a long day because I was in until late with English, and I had been up early to study.

I thought people were more nervous yesterday than they had been about Paper One because they were anxious to see what poets would come up and what the questions would be like.

For the comparative texts, I answered the question on theme. The question was pretty hard I thought, but it was the only one I had studied between the two questions.

Hamlet came up and I did the question on Claudius, which I hadn't really studied for, but I knew a bit about the topic.

We had to describe Claudius as a heartless character, but also with redeeming qualities, so it was a mix of the good and the bad. I thought that question was the hardest so far, and everyone seemed surprised by it. It was an uncommon question that no one was expecting. The way they phrased the question made it seem quite tough.

And Hamlet only comes up every now and again -- the last year it came up was five years ago. I had been hoping that the topic of women in the play would come up, but that's life.

For the unseen poetry I got a bit stuck for time. I finished it but I only wrote one page when I had intended on writing two. But I did write plenty for the rest of the paper.

And Dickenson, Boland, Frost and William Butler Yeats came up this year. Luckily I knew two of the poets really well, but I chose to write about Frost in the end.



Mercy

Everyone had been expecting Boland to come up this year after last year's controversy when she didn't appear on the paper. So it was a small mercy for some students when the question appeared.

For geography today, I should be fine because I had a last look over it last night and felt comfortable enough.

And I'm doing pass maths, and all I'm looking for is to pass it because I'm not counting it under my six subjects. So with a bit of luck, day three will be a manageable one.

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