The Only Exam I’ll Write about Before the End

I SHOULD be revising for biology and music tomorrow, but hahaaahaaa!!!

I’ve made a point NOT to write about any specific exam and I won’t until they all finish, but I wanted to make an exception for this. And what’s “this”? My Maths exam, which I had today.

I don’t like to dwell on exams. It makes me overthink things way too much. Saying that, on my personal twitter I’ve got involved in the banter – using #aqabiology and #edexcelmaths which makes my life. On the blog, I haven’t talked about it because it’ll put SO much pressure on me. Maths, though, is somewhat significant.

In terms of learning, I’ve always not been confident with maths, and that’s because of the diagrams. Here comes the whole sob story: if you don’t know, I’m blind. I wish it wasn’t like this, but because of it, I find it more difficult to orientate myself around, and drawing graphs is a bit difficult and takes an age.

I have double time, so 3 and a half hours, because of all that blindy shit. A lot of people don’t get it and ask me why I should get so much, and I don’t know how to explain. It just takes me a lot longer to draw and construct and know which measurements correspond to which side on a shape, for example. So there was me, from 8:30 to 12:30 (an extra half hour for rests, printing and then signing) in a room – I couldn’t get up, walk around or anything really.

Without going into too much detail, I found the paper actually AMAZING. Not because it was easy, but because it was EASIER: it was a calculator one. The non-calculator one I did two weeks ago was about the worst thing I’ve ever done, because I could barely do the last 5 questions. I lost so much confidence and felt utterly miserable about it.

This one? Apart from two questions, I could do all of it quite confidently. There was no freaking out, no tears, no thoughts of “I hate it all I can’t do this!” because I had no need to think that. I was in there for about 4 hours in total, and there were moments where I had to think a LOT about a specific question, but it was logical thinking rather than panicked thinking.

Today, I can truly say that I’m proud of myself. It’s not often that I CAN say that, because I usually find fault with something I do. With the maths, there are some questions I got wrong – for anyone who did the Edexcel paper, you know that perimeter of the sector question? I fucked that up. Same with those disgusting algebraic fractions. That doesn’t matter, though; for the ones I thought I’d REALLY struggle with, I did well.

Also, I GOT The COLIN’s CAR QUESTION RIGHT. It took me a while but I DID IT. Oh yeah, and please don’t look at the unofficial mark scheme; it’ll just stress you out.

I did WELL. At MATHS! I know the non-calculator paper will drag my marks down, but GOD I’m so happy because this one went well. If you know me, you’ll know that over the last 2 years, I’ve freaked out massively in lessons with difficult topics (algebraic fractions, sine rule, to name a few). To give an idea of what it was like, I cried insanely in front of my teacher and told her that I felt worthless and that I was useless at everything. I NEVER express those sorts of feelings to teachers.

But I DID IT. For maths, I managed; I never have to do it again, but at least I can say I went of that exam not thinking I was a failure. I was, and am, happy, because it’s put me into a positive mindset.

That’s important. When an exam goes well, hold onto that feeling and tell yourself you CAN do this. If an exam makes you feel terrible, don’t get hung up on it: just move on to the next one. You need to get your confidence up, because otherwise you’ll just think it’s all pointless.

I really, really want to get an A in this subject. Not because I like it, and not because I necessarily care about the subject, but because I want to prove to myself I can. All those times I cried because I thought I was awful, and because I couldn’t understand something? I want those to disappear in the knowledge that I have DONE well at something. That I have achieved something that before, made me doubt myself.

I’m happy. Maths was an exam that caused me so much worry, but now it’s over. Now I can really clear my head, and concentrate on other ones that make me want to scream, like. music or physics.

Are there any exams that you THOUGHT would go horribly, but haven’t?

Just remember: don’t give up. For GCSE people, we’re nearing the end. WE’VE GOT THIS!

From Elm πŸ™‚

67 thoughts on “The Only Exam I’ll Write about Before the End

  1. I was so nervous for my first history exam but all of the questions were surprisingly easy (compared to what I was expecting). English wasn’t easy, exactly, but the questions were better than I expected because I dread letter-writing and it actually turned out to be a report and a talk we had to write about. German reading was also amazingly easy (especially compared to the listening we had just done). I did the same maths exam, and I’m so glad I looked at arc length just beforehand or I would’ve forgotten how to do it.
    On the other hand, the second geography exam was very weirdly worded with questions like “account for a population growth control policy” (account for questions have never been explained to us because they’ve not been in any past papers) and the informal sector of the economy (in the urbanisation section…fairly sure that was not on the specification…). And German listening was a mess, but apparently everyone else thought so too. I hope the rest of your exams went well!

    • I heard that the geography was AWFUL! 😦 And I’m so happy that the history was good! The english was great for me; I think we did a different paper.
      What IS arc length again?

      • It would depend which sections of the geography people did – mine weren’t awful, but they weren’t great either. At least the first one and the coursework went well. Hopefully the second history is as good as the first one (although it should go well bc I always do better on the second one in mocks and practice papers).

  2. I’m not doing my GCSE’s yet but I had my Maths Calculator exam today as well and I felt the EXACT same as you did. I thought I would do terrible but surprisingly, I was confident and I wasn’t stressing or freaking out. I also had my Physics exam though and unfortunately the same can’t be said for that…

    • Aww well, but at least it’s over! πŸ™‚ Just move on and don’t stress. I’m SO glad the maths went well! πŸ™‚ YAY for not freaking!

  3. I’m from India and I swear our national education board is the worst. We have IGSCE and International Boards too, but if you wanna stay in India for hour under grad, the national CBSE is the best. Anyway it’s the crappiest system ever. They have an answer key, which is copy paste from the text books and from NEWSPAPERS OF THE MOST IMPORTANT NEWS. Basically, if you by our answer does not include, or is in any way different from the answer key, you’re wrong. This is the weirdest thing, because different people understand differently and it doesn’t make sense. They’re not testing our learning and understanding, but our muffing up capacity. U do above average in my tests but it’s still so horrible and really trashy.

    Enough about me, I’m really glad you did well in your exam! All the best for the others!!!!

    • ARGH that sounds terrible! 😦 There should be room for creativity.
      Thank you so much! πŸ™‚ I’m counting down the exams haha.

  4. I should be revising biology too, you’re not the only one. I’m so glad that you did well in your maths. I had my maths today (aqa though) and I thought it went pretty well. I hope we both get A’s!! xx

      • Well the first aqa biology exam was a bit of a disaster. But aqa maths is great! I do Edexcel for a few of my subjects, I think it is pretty good. Good luck for tomorrow, especially music because all of my friends say it is so hard, I’m sure you will do amazingly well. x

      • ARGH AQA BIOLOGY! How’d the rest of them go for you? Luckily there were no drunk rats this time haha!

      • I thought the B2 and B3 were okay until I got out of the exam and all of my friends put one thing and I put something completely different. How has your biology gone? x

      • Me too. I just tried to get information form the diagram but I really had no idea even though I looked over it the night before.

  5. I’ve seen all the banter online and it sucks because I can’t appreciate it because whilst I did edexcel, I did the igcse higher 4H paper. Alas. Hazaar for maths! I’m so proud of you – and oh isn’t it amazing *gently nudges the prospect of maths and further maths a levels* πŸ˜‰

  6. That’s awesome! I’m super glad that you found this test easy despite all the stress of exam season. I’m really proud of you and you should be too! Now you have something to look back on and say, “Yeah! I AM capable of achieving things!”
    I wish you good luck for the rest of your exams – you got this!!! x

  7. I did the edexcel paper today! I thought it was kind of suspiciously easy but I think I might have messed up the perimeter of sector question too as well as the last one about finding an angle. Omg the algebra was horrible but I think I got Colin’s bloody car journey right too (in the end). I thought it was quite a nice paper. I had an AS Level politics exam in the afternoon so I didn’t get much of a break afterwards but I THINK the politics exam went well. I mean, I wrote a fab essay/rant about how democratic the EU actually is but I did mess up the essay about judges being too politicised. I hope you get your A in maths! πŸ™‚

  8. I cried at the end of the maths exam today (the same one you did) and I went home and cried for like an hour

      • Considering I found the first paper hard. Not too good. But don’t worry about me

      • Really? Thank you so much! πŸ™‚ Means a lot; when people get emotional over my singing, I don’t know, I feel like I’ve achieved something

      • I wouldn’t have said it if it weren’t true. I remember watching and having a conversation with myself that consisted of “why tf are you nearly crying”
        “Ummm no reason brain please don’t judge me”

      • That’s the best conversation ever πŸ™‚ Thank you so much seriously I’m smiling because everyone liked it and ahh

  9. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
    I never knew you were blind and I was so surprised reading the whole ‘sob story’. Now, now! I’m not offending you! I swear! I was surprised because you have such beautiful writings and suggestions that MAYBE I would never guess! Anyhow, it doesn’t matter if you’re blind, or dumb or deaf! It really doesn’t! For me you’ll always be Elm, an amazing person with an amazing blog who’s really strong and beautiful (even though I haven’t seen you:P I know you are though ;)) Also, all the best for your remaining exams, which may be over by now I guess, but yeah! All the best, you’ll do great! πŸ™‚

  10. Go Elm! I’m fairly new to your blog, and I must say that I’m loving it! Your posts are so amazingly thought out and it’s brilliant!

  11. Calculator maths papers are the only reason I’ve survived school this far, i hate non-calculator papers XD
    I’ve got my last exam week exam in about an hour, it’s geography….eeek…
    Then i’ve got a party at my friends so i guess that’s good =)
    Good luck for the rest of your exams and awesome post as usual =)

  12. I usually get really nervous for my Science exams! Especially Chemistry ughh… Although I love the subject I don’t always do so well. Last time, however I got one of the highest marks and got pretty happy and proud of myself! πŸ™‚ It felt good. I still didn’t get my finals report yet, and I think I messed up in my Math exam too honestly. But I really don’t want to dwell on it because if I didn’t do so well this time, I know I can the next time! Good luck in your exams Elm ❀

    You should be so proud, maths is…it’s not all rainbows and pies (what!?!)
    But anyways, you’re nearing the END, no matter what you did, you can’t go bacck soo just look FOEWARD.

  14. I thought my History exam this year will be just terrible but I actually knew a lot of things. Even though I don’t know the results yet, I know I passed and did better than I expected. πŸ™‚

  15. This post is sooo important. Only I wish i could have been wiser earlier or at least gotten to read this back then. Maths particularly has been a nightmare for me during my school years so its kinda a same. I am not horrible at the subject, I just didn’t get well along with numbers as I did with words since childhood and that shit developed into something. Unfortunately I didn’t have anyone to guide me to not make it an object of phobia, thus I performed less well in my GCE’s and ended with a B. I am pretty sure now though that I could have pulled off an A only if someone was there to help me manage my anxiety and panic at the sight of numbers. No one even knew such things existed at my place so I only got around with it when I actually took Psychology in A levels. I performed much better in Maths in the aptitude test for a uni, and that’s what compelled me to comment here. This post is so important for someone like me who has the potential but is just not confident with numbers. So like thanks for this!

    • Your comments are so well thought-out and amazing! I understand – but honestly, it’s lucky that that’s in the past. You got through it, and that’s all that matters; you became stronger at the end and did what YOU wanted to do.

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