Exams are like Marmite: you either hate or love them. I hated them: Invigilators purposely stomped loudly to show their ‘authority’, there was always that kid breathing heavily next to me, and I was in constant fear my phone was going to go off even though I left it at home.
Those burdens are no more, as the three years I’m at university; I don’t have to do any timed written exams.
Yes, there are, of course, exams in Drama, but they’re only performances and it’s roughly five minutes per person, but you get an ample amount of time to rehearse them – It’s not just thrown at you on the day.
The rest are assignments that you have weeks to do like reviewing plays, portfolios of your plays and writing a monologue with Harvard referencing.
In English Language, there are no exams. I did have one quiz, but it was only twenty questions of multiple choice and we were given an hour to complete it online from home.
Just like Drama, we have assignments like investigations, essays and critical analyses of articles.
The wonderful thing about having more assignments than exams are working at your own pace, working when you want (I prefer to start at midnight and finish early morning) and being in the environment you feel comfortable in – I love to sit on my orange beanbag whilst listening to Knife Party full blast.
I concentrate more with music as it puts me in a sort of concentrated trance, but everyone has different working styles.
A crucial point I want to make is to make the most of the help you get. Some lecturers allow you to send them your work to be given some feedback before you hand it in, but some teachers prefer if you just ask a bunch of questions that you may be concerned about – either way, both are helpful and could boost you up a grade.
We also have Writers in Residence and if you book an appointment with them, they will make your assignment more fluent and help you with referencing your work if you struggle – like me.
Always be sure to check Blackboard, as various lecturers upload A-Grade material from past students and it’s really useful to adopt their writing styles and how they reference their work.
People might think because you have no exams, your course must be so easy. Firstly, it’s like every other course, some modules could be challenging whilst others can be more engaging.
Another thing which I find quite difficult as I started uni was time management, as I found myself constantly completing work the night before. A lot of students can relate. I’m not the only one! So I decided to set up a deadline a week before the actual date of submission to give me time to tweak it before I hand it in.
I’m pretty glad my course doesn’t have exams, the other universities on my list had written exams for both Drama and English and I’m very sure they wouldn’t let me sit on my orange bean bag listening to Knife Party at full blast in the exam hall…