9 exam dates

Personal reminder

May and the first half June will be redoubtable months for me, exasperated by that my birthday falls in the former. It was mid-term in May for the past 11 years (excluding 2014 when I was not enrolled in any educational program), but it’s real examinations now. And these exams will decide my fate later.

I’ve never imagined that, just after we collected our marked papers of mock AS exams we are so close to the ultimate testament of our (supposed) hard work in these two semesters. More excruciating is that lecturers have to continue teaching topics for the remaining of our A-Level programme, and we have to count on ourselves for most revisions. That subjects in A-level cover multitude of topics, with examinations requiring skills and knowledge beyond what transcribed in textbook, consumes a lot of time from lecturers and students. Can this verify that 18 months of study is indeed rush?

It seems legitimate to ask myself how I should be whining about these nine days of exam– after all, I had been through SPM and internal school exams, in which we have more than 20 papers to sit for. But the problem is, AS and SAT exam are just too enormous to think of (even more so than SPM). Fail the threshold for one paper, and here gone your grades.

The only reason these examinations are so preeminent that nobody dare to spend a thought of failing them, is that, we are prizing for universities that use these as benchmark for admissions (as a prerequisite to secure JPA scholarship). As we marshaled more and more information on the universities we aspire, we know that good grades are often necessary but far from being sufficient. While there are many other admission criteria, why allow ourselves to lose this primal battle? Looking at the entry requirement for UK schools, and the admission rate cascading rather uniformly with every dip of SAT scores for US institutes, our onus of working harder is smitten even more deeply into our heart.

Meanwhile, I need another venture into SAT for application into US universities. This exam (except maths section) is so toilsome that those who have never seen SAT papers will never know how hard they are. As the International Office University Placement officer in our college said its English can be some problem for students, it’s an euphemism. It’s huge problem for me when I look at it, no matter how many times I do so. Despite doing innumerable practice tests, analyzing a multitude of answer explanations, I still don’t get why reasoning tests play with recondite language in front of us students and obscure answers, making kerfuffles in our mind while waiting for the answers to crystallize. I already knew that I have to retake this exam in May ever since I started preparing for January SAT, and the extra months of ordeal are simply decimating my brain cells.

Before I entered college, seniors portrayed A-Levels and IB as the hardest courses to study, while SAT as the most abstruse admission exam. I started feeling the agony as I entered the programme, substantiated by my course mates who were converted from other programmes like AUSMAT and foundations that they could afford outing to KLCC regularly before entering A-Levels, shorter course period notwithstanding. This stressful feeling, however, hasn’t become so immense until these examinations are near–when AS and SAT are juxtaposed in dates, the only thing we can realize is that the amount of time left from these exams are disproportionately miniscule compared to the amount of materials we have yet to peruse.

Good luck to all candidates, and may we stay indomitable regardless of challenges and fetter ahead us.

PS: While I inveigh AS+SAT as torment, how about in October/November with A2+massive university applications? I welcome you to speculate.

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