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Desperate times call for desperate measures – procrastination during exams

It’s time for final exams in New Zealand which ultimately implies terrible sleeping and eating habits brought on by the need to cram in every bit of information you were supposed to learn during the semester, mixed with heaps of procrastination. It is currently a Friday night, a gorgeous 20 degrees (~70 degrees Fahrenheit), and I’ve found myself inside again studying….except I’m currently procrastinating – I’m listening to a lecture in the background so that counts right?

I’ve currently had one out of three final exams. This was my easiest final as it was for my 100 level class – Antarctica: life in the cold. Exams are heaps more strict in  NZ than at my home uni. For instance you have to leave all of your bags at the front of this large lecture theatre. The only things you can bring to your seat are pens/pencils, rubbers (or erasers), a bottle of juice or water, and your student ID. You are not allowed to leave the room for the first hour of the exam, and you cannot leave within the last 15 minutes. If your phone happens to ring during the exam you can be fined up to $120.

My final didn’t start until 2:30, so I spent the morning studying and got a nice lunch before going into the exam. There were heaps of people waiting to go into the exam room. On your way in to the room they handed you a seating card. This is where I learned that the exam room would not only hold people from my antarctic studies class, but also some random Spanish class. I looked at my card and saw 17, well what do you know the first seat I looked  at was A17. I figured they just forgot the A part and that each seat was labeled as a different number. Nope I sat down and waited for 2:30 to come to start taking my exam. And then another student approaches me, asking if I’m in the right seat. I look down at the exam in front of me – SPANISH final exam….yeah definitely in the wrong seat. I looked at my seating card again and saw that my seat was not 17, but I7. An honest mistake.  The exam wasn’t too difficult. As a measure of how much I need to study, I calculate what I need to earn on the exam in order to achieve the desired grade. In order to pass I needed to achieve a 14% – I could probably do that without studying.

The other interesting thing about final exams in New Zealand is that there is an exorbitant amount of time to study. The university devotes an entire week for studying, no classes, no exams. And then the exams are held over 3 weeks. I don’t think I have ever devoted this much time to studying for final exams, but since exams are worth 50% of your final grade it seems kind of necessary. Hence why I’m here writing this blog entry to avoid studying because it seems as though I’ve spent the past two weeks studying.

Tomorrow morning I have my New Zealand Biodiversity and Biosecurity exam (I also need a 14% to pass). So here I am, sitting in the common area, finding another way to procrastinate that doesn’t use much internet because I’ve almost used up my 2 GB of uni wifi for the month, which doesn’t refresh until November 5. If you ever find yourself in need of wifi in Christchurch, you can access free wifi at the public libraries. Some cafes also have free wifi, but it’s not custom in NZ to go to a cafe and hang out for hours and hours on end.

Alright – time to get back to studying.


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