Laura Smith looks at the pros and cons of exams before and after the Christmas break.
It’s been a whooper semester one! With the college prinks, the taxi moments to the nightclubs, the snapchat videos of the fabulous night out you had and the amazing memories. All maybe a bit distant now that exams are just around the corner for us? Yikes! You realise that you probably should have paid better attention to all those lectures back in September. So if you do have exams before Christmas like NUI Galway students, what are the pros and cons? Let’s start off with the pros as it’s important to start with the good.
 
The pros of having exams before Christmas: of course you can have a relaxing Christmas as you don’t need to worry about those dreaded exams that some of your mates from other colleges have in January like the likes of DCU students. You can enjoy the Christmas with family and friends and don’t feel you really need to take out a book on Christmas day.
 
The cons? Anyone who has exams before the Christmas period probably have been overwhelmed with the whole semester on CA’s, then when it comes to this time of year you realise your exams are only a short distance of time away. It might be difficult for some students at the beginning of the college year to settle themselves back into lecture mode and referencing. Some students might only have just settled properly into college after the October break and having exams before Christmas might be challenging for some students under these conditions.
 
The pros to having exams after Christmas is that you don’t have to worry about exams for another month anyways, you can keep your Christmas cool. Yes, they are still in the picture but the stress is at ease for the moment. It can be tough trying to find time to study for exams as well as prepare for Christmas; very busy times altogether.
 
The cons of having exams after Christmas? It might be difficult to remember the course work you studied back in the early months of college, say September/ October time. So much material, trying to remember it all may be a challenge for students who sit their exams in January. Another con to having exams after Christmas is that because you’re off for Christmas, you try to take on extra hours at work or volunteering over the Christmas period. It can be hard to juggle college work, working part-time and seeing family and friends all at once.
 
So with the pros and cons of both situations in the firing line, which is more manageable for students? Some students say that it can be easier just to have the exams done and dusted and out of the way for Christmas. On the other hand, some students have said that they would rather have a break from the college around the Christmas time and then to do exams in January as they feel they are more rested and ready for exams.
 
Either way, exams from college are tough, stressful and downright not easy. From essays to write and learn off and to try and mange time in the exams, these are skills needed to tackle the differing number of exams we face. Students should be beware that if you do find these exams getting the better of you, chill out, grab a coffee and talk to a few of your mates. Student support services are within the college so avail of them if needed.
 
P.S exams DON’T define who you are. Exams DON’T ruin your life. All you can do is your best. At the end of the day, it might not be your day on the day of exam and that’s okay. Stress less and think positive towards exams.