First year final exams; the dreaded conclusion of the first academic year. There is at least one per subject, and they are exactly like second year exams except that these aren’t officially IB and we’re only tested on the content we were taught throughout the past year.
In IB, the exams are referred to as Papers, and in total there are usually 2 or 3 papers per subject. Some are essays, some are short answer, some are multiple choice… It just depends on the subject. Here’s my exam schedule:
- Monday, May 13: English Paper 1 (8:30am, 2 hours)
- Tuesday, May 14: Psychology Paper 1 (2:00pm, 2 hours)
- Wednesday, May 15: Math Paper 1 (8:30am, 1.5 hours)
- Thursday, May 16: Math Paper 2 (2:00pm, 1.5 hours)
- Monday, May 20: Economics Paper 1 (8:30am, 1 hour)
- Tuesday, May 21: Economics Paper 2 (8:30am, 45 minutes)
- Wednesday, May 22: French Mixed Paper (2:00pm, 1.5 hours)
- Friday, May 24: Physics Papers 1&2 (8:30am, 40 minutes & 1 hour 15 minutes)
So, compared to the second years, I don’t have much to complain about, but they are still super nerve-wracking because they count so much towards my predicted grades (like a GPA), which I’ll use to apply to college. They also are happening at a time when motivation to study is low. It’s a lot easier to justify sitting inside all day working when it’s raining outside, not when it’s 75 or 80°F every single day.
The last day of lessons was on Friday, but because of the block schedule, there were some classes that were finished as early as Wednesday. The best way to describe the week was bittersweet, because as enticing as the thought of not having school for three months is, it was also the last week at UWC Mostar for three of my teachers. They will stick around until graduation to help proctor other exams and grade their own papers, but these were the last classes with them. And the saddest part is that the ones who are leaving are three of my favorite teachers; Barbara (French ab initio), Lisa (English – also notably the only native English speaking teacher in the school), and Merima (Psychology).
English was the most fun as far as last classes go. During our usual class time, we met at a cafe instead and everybody read an extract from a poem, a book, a song – anything, it was just supposed to be significant to you. I read part of the poem “B” by Sarah Kay, which you can see performed here (I started at 1:50 in the video and read till the end).
Then, in the afternoon, Lisa’s other first year English class had a little picnic in the park, but they invited other people to join as well. There were sandwiches, scones, and some delicious juice, all made by the two British firsties Jasmine and Chloe.
above: the whole group, except Jasmine who was taking the picture
above: Elissavet and my teacher, Lisa
All in all, it was a lovely way to end the school year, especially compared to my old high school’s method of having the last two days of school devoted to six finals, two hours each.
But enough reminiscing, back to the books! For now, I’ll have to enjoy the weather through my room’s open window, and maybe try to sneak in a couple study sessions in the park.