Thursday, October 16, 2008

How to win at exams

Prac exam done. I'm pleased that's over because now I can concentrate on the scary exams next week. It's nice to think that I've already earned a good chunk of marks towards passing. If anything goes haywire in the exams next week (for example, I blow a fuse and wipe out) I think an adequate showing in the prac exam is kind of like a gesture of goodwill from me to the lecturers, so they won't really be able to fail me.

Isn't it funny the little lies we tell ourselves, just like that one, so that we don't freak out too much?

Anyway, a lot of people have been saying to me recently, "PTR, you're my role model. What tips can you give me?", to which I reply, "Sorry kiddo, fashion isn't a game for the faint-hearted. If you don't have the guts to step out on that catwalk on your own then you don't deserve your own line of designer underwear."

And then they say, "Actually I was thinking not so much about fashion as about the way you seem so calm before exams." And I say, "That's because I don't drink or smoke or kiss girls, just like Snoopy". And that seems to satisfy them because they stop asking me questions after that.

But for those of you who need them, here are PTR's Study Tips For Poise And Style!
  • Shave every second day, at about 11am. Don't shave every day, it's a waste of razor-blades and being smooth-skinned isn't hot right now. Don't leave it too long though because then you'll start feeling like a slob. And slobs don't win. 11am is the best time to shave because it fills in that awkward gap between breakfast and lunch when you might be tempted to open a book and scare yourself. Don't furrow that brow!
  • Study the curriculum in reverse order. While this will confuse you and waste plenty of time, it creates the impression of vast knowledge and implacable power when you casually mention something from the final week of semester while everyone else is struggling over week 3. Who knows, maybe by the time the exam comes you will get to the second last week of semester!
  • Eat meat pies and drink flavoured milk for lunch. You deserve it! And in case you have to get a job as a bricklayer you'll fit right in, so that's one less thing to worry about.
  • Breathe circularly, as if playing the didgeridoo. It's a well-known fact that people who are cool and calm exhale slowly and steadily, so do it for minutes on end to show people just how calm you are. You may need to carry and use a small harmonica if they aren't noticing.
  • Spend heaps of time on social networking sites like FaceBook. Make sure you leave an identifiable trace of activity, preferably spread evenly throughout the day. I try to post a message to someone every 17 minutes between the hours of 5:45am and 12:30am. The messages should indirectly show how unconcerned about things you are and how much spare time you have. For example, rather than saying, "I am freaking out!!!!", say something like, "Wasn't the third US Presidential debate a fascinating indictment of modern democracy?"
  • Arrive late to your exam. Nothing says, "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn" like being late.
  • Conversely, it's vitally important to overdress. People who dress casually will be momentarily stunned by your sartorial splendour. They'll wonder how you found time to starch your spats while they wasted their time learning about adenylylyl cyclase or whatever.
  • Hire a special car for the day so that people notice how laid back you are. A pink stretch humvee is good. If the car park isn't visible from the exam venue, consider crashing your pink stretch humvee through the wall of the exam room.
Well, that's just a few of my tips to keeping your poise in this tricky exam period. Good luck.

Adios, amigos! Yeeee-ha!

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