exam shittery

2018-06-22 10:59:00 +0000, 3 months and 3 weeks ago

i thought it’d be a good idea to document how the following last weeks of college go down. namely, if i do bad, then it’s off to RHUL, a subpar uni, not what i want or soton, top tier, 2nd in the uk for electronic engineering (1st being cambridge), bomb as fuck uni, this is the thing i’m aiming for.

according to my UCAS offer from soton i need but only a simple A in mathematics, a nice round 480/600 UMS, 80%. however, statistics are not in my favour (if one can even apply statistics considering my incredibly anomalous education track record), for a bit of context, last year in C1, C2 and M1 i recieved, D, E, A - a really fat 40% ish in the core modules and by some stroke of luck, 92% in mechanics. hence my apprehension to apply statistics. anyway, I also achieved an A* in electronics with 590/600 UMS (98.2%) so it’s not like i’m wholly incompetent by a long stretch.

since i have a bit of numbers to play with, i’ve calculated i need approximately 77.6/100 UMS in each of my 5 other maths exams (since I’m retaking C1/C2), just shy of an A in each - which i think is perfectly doable given enough effort / luck. so yeah. I find my results out the day after my birthday, which kind of makes my birthday fairly insignificant in comparison really.

Predicted results: BB
Desired results: AB (maths, physics)


AP1

04/06/18

I just feel dissapointed - two years of studying, all for basically nothing because the people that design the paper decide to drop half the syllabus out of the paper. NOTHING on cyclotrons, particle motion in B/E-fields, pair production, mass spectroscopy, bubble chambers, Milikans oil drop … blah blah - I’ve written 150 pages on AP1/2 and they decide to test two years worth of work on about 10% of the subject.

Instead they (assholes at Edexcel) decide to make questions about magicians, 18th century steam engines, derivation of centripetal acceleration from two points on a curve and a 5 mark question asking me to describe the ENTIRE standard model for subatomic particles - that should be a bloody 9 marker at least, there’s just so much to say: quarks, baryons, meson quark anti-quark pairs, charge, lepton + baryon numbers, conservation laws, kaons, strangeness, pions anti-particles, fundamental particles… I KNOW all of this but how the fuck are you supposed to condese all that content into a 5 line, 5 marker question - so so idiotic.

I’m consoling myself with the fact that my uni offer didn’t even ask for a grade in physics so I technically don’t even have to sit the exams. I’m going to stop practicing physics and instead consolidate my position, focus on what’s important - getting an A in maths. Hopefully AQA doesn’t decide to take their lubed up dick and completely screw me with it.

AP2

08/06/18

This was a better paper, very few abberant bullshit application questions (a la magician), more so focused on theory - I’m pretty good at recalling information because of my near autistic memory so the explanation questions were a breeze - contrary to what the people on twitter were saying. Most people were complaining about a question involving circular motion and astrophyics - All one had to do was equate centripetal force to weight, solve for instantaneous velocity, sub into to get angular velocity and finally calculate the time period with . A nice question which I enjoyed solving.

I did notice that the paper was about 60% waves, which was okay because waves is memorization with a bit of understanding. Of course, there are already some quality shitposts cropping up already:

MPC3

12/06/18 11:35am

The day before. I’m coming to terms with the fact that my exam is literally tommorrow - that the next 4 years of my life will depend on my performance in tommorrows exam. I’ve been calculating what UMS I need in order to have a decent probability of getting an A grade - I need 480/600, an average of 80UMS per paper. I know all the content and I’ve done pretty much every past paper, accumulating a sort of reposititory of examplar questions - exam question papers are pretty much all the same with the odd bit if awkward algebra. I’ve also been helping out people on TSR, answering their questions and such - now I’m considering it might be a bad idea to be dishing out my frankly, fukken divine knowledge on graphs to the people I’m competing against.

So far I have 92/100 in M1 and all the rest are sort of in the air - I’m estimating around 70-ish for C1/C2 (for damage control purposes), which leaves me with 248UMS, so I’d need an average of 82.6 (reccuring) UMS in C3/C4 and D1. I like those odds. I did an C3 paper the other week and got 92 UMS with 25 minutes to spare - but I knew that was an excellent performance. Pacing is good, my main issue is silly arithmetic errors so I’ve got to balance being careful but still having enough time to deal with the awkward curveball questions.

13/06/18

That was on “ok” paper. Feeling good that it wasn’t a total trainwreck. Not too hard nor too easy, a decent balance of 3-8 markers. I know for a fact I got one of the 7 markers. I have one of those fancy calculators with a built in integration solver, like you give it the equation and limits and it calculates the area, anyway, once I’d got my answer of ln(3/2)-(1/3), I punched the equation and limits into the calculator and pressed solve, it takes about 20 seconds to solve so during that time I put in the exact answer into my graphical, which turned out to be 0.07213 something, I basically sat there staring at my calculator with the words “PROCESSING” embellished across the front for what felt like a century, anyway, it finally decided on a answer: 0.07213177477 - seeing that number - it sounds sad but I’ve not felt as happy as I did in the exam hall when I saw that answer.

There was another nice proof question; integral of ln(3-4x) = A (limits 3,1), show that the integral ln(3e+4ex) = A+2 - I had about 3 minutes left to solve this since it was the last part on a later question. Anyway:

ln(3e+4ex) = A
 -> ln(e(3+4x))
 -> ln(e) + ln(3+4x)
 -> integral(3,1) ln(e) = 2
 -> Hence integral(3,1) ln(3e+4ex) = A+2

QED.

Not sure if the paper was “ok” or I’m just better at maths now… I’d say I got upper 50’s /75, which considering the grade boundaries of 54 for an A last year I think I’ll be ok - anything over 80UMS is a success imo. If I do get an A in this fucking subject it’ll be by 1 or 2 UMS, it’s that close.

Of course, the twitter memes:

Absolute kek.

AP3

14/06/18

lmao fuck edexcel to high hell, that sucked. 2 & 1/2 of crap. probably scraped a B in that but whatever. my offer for uni only mentioned an A in maths so i didn’t really even need to sit it anyway. really kind of annoyed at the creators of the last 3 papers, huge sections of the spec just gutted: nothing on motor effect/particle detectors/accelerators/induction/motor effect/waves yada yada. i can’t recall once using flemings hand rules in any of the exams. get A’s in all my mock papers and then get hit with shit about calculating how many bastard discs i need to keep the measured mass uncertainty below 0.5%. absolute crapshoot of a paper.

i was really hoping on some fat particle physics question since i’m know that shit like the back of my hand but nah, one 6 marker asking about the entire standard model on AP1 and nothing else. shame. shame on the house of edexcel. welp, it’s over now and i’m thankful for that - i’ll never have to sit another physics exam and i take great joy in stating that fact.

in a slightly positive turn of events in relation to physics, i passed my practical endorsement so yay

MPC4

14/06/18 09:33PM

yeah dude, i’m fucking pumped as shit for this paper, i’m going to literally FUCK its SHIT up - my dick is 100% lubed up and ready to go on this goddamn mfing set of questions, >90 UMS baby - i’m basically ryan lockwood doing a streets 1:12, the clutchness i can feel it
particular solutions to first order differential equations? yeah? FUCK you aqa

separate variables, bang
integrate both sides, bang
add constant of integration, bang
solve for C and arrange in form h(x) = f(t) bang
RIGHT IN THE FUCKING HEAD

sorry im having a total addy fueled autistic shitfit

15/06/18

alright that went pretty decent, checking out TSR i seem to have gotten pretty much 90% of the answers correctly, i dropped the ball a bit on the exponentials question towards the end so that’s about 6 marks down the shitter already. i’m gonna say i didn’t do as well as c3 by a few marks, just the little things screwing me over as usual - my vectors revision really came into handly for the last question though, 7 marker find position vector E type deal that everyone is complaining about i did in about 5 minutes flat

it’s really nice when you’re in an exam when you know what the fuck you’re doing - and then the times when youre charting into unknown territory, just trying things out to see what works it’s possibly the worst sensation imaginable.

i’m guessing a solid >60 for both c3 & c4, with c3 > c4 by a small margin. hopefully i’ve done enough to score myself an A, i’m just praying to god that all those little lost marks don’t add up and i miss the A boundary by a few marks. right now though i’ve got 6 days to prepare for D1. i need 80 UMS in D1 to get into soton, considering i don’t know much of anything about D1 it’s gonna take all my strength to power through this shit.

D1

20/06/18 08:26am

I’ve lost count of how many nights I’ve been awake at 3am laying in a pool of my own sweat just thinking about all the mistakes I’ve made in my last 2 exams. I feel like even though I’ve done well it’s just not going to be enough to surpass that 80% average for what I need. Exams shouldn’t put me in this state where I feel like my life is basically over because of one tiny integration mistake or one small sign fuck-up.

I’m pretty burned out now, I was doing 8hrs/day but now I can only manage 3 or 4 hours at the end of the day. I played Reassembly for about 5 hours today building an 8,000 part ship and I thought to myself: “why am I doing this, if this exam is so important why do I feel content with just moving these blocks around all day”. I don’t know, I guess I’m just being complacent about it all - I do know all the D1 content and I feel semi-ok with it all, I suppose since it’s near the end I’m more looking forward to just being done with all of this.

21/06/18 09:10pm

I managed to do everything I wanted to get done today: Revise all the sorting algorithms, do all the linear programming past paper questions, smash the D1 hardest question sheet and finally do a few past papers to wind down. I’m feeling prepared for this exam, less so than C3/C4 but nontheless prepared. I’ve been helping people out on TSR too which gives me a bit of motivation to carry on. I like being given praise (I’m pretty sure praise is the only driving factor behind anything I do hoonestly), so by helping out others I recieve it by the truckload.

Whatever happens tommorrow, I can tell myself that I tried, I stuck it out for the last three years and didn’t drop out. There were several times when I wanted to drop everything and instead take the path of least resistance, from becoming a webdev to joining the RAF - I can wonder all I like where I’d be now if I actually did those things, but it doesn’t matter now. The only thing that does is tommorrow.

22/06/18

All things considered that was a pretty decent exam, except as always my reckless stupidity came to screw me yet again - although not as much as previous exams (no where near my inexcusable multiplication errors). It’s like as soon as I come out of the exam hall I begin to recognise all my mistakes - not drawing the smallest tour for a Hamiltonian cycle, getting the wild idea that the lower bound had to be equal to the upper bound (to say that LB=UB hence the optimal solution found) even though that for the 15 times I performed Prims on that fucking matrix I got 46, yet I still put 47 to satisfy LB=UB - WHY. Just me being stupid and pissing away marks I really can’t afford to lose - there’s just no chance of getting an A now, no fucking way, I’ll say I’ve got maybe a 10% chance, if that. fucking christ just end my life.

Mid-way through walking home I began to question myself if there were actually 9 questions on the paper and not say: 10. just a wave of anxiety rushed over me and I basically began fucking bounding home at a quasi-jog pace, turns out question 9 was the last question and I’m just foolish for assuming there wasn’t a question on the overleaf.
That’s it for this post, I hate myself and I’m probably not going to soton anymore kill me thanks bye.


Anyway, now all this is over with I get to live in almost constant dread that all my mistakes have cost me my firm uni choice - yay! But really, I might be getting a job which should be fun, or atleast something to fill my time up over the next 8/9 weeks off so I don’t go completely insane with boredom. I also should have some time to work on that 1066 remake too, tentwosix. So yeah.

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there's some rate-limiting going on with my comment provider atm, so i'd reccommend copying your message incase it gets blocked and retrying