Ready for the exam apocalypse?

The end of May is approaching and the beast of exams will rise again. But do you possess the skills to survive and come off unscathed? Do you know the difference between the different beasts of exams: 1a, 2b, and 3c? Can you categorise exam threats of oral, written paper and 4 hour and decide how to neutralise the risk to sanity? If not, sit back and take notes as I present my own tips on how to tackle exam season and come out the other side. All example are from real life experience but do check with tutors and study department for proper advice on exams.

Long Papers

First, Intel has suggested that if challenged by a 1A exam you will need to write a long paper of approximately 15-20 pages. The best way to do this is to come up with a question you want your paper to answer and create a structure. Cramming an essay in to last minute days, like forgetting to double check back seat of empty car before entering (as shown in Zombieland) is to be avoided when possible.

A possible example is below to scrutinise:

  • Introduction 2 pages
  • Main body 10-12 pages comprised of four sections of 3 pages each
  • Finally conclusion about a page to bring arguments together.


Orals (usually have a B in exam code) are a difficult beats to take down. Recent testimony from survivors has developed a complex picture of this exam. It comprises of a 30 minute presentation. You might be asked to create your own topic or select from options. 10 minutes will be given you to establish your discussion and a further 10 minutes will be set aside for questions from tutor. The final part is set aside for evaluation. Survival hints including do not panic, think clearly about question before answering and arriving on time will lead to the best chance of success.

Sit in Exams

The last main type (Exam C) usually involves an exam of 3 hours. This may involve an open book challenge where study material may be used but check with tutors. Key is to think logically under pressure and to prepare beforehand so you feel confident to overcome this obstacle.

exam tom

Exams can be difficult but are survivable. They require hard work, skill and perseverance. And sometimes lots of coffee. But do not forget the twinkies and other food substance to help you pull through. Last point a good point of call for any questions about exams can be directed to tutors and exam offices.

I wish you all the very best with your missions and look forward to seeing you on the other side at Rebirth.

Copenhagen University Humanities infected zone survival expert, Tom

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