Sunday, December 26, 2010

Michaelmas Exams

I am beaten and battered, but I made it through my exams this term. I had two exams this term: (1) Financial Economics was a one-hour exam with 10 questions and (2) Finance I was an hour-and-a-half hour exam with 8 questions. I also had to write a take-home essay for Financial Economics. This may sound simple, but trust me, it was not! Other than the bar exam (which was a three-day test that determined my employment status), I have never studied so hard for anything in my life. Unlike undergrad and law school finals, there was no designated "study" week, so the exams were immediately after classes were finished.

All Oxford exams are taken at the Examination Schools, which is the centralized testing department of the University. It is an ancient building (and the setting of several Harry Potter scenes). Students are required to wear full sub fusc during exams (suit, gown, mortarboard, and bow tie). There is also a tradition that students wear a carnation to each exam--a white carnation for the first exam, a pink for those in the middle, and red for the final exam. According to legend, students originally wore a white carnation and kept it in a red inkpot between exams, so it gradually turned pink and by the last exam it was completely red.

Ready for my first exam (with my white carnation from Leah)

Thankfully, I had some great study partners. About 8 of us formed a group to study throughout the term, and my friend Jono and I spent countless hours in the Oxford Union preparing for the exams.

The view from our study base camp

Since the Masters in Law and Finance is a new degree, neither the students nor the lecturers had any idea of what to expect. Overall, I feel pretty good about the exams. One of them (Financial Economics) was ridiculously hard, and the other (Finance I) was exactly what I expected. The essay was challenging, but working with some great legal writers for the past five years provided some good training.

Outside of Exam Schools after our second (and last) exam, hence the red carnations

Of course, we celebrated at the King's Arms once our exams were finished...

...and again after our essays were turned in a couple of days later.

1 comment:

  1. What, you guys don't wear suits and carnations to finals in Texas??? We totally did that at Fresno State.

    Seriously, that is the weirdest thing I've heard all week (and I've been with G&P, so........)! :)

    So glad you got to have your mum there for Christmas!! The report from Soda says she loved it but it was COLD! :)