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Written by Joakim Book

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Having two exams 18 hours apart is hardly optimal. As every uni student knows, the best exam schedule is about 5–6 days between your exams. That allows you to cool off for the rest of your day, get back into balance, and still have a reasonable amount of time to revise everything for the next exam.

Having two exams 18 hours apart is hardly optimal. As every uni student knows, the best exam schedule is about 5–6 days between your exams. That allows you to cool off for the rest of your day, get back into balance, and still have a reasonable amount of time to revise everything for the next exam..

Before my macro exam last week I had the feelings of: “OMG I CAN’T DO THIS” (familiar to most of us), despite the fact that I knew all the topics and had memorised all the equations in the very likely case the exam was going to ask us to derive and use them. I knew the theories inside-out (at least to the extent these simplified versions are true representations of the actual theories), and I had it all covered. Still, two hours before the exam, I was freaking out… So I made the very mature decision to have lunch in the sun, accepting that whatever happens inside this marvelous exam venue of mine was now beyond my control; and to instead spend my time calming down.

When it ended at 4pm, not even the prospect of only having 18 hours until the Business Cycle & Asset Markets exam on the next day could ruin my mood. I never feel as anxious as right before an exam, or as relieved and calm after. Add dizziness and head-spinning to that list.

One hour’s worth of rest, eat a little something while embracing the wonderful Sydney sunshine, then back to revising the next one. Good thing I spent the last few weeks preparing for these two horrible days and I had more than enough notes and articles to keep myself occupied.

The million-dollar question is, however, did I do well enough? Sometimes it’s easy to tell (like Macro last week) and sometimes you’re really not sure (like my Business Cycle unit). I definitely failed the first essay question by not properly calculating the value of an asset using C-CAPM. I have hated that model for months, and the basic understanding I had sure didn’t help today. But I’m pretty sure I did fine on the rest of the exam, so perhaps it’s enough to compensate.

This very suitable grey Sydney-morning seemed like a metaphor for how I felt inside: grey, anxious, stressful and occasionally rainy. Good thing Counselling and Psychological Services were around handing out free biscuits. Yay.

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And now, a few moments of calming down, before preparing for the penultimate exam of the semester, the heterodox Cyclical Fluctuations unit. So, we go from unreasonable mainstream assumptions about actors and equilibriums and perfect information; to heterodox post-keynesians (Minsky & Kalecki for now) and their unreasonable assumptions of aggregate relationships.

I'm in for a treat!

Joakim Book is an Economics & Economic History student currently on exchange to University of Sydney from the University of Glasgow. This post originally appeared on Joakim’s blog, Life of an Econ student

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