FIRST EXAMS IN FRANCE

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It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. But it was still pretty bad. If we weren’t already nervous enough, the fact that our names weren’t even on the seating list outside the exam hall did NOT make us feel any better. Merci once again Paris Descartes, you made us feel right at home. 

When we walked into the exam hall, we were told we weren’t on the list because we were Erasmus students. OF COURSE that’s the reason. Erasmus students basically aren’t even real students right?! No wonder we haven’t been allocated a seat in this very real exam which goes towards our very real mark for this year- it’s all because we’re Erasmus students, that makes it all okay!

It wasn’t really understandable at all- Erasmus or not, we were required to sit this exam, and this should’ve been something they were aware of. I mean, we have student cards now, our names are on registers- we’re just as equal a student as anybody else. So I can’t really understand how this was even a problem. I highly doubt this would be the case at Warwick. I do that a lot don’t I? Compare the shoddy administration here to Warwick. I certainly won’t have any reason to complain when I’m back there for final year.

And as the seats were getting more and more filled up, it became very clear that we were the only students without a seat, and it was also becoming clear that others were getting a little bit impatient with us. As the scripts were being handed out, we still didn’t have a seat, and I was not feeling any better about the whole situation.

Finally, I got cramped next to a girl on her table. My seat was next to this HUGE radiator pipe, so I couldn’t just scoot up next to the wall. As a result, I was genuinely right next to her- hardly the perfect exam conditions! Anyways, I eventually got a paper, and then the exam begun.

But when I opened the paper, what did I see? An exam format that I was definitely not expecting. We were told it would be a commentaire of some kind e.g. commentaire d’article, d’arrêt, etc. So what the hell was this in front of me? A case and then 10 questions? And it wasn’t a commentaire d’arrêt we were required to do here, because question 1 was: “Faire la fiche de l’arrêt.” Excellent.

And then I remembered some French students saying that apparently it would be like that, and that we use the questions given to answer them all in a commentaire style, with 2 headings etc. But that still didn’t make any sense with the questions in front of us, because there seemed to be a lot of overlap, and I really didn’t see how I could split that up into 2 headings, and then 2 sub headings.

Confused, and in a state of slight panic, I just put my hand up and waited for my seminar tutor to come see me. I asked him (in very terrible, very stressed-out French) how we were expected to do a commentaire on this, and he said all we have to do is respond to the questions. Whilst I felt a sight sense of relief, I couldn’t ignore the twang of annoyance growing within me, because he spent 15 minutes after our seminar last week, explaining to me how to do a commentaire FOR THE EXAM.

iooo

Errrr merci, Monsieur

So once that was all resolved, I got down to actually writing the paper. It was okay, but I’m not feeling too positive for the results. But I was proud that I understood the words on the sheet. My question de droit was probably all wrong, but that’s ok for now- it is only the first exam after all.

However, we were told that this is the exam that we all need to smash, as the rest of them are going to be terrible. I’m trying my hardest to suppress the inevitable stress that is rising within me.

That being said, I have a bigger exam next week, which I’m hoping won’t cause us as many issues. Bright side? We sit this one in our seminar classes, so at least I know I’m guaranteed to have a seat…

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