Every student takes an examination at a point. Some people dread it, others embrace it. However, it is not optional so one has to prepare for it regardless. So, coming into LBS one of the first things I checked when I received the annual calendar was the date for exams.
In the beginning, lectures were though to get through. Most people were not familiar with the concepts being taught. So, it was common for people to interject the lecturer with a question about the mode of exams. Each time the lecturer would brush the question aside and encourage us not to focus on the exams. Things got better as the semester progressed, yet, the question came regardless.
Looking at the timeline for the exams comforted me. Lectures would end three weeks before the exam. This was surely enough time to prepare.
Three weeks to exams, lectures ended as planned. Beforehand, our CFA lecturer assigned a project to each group. We were to present this project a week after lectures ended. We met every night to discuss the project until the presentation day. The presentation went well and we all applauded each other. However, we had to work on a written form of the presentation for submission the following week.
At the same time, I was trying to read for the exams. I used any spare moment I had to read on improvement areas. The pace was comfortable for me.
The exams timetable also came out about the same period. We had to write all four papers in a weekend. Two papers on Friday and the other two on Saturday. I thought that was a good deal. Once that weekend was over, the semester was over. Along the line, our class governor sent a message indicating that they made a request to faculty to spread the exams over two weekends instead of one. I was baffled but could not complain as the decision was already set in stone. So, I decided to go with the flow.
Meanwhile, we were still working on our Corporate Financial Accounting (CFA) project as a group. Unlike the presentation, we struggled through this one. We did not submit the work until the deadline hour even suffering from a system glitch that hampered submission for awhile.
With just a week to go to the exams, suddenly, the time seemed short.
The Easter holiday weekend was the week before exams. Since, we had wound down school activities, I decided to travel to see my family.
Shockingly, it was difficult to continue studying in the new environment. I spent a lot more time idling than expected. My plan was to return immediately after the Easter break but it was not to be. I received an escalation email and had to attend to the issue. This also took two days away from me. All the days I had to study were gone.
CFA was the first exam on the timetable. I know my preparation was not up to snuff going into the exams. I discovered a new reading material a day to the exams. Somehow, I was sure questions would come from that material. The time left was not enough to fully review the material. So, I read the the introductory part.
On the exam day, I woke up early, completed my final revision and took a nap before the exam. I woke up refreshed and ready for the exams.
Reading the first question of the exam broke my heart. It was from the manual I could not read in entirety. It came from a portion I read so I was not bothered buy I know there would be more. More came. Another question came from the manual as well. This time, I had not read it. In fact, if I had to look through the manual to answer, I still would not be able to do so. I answered the rest of the questions to the best of my ability and tuned in my paper at the end.
This experienced served as a reminder that the EMBA program is not “rice and beans.” It requires a lot of effort, dedication and sacrifice to get through it. I hope my next paper turns out better than the last.