All entries for Wednesday 01 June 2005

June 01, 2005

Pre–exam cheating for the meritocratic age by A. Pontiff

Better never then late! Nevertheless, I've written it now… will go and chastise myself…

RIP (rest in pestilence) the days of old fashioned corruption, where Lord Snooty-Face of Toffs-Uppington could guarantee filial firsts at primary tertiaries courtesy of a few old-school-tie, under-the-table, sterling-sized golden handshakes. (Corruption is now strictly the reserve of certain international organisations, which I have taken the liberty to blacklist in invisible ink below). Nevertheless we immortally poor, oppressed students still have a number of trump cards when it comes to revision:


Definitely the hardest part for Yours Truly, Mr Procrastinator. This requires an enormous concerted effort to get started – rather like pushing off on a bicycle uphill. Unlike a trip to Woolworths, well worth it, though! Never say, ‘oh I have plenty of time, so I won’t bother revising just yet.’ If you look over your lecture notes once they immediately become more readily comprehensible upon re-re-vision.

Exam timetables. Personally I don’t draw up schedules because I know they will simply be over-ambitious Stalinist ‘5 year plans’ that I’ll end up not fulfilling and then getting seriously depressed over the fact that I never managed to stick to them. I prefer rotating the modules to be revised on a one or two per diem basis.


Take lecithin (pronounced less-a-thin). Lecithin is usually used as synonym for phosphatidylcholine which may be isolated from either egg yolk (in Greek lekithos – λεκιθος) or soy beans (for all you veggies). Lecithin also contains linolenic acid, a fatty acid also found in fish. It is needed by every cell in the body and is a key building block of cell membranes without it, they would harden. Lecithin protects cells from oxidation and largely comprises the protective sheaths surrounding the brain. The lecithin that is available in capsules is the most popular. These are sold at chemists and health food stores and are admittedly convenient, but are also expensive. Much less costly is liquid lecithin. A taste for liquid lecithin has to be acquired, shall we say. It is easier to take if you first coat the spoon with milk or molasses. After taking liquid lecithin, it is wise to have a "chaser" of any dairy product or, again, molasses. Beef and sheep brains are also an excellent source of lecithin…!

Eat plenty of fish!

Take frequent and regular exercise! Whether you prefer cardiovascular or weight resistance the latin adage holds true: mens sanus corpus sanus. Exercise gets the seratonin flowing round the brain again and improves concentration.

While revising avoid distractions, but bear in mind these may be both internal and external! Take regular breaks and treat yourself to small rewards after completing each stage of the revision. Personally I like to escape online or take those infamously risqué walks in parks during such intervals.

Relieve sexual frustration – this can be a major distraction. This may be equally achieved independently of other human beings…


Coffee and glucose rich products will keep you perked up as you burn the midnight oil at the eleventh hour. This situation should be avoided at all costs, however, and I don’t recommend it by any means!

Cramming. Ditch the details, dude, you have less than 24 hours before the exam! Cramming is best done in the morning – better to go to bed early and then wake up ere the early bird… Dude, are you listening? Its like midnight and you’ve got an exam tomorrow – at, like, 9:00am!… Need I say more?

June 2005

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