I Took My Exam in a Foreign Country

I thought I was so clever. I planned it for half the semester, about how I would have two mojitos waiting on the table for when I finished the exam, I would down them, and then my vacation would really begin.

I left for vacation early Sunday and the exam opened on Tuesday. I would be on vacation for 12 days total, until the following Thursday. I guess I could have asked the teacher of my online class to take it early (like someone else did), but I wanted the extra time to study.

I figured I would do some studying at the airport, on the airplane, and at the hotel before I actually took it. I’m hopelessly optimistic when it comes to time management and I guess I will never learn. I did actually study at the hotel for a bit, but not enough.

Preparing Before the Trip

To prepare, I emailed the hotel before I booked it to make sure they had good internet access. They assured me that they did, they had a speed of 15 mb/min, which I think is actually better than my home internet (I’m cheap).

I brought my book and my notes. I tried to scan my notes into a file so I would be able to access them more easily, however I had too many notes and that didn’t work. (The stack of notes was thicker than my book).  I needed them both to study and take the final. I was peeved that I would have to lug this around for 10 days after my exam, but like I said I needed them both and I needed the extra couple days to study.


beautiful street in cartagena colombia lined with flowers

When we got to the hotel we realized the internet was only in the lobby (which I was not expecting and did not think to ask).

It was a slight change of plans for me to take the exam in an area that was a little more public, but I figured it wouldn’t be a huge deal. I used the lobby to study a few times and I wasn’t bothered, so I hoped for the best.

We were also the only guests there. Unfortunately, this changed before my exam and the place filled up that day.

Exam Time

So the room didn’t have internet, the lobby was a little busier than I would have liked, but I needed to take it, so I spread my notes on the table and hit ‘start’ on my exam.

My exam was much harder than I expected it to be. It was also more questions with less time than I was used to.

An Unexpected Bump in the Road

As I took the exam, the hotel brought in a photographer to take photos of the hotel, and I was asked to move which did not help my stress level.

katie on street in cartagena

Finally Over

Somehow I eventually finished.

I did not have my two mojitos waiting but I was so relieved to be done that I didn’t care. And I got to carry around a reminder of the crappy exam in the form of my 10lb book for the rest of the vacation.

What I Learned

If you can help it, don’t take your exam on vacation. If you do, make sure you announce that you are taking an exam and you cannot be bothered for an hour and a half.

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