First exam was a reasonable paper I suppose but there was a part of a question not on the syllabus, so hopefully once that is communicated to the examiners they’ll bump us all up a few marks. After this non-examinable theorem there was a question about guests at a party and seating arrangements, and apparently it could be done with A-level-style reasoning, but I did what I often do and ignored it because I assumed it relied on usage of the theorem I didn’t know. Shouldn’t have done that.

It’s quite impressive just how much you can fit into your head at this stage of revision. I am about to make a list of all the things that didn’t come up that might well, therefore, come up in the paper tomorrow, and learn them, and I know that if I sit down for half an hour I can master the memorised parts of the topic, and be in a much better stead to answer a question on it. Should have done some more of this last night. The humid weather, and tiredness from so many weeks of revision, has left me headachey almost all the time which is definitely sapping what I’m able to do.

If things keep going like this I should get close to 60, which is recoverable from if I get a first on every paper next year. To get a first overall, since I am joint schools, I have to get an average of 70 in philosophy and an average of 67 overall. Philosophy never give higher than 73 (as a matter of policy), but I have got Maths papers like Logic and Set Theory which are pretty easy so assuming I work hard I should be able to get lots of marks (say, 8) above 67 there to pull me up.

I reckon that if I want a first I have to work extremely hard next year and consistently through the year. A positive aspect of not doing very well at these exams is that I will be able to motivate myself next year by saying, “you have to do this NOW or you won’t get a first”, because they’ll basically be zero room for manoeuvre. Why do I want a first? Well I need one if I want to do graduate philosophy here. A 2:1 would be fine for other universities.

So the next thought is: is the suggestion that I didn’t work hard this year? I didn’t work very well. I put lots of hours into Philosophy, very very few into Maths and didn’t get very much out of those hours that I did put in. I need to make degree work my habitual activity again, like in first year. Then if I consistently work efficiently throughout the year I can still do it.

Of course my predictions could be wildly wrong. If I get substantially less than 60, then I should concentrate on getting firsts across Philosophy since that’s what I’ll be applying for.