Zee Exams Ah Done!

11 Jun , 2015 Mindset

Zee Exams Ah Done!


The exams are done!! And yes, I’m feeling on top of zee vorld!! 😀

As a whole so far, I’ve done very well. Very happy with myself and very surprised with some of the scores that I got. In my academic history so far, these marks would have to be the highest and consistently high as well.

To think that only 12 weeks ago, I had no idea how to do any accounting, I didn’t know what strategy management was or strategic planning, I didn’t know how to read financial reports and I just didn’t get it – felt really stupid.

12 weeks later, I surprise myself. 

Also, 12 weeks ago, I was freaking out about the exam, thinking, “Mate, I haven’t done an exam since I was 18. What is this exam thing all about”. I had heard about people studying like crazy for it and cramming, and having cue cards… I was like really worried that this “exam” thing was going to be really hardcore.

It wasn’t. 

I remember talking to a professor at the Academy of Design and he told me that an exam is just like a revision of the subject. If you’ve done the work and you understand it, it won’t be hard. The “cramming” is more a revision rather than trying to learn something new.

I agree. I didn’t really study that hard. I only just read over the text book the night before to pick up on the highlights and yeah, vaguely remembered specifics like names of certain theories, but the overall main points and things I remembered. (I hear some people yelling, “Bitch” to me).

There is no way you could just “cram” everything in your brain last minute and expect to do well in an exam. No way.

Here’s a tip for my young people out there – when people tell you, “Oh, I just read it all in the book two days before and learnt everything then” are liars! There’s no way. Behind the reading two days before is lots of hard work (like I did) and or the hard work they put into working in the industry and doing the degree was only to brush up on their technical qualification that they needed for work. There is no way in hell, you can just learn 12 weeks worth of stuff in 2 days and pass with flying colours. You might not fail, but you definitely won’t be HD-ing anything. If it were that easy, then why have 12 week semesters. We might as well just have university degrees from two weeks worth of study. Even a certificate IV is at least 6 months.

First time at the Races was for an EXAM!

My two exams were held differently – one at Moonee Valley and one online. The Moonee Valley racecourse one was different but I guess it happened because Swinburne doesn’t have a huge random hall to hold exams. The online one was really different though.. I was watched the entire time on my webcam and they watched my desktop as well. Crazzyy.. That was the Intro to Management exam. I felt it was pretty short for a 2.5 hour exam. I think they are missing an essay or maybe a few more multiple choice questions.

The Moonee Valley one was accounting. Damn. Three hours of accounting. Three hours of hearing the clicking sounds of calculators, hearing pens scratch across the paper from ruling lines and brain juices leaking out of people’s ears. I could only feel the person on my right and the person on my front right, working hard on their exam. The chick in the front of me left after about 1 hour. I was like, WOAHH.. she finished already!?? Maybe she didn’t? There was no way you could finish that quickly because you had to put together three financial statements, a report and two other questions about costing.

The Perks of being a Mature Aged Student

You know what’s cool about being an older mature student with degrees under my belt already? A part from sounding up myself (I don’t really mean it in that way lol) is that you don’t care about the outcome… Like, as a young 18 – 20 something year old, your education was everything. It was the start of a dream, a life that you want to have, stepping all wide-eyed into a world of “I don’t know what’s that”.

As a mature student, it’s not about the achievement, it’s about what you learn. Now I understand why the older students in my counselling course, always had HDs and Ds and I was working so hard to get those Ds and some HDs. I totally get it.

How I did so well…

I worked really hard to understand accounting. At the start of the year, that was one thing that I really struggled with and my eyes literally glazed (okay figuratively) over when I looked at numbers in a report. I’m cool with maths, I did two maths in high school. But what I realised now is that the maths that I like is problem solving maths. Like costing. I freaking love COSTING. I have always loved costing but didn’t know how to do it the right way, I used to do it my way when I do my business costings for products, new products and events.

Anyway… I worked really hard to understand accounting. I took it as baby trying to learn how to walk. Like really. If I didn’t get it, I asked. If I still didn’t get it, I consulted my new study friend, YouTube. I remember those days and nights I would have bad stomach pains that felt like my stomach was going to burst from the stress of not getting it. I felt like such a dumb-arse it wasn’t funny. Hey, my freaking balance sheets still don’t balance but hey, at least I understand where those numbers are coming from.

Another reason why I’m doing well is because I’ve changed my attitude. I remember when I studied fashion, I didn’t even look at the criteria sheets or rubric. I just did it according to the outline but didn’t look at how I can do better… hence why I didn’t do well until my later years when the projects were on your design and thinking and not how well you can comply with a rubric. It was all conceptual.

My thoughts after the exam: Why do I keep thinking I’m stupid?

Which brings me to my thoughts afterwards while driving the long ass drive back to where I came from. Why didn’t I do this accounting 101 subject earlier? Why wasn’t I smart like the other fashion chick who actually did it in fourth year? Accounting 101 really did help me think about money and bring forward my rational/logical side that I have, I just haven’t developed it in the commercial way.

I also asked myself, why do I keep thinking that I’m stupid? As if design is a stupid thing. I think back to the last post I wrote about how fashion grad jobs get paid so low and even if you climbed the ladder you still get paid less than an accounting grad. And I thought, does society really see designers as stupid people? Then I thought about the “geniuses”, “the legendary”, the “intellectual” and the “talented” designers that media and society love.

I remember asking what is design thinking at the start of the year. Today, I asked myself what the difference between designer and an artist.

An artist creates. An artist creates something out of nothing. An artist gives meaning to its creation of something from nothing to portray a purpose. 

A designer creates with a purpose of fulfilling a set of human-centric criteria or guidelines for profitability. 

Yes. That is exactly what a designer is.

We design for a reason, for a purpose, for someone to use, with a budget, with a guideline, with restrictions, within a framework and it must be profitable – meaning it has to appeal to its buyers otherwise it is worthless.

A piece of artwork is different. It is subject to the person who owns it, which usually, it is one person.

I think I’ve muddled the two up and lived as an artist for so many years and completely missed the point of being a designer. Interesting.

The Future Study Me

I have a few more weeks to chill and get some new opportunities before I’m moving on to RMIT. I am really wanting to do it full time, but fear that my brain capacity may not withstand having to write four essays or four exams, so for the sake of sanity, I may only do two subjects per semester. But who knows right.

I looked at the subjects again and they all look great. So I’m really excited to embark on this new journey. It’s been a long time since I actually felt like I am breathing my own air. Walking on my own path. Doing things that I like doing. And I don’t have to care about what others may feel, or say.

Cos in the end, they are thinking the exact same thing but just didn’t want to say anything – just in case.

That’s another story for another day.

I’m gonna go and chill and splurge and spoil myself for a while! 😉

Karen x



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