So, technically I’m going to graduate in 4 days, but I already got to know my scores and I only have to wait for the actual paper. Anyway, I wanted to tell you all what exams are like in Hungary and how I got through it. Although, I should mention that this year we aren’t going to have oral exams because of COVID, so I kinda got lucky. If we actually had to show off our knowledge I’m sure I would’ve been in trouble.
First day: Hungarian
A written Hungarian exam mostly consists of reading text, understanding it and answering questions. You don’t really have to study for it, as it’s pretty straight-forward and you can’t prepare yourself by doing the exams of previous years, because it’s insanely different each time. The second part of it is a bit harder where we have to compose 2 texts, one of which is a shorter piece like a letter and another where we have to analyze a short story or compare 2 poems. The latter has to be from 400 to 800 words. It’s really stressful.
Anyway, I went in on Monday with my facemask on (as it was mandatory), put disinfectant on my hands at the door then went to find the class where I had to take the exam. I should note that it was 7:15 AM, because they required us to get to the school 45 minutes before the start of the exam. Apparently I didn’t read the email thoroughly enough, because the teacher welcomed me with a “I thought you would never get here!”, to which my response was a wide-eyed expression. I just sat down and took off my mask (because the Hungarian government thinks that the virus doesn’t spread if we are sitting down and taking a test, so it’s okay) and the teacher began reading the mandatory warnings and instructions. By the time she was finished we still had 30 minutes left, so we just talked a little with my classmates. Just general catching up, we hadn’t seen each other for 2 months at that point.
Then, we started the test. It was honestly pretty easy and I was very suspicious because of it. After all, we had been preparing for this for years, it couldn’t be so simple. And yet it was, I finished like 1.5 hours early, handed my test in and left. Yeah, I got a few looks but I wasn’t going to just sit around bored out of my mind.
Second day: Maths
For Maths we have a 45 minute quick test where there’s no room for error. You either know the answer or you don’t, you can’t logic your way out of these ones. Then you have 6 more modules. 3 As and 3 Bs. All of the As are mandatory, but you can pick 1 out of the Bs that you don’t do.
Once again, this was way too easy. Like I almost failed my Maths classes in the last two years so I really don’t get how I managed to even be confident during the exam. But still, I got through the 45 minute test which was soooo suspicious I kept going back and re-reading parts because I couldn’t believe that my answers were right. I actually analyzed the instructions for one of the modules, underlining parts and reasoning why I was right. I spent most of my time trying to understand why I was even capable of having valid answers. In the previous years it’s always been a case of me not understanding anything and not even being able to get started on certain tests.
Then came the second part of the exam. Now, this was much harder, but we were allowed to use… I honestly have no word for it, it’s a book filled with formulas for Maths, Chemistry and Physics. It was a huge help. Then there was a module where we had to draw a triangle based on coordinates, then we had to prove that one of its inner angles was 90 degrees. Now, instead of looking into the aforementioned book and using one of the formulas I used my own. That way I filled an entire page with calculations and other crap instead of writing like 2 lines. Yeah, I’m kind of an idiot.
And yet, I still left like an hour early. Me. The barely passing student.
Third day: History
This is a simple 3 hour long exam filled with random questions and 2 essays. I studied so much for it. Like I spent an entire week only on the 20th century just to make sure I would know what’s what. And I thought I got it all, honestly. I couldn’t answer a few things, like who made the first coal powered train or whatever, but besides that I filled everything out. Then the essays went really well too, because the given sources were filled with relevant information.
Once again, I left an hour early.
Much later: “Moving picture and media culture”
That would be the mirror translated name of the class that I took an exam in. We basically just watched movies and talked about what shadows, camera angles and music meant. It won’t really do much for me in the future but I had to take one more exam to be able to graduate and I didn’t want to go into IT, plus I have ambitions to get into politics, so into media I went.
We watched a movie twice, answered questions about it, filled out a 10 question pop quiz and wrote a page long essay. Then we watched the movie again just to see the details we might have missed. It was honestly one of the most boring exams and I absolutely hated it. I got through the questions really fast, but had to wait around for an entire hour just so I could watch the movie for a 3rd time. Just to not notice anything new about it and leave 30 minutes early.
So, I had an English exam last year, because I didn’t want to have classes for another year. I got 94% on it, which is insanely great because it’s going to make up a huge part of my score that will determine whether I get into university.
- Maths: 77%
- Media: 73%
- Hungarian: 72%
- History: … a dreadful 62%
I’m kind of proud of myself, now I have a good shot at getting a better education. Wish me luck!