What can you say about your school? Is it different from any other school you know?
Does it have any traditions?
I study at Mogilev State Regional Lyceum #1. It is situated in a very beautiful three-storied building. It was constructed in the 19th century as a school for the daughters of Russian orthodox clergymen. Later there was a teachers’ training college here. During the Great Patriotic war the Gestapo was quartered in this building and a lot of people were tortured and killed in its cellar. After the war there was a boarding school here and since 1990 the building has been occupied by Mogilev State Regional Lyceum #1.
To enter our lyceum you need to take exams. Students here can major in such subjects as math and physics or IT, chemistry and biology, languages or history and social studies. We study our majors at an advanced level so we have extra classes in them. Most of the students of our lyceum are 10th and 11th formers but we also have 8th formers and 9th formers.
The lyceum has a hall of residence (a dormitory) where students from other towns or villages live.
There are a lot of clubs at our lyceum. You can go in for various sports (such as…), have music classes or get some military training. It's a pity that I'm too pressed for time to take part in all the clubs I want. Our tourism club is one of the best places for relaxation. The students of the lyceum enjoy hiking, camping and boating trips. On returning they meet up at the club to share their impressions and memories and sing tourist songs.
By the way, one of the traditions of the lyceum is connected with hiking and camping trips. At the beginning of every school year 10th formers go on a trip with their classmates and later put up a show about that trip.
We have many talent shows, parties and concerts throughout the year. During one of such shows, called kapustnik, 10th formers take an oath of lyceum students and at the end of the show they all eat cabbage pies.
Do you agree that our school provides a person with good knowledge? Does it give a person a good start in life?
Belarusian children study a wide range of subjects at school, for example… If they go to a lyceum or to some other selective school, they may study some subjects at an advanced level. But still the other subjects are compulsory.
So I think that Belarusian school gives young people a good start in life. But a lot depends on a person. If you are hard-working, inquisitive and ambitious, you’ll get important skills and knowledge whatever the system. And if you are lazy, disorganized and unmotivated, then the latest methods and the newest technologies will be useless.
What would you advise another student to do to prepare well for an exam?
In Belarus students take 3 compulsory exams after they finish year 9. They are Russian, Belarusian, and Math. If they stay on at school, at the end of their 11th year they have to take 4 exams: Math, a foreign language and either Russian or Belarusian, and the History of Belarus. In order to get to university a student has to take 3 centralized tests in certain subjects, for example…
British students take GCSE exams at the age of 16. Compulsory subjects at that stage are Math, English and Computer studies. Optional subjects are Accounting, Art, Biology, Business Studies, Chemistry, Economics, Geography, Natural Economy and Physics. At the age of 18 they take A level exams. Those exams are their ticket to university.
I think to prepare well for an exam, you need to do lots of revision exercises and tests. You should learn to get information from different. It’s also important to be confident – some students do badly in their exams just because they get too nervous. Remember – stress kills, so don’t worry and relax.