Readying yourself for the exam: cram, nude rugby or what?

By Grant Jacobs 21/06/2010

What do (did) you do in the last hours before an exam?

(Mock brawl in nude Blacks v. Welsh Leeks match. Source:
Mock brawl in Nude Blacks v. Welsh Leeks French (?) match. (Source:

Rugby is regarded as the national sport of New Zealand. My own interest is currently more with the football, where New Zealand drew 1:1 against the current world champions Italy last night.*1

In Dunedin we have just had a rugby test match*2 between New Zealand and Wales.

Dunedin is a university town, with all that goes with it.

Recent traditional has been to host an informal nude game prior to the main event.

The Otago Daily Times account*3 of the Nude Blacks*4 v. the Welsh Leeks match observed that

Dunedin students made up the bulk of the Nude Blacks team, which was obvious when one had to leave halfway through the match to sit an exam, […]

I was a more boring student.

(Source: Wikimedia Commons.)
(Not the author. Source: Wikimedia Commons.)

I never played nude rugby as an exam-readiness fixture.

When I was fitter, I would head off for a run. I was keen on long-distance running as a kid, and I found that after a physical workout I was in a better mood to face a mental workout. (I’ve no idea if any science backs this.)

Over the years I figured that by the time you got to the day, you knew what you did (or didn’t) and that – for me – last minute ’cramming’ generally just raised the stress levels without adding enough to justify it.

I suppose nude rugby could be another way to let of some steam and take your mind off things before facing the exam.

Seriously now, what are (were) your pre-exam rituals?


*1. You are welcome to share your thoughts on the match! Paraguay beat Solvakia 2:0, so it’s looking like a race for the second spot in group F.

*2. An international match between the major rugby-playing nations.

*3. Recommended reading. The match is played earlier in the day at different venue to the international match.

*4. New Zealand’s rugby team are known as the All Blacks, the football team the All Whites. Many other teams share this theme with similar nicknames: the Tall Blacks, the Black Sox, and so on. The badminton team once went under the name the Black Cocks, although they now officially have no nickname. Apparently.

*5. After putting this up, I realised that in trying to locate a copyright-free image I’d accidentally picked one from last year. My apologies.

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University of Otago to limit entrants – your thoughts

A course for all degrees: PHIL 105, Critical Thinking

Advice for students heading to university

Minorities, disabilities and scientists

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