By Abi Allan
Collections are simply exams that take place at the start of each term, usually on Friday and / or Saturday of 0th week. They're more like mock exams than anything else, meaning that they are more for you to get a feel of taking papers and marking your own progress, and they provide something more concrete or immediate for you to revise towards than end of year exams, which can be useful. Being like mock exams means that they can also be pretty chill!
At my college, Christ Church, collections take place for most people in the Hall. If you have extra time, need a laptop, or anything else, your collections take place in a different room - one with plug sockets! You're arranged in Hall in subjects by table / part of a table. Classics, which covers my subject, sat at High Table last time (which felt a bit weird!) and our tutors told us where to sit when we got there.
We had to wear normal clothes, but with gowns, and needed to take in watches / some other sort of time-keeping device, and pens, of course.
For First Year, I've had two collections per term: one in the morning, and one in the afternoon - one was for my Classical Archaeology & Ancient History Core Paper for that term, and the other for my Beginner's Greek language paper.
If you're a first year sitting collections for the first time - try not to panic about them too much. They are really just a way to assess your progress from the previous term and provide a chance to practise for Trinity exams. You just need to pass at this stage, to show you're on track!