Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Exam Culture Shock

Today I had two final exams à la fac. In fact, those two exams, Contrôle de Gestion and Espagnol Société et Culture felt more like four exams lol: French, Finance, Spanish and Argentine History. Overall they went alright, although I guess this will be verified when I get the results lol.

I also experienced some "exam culture shock".
  • For instance, if a question is worth 5 marks and the entire exam is worth 20 marks (typical in France), how long should be the response? Especially if the question is simple...? *confused*
  • When I did my undergraduate degree at UWI, it was normal for exams to be what I would call a race against time, in order to write about 10 pages (or more) in 2 hours! Today... well, none of that! lol.
  • I looked around and saw students taking their cool time to answer questions, no one asked for extra paper, and to top it off, almost everyone finished the exam and left early (some even with an hour still to go)!!! By the time half an hour was left, most people had already gone. Bizarre! It (i.e. slower paced exam) worked out for me though --> extra time to think of French/Spanish words and sentence structure, to check over the paper, and double check calculations. With Spanish, I was the last to leave... I had five minutes remaining, but I was feeling kinda bad to keep the invigilator waiting lol. Hope it doesn't cost me! (I personally don't like to leave exams before the time is up... never know what I might have forgotten to include in my answer!)
  • (Two sheets of yellow) Scrap paper to write a Spanish exam? Hmm, no doubt it's good practice, encouraging students to plan properly. I just never had the experience...usually the exam paper was used to jot down a few points before writing in the answer booklet.
  • Another oddity... everyone got to keep their personal belongings (bags, cell phones, notebooks, lecture notes, etc.) next to them!! (e.g. on the empty seat à côté or under the chair). I even heard a couple cell phones ring today during exams! Uhh, what?? Madness!

Well, I have no more exams for a while, yay! Second semester starts in two weeks, and my inner nerd is quite excited for a change in courses lol! But in the meanwhile, I'm going to enjoy some less busy days spent only teaching. *nevertheless I can really do with a vacation ... :-)*

No comments: