April 16, 2006

Why only one exam?

All that revision has got me angry now – why do we only have one exam every year? Wy can't we have mid-terms, regular test and quizzes which then take away this unusually high stress during the exam period
High-School was sooo much better, we had tests every two weeks, and quizzes every month, a mid-semester and an exam at the end of the semester and finally the final exam which counted for not more than 20%.
It just makes a lot lot more sense to have more regular tests/assignments/essays/work that actually counted, if you think about it. We should be doing most of our work year round anyway, and if all those essays and weekly assignments were made to count towards our grade not only would we put in more effort but actually learn something along the way

I hate this feeling of learning the whole course at the end of the year, this system sucks!


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  1. But this system also sorts the men out from the boys…

    16 Apr 2006, 13:48

  2. ????so you are a man if you can cram everything in a month and forget about it, and you are not a man if you learn things over a period of time and apply them in the final exam?

    16 Apr 2006, 14:54

  3. No, having exams at the end tests people's time management, handling of pressure, concentration and memory to the maximum. Only those that exhibit talent in all these things do well.

    16 Apr 2006, 15:40

  4. alternatively, the difference is that in high school, you were made to do work all year round, otherwise you'd fail your tests etc. at uni, there's no one looking over your shoulder making sure you study. either you have enough self-discipline and can motivate yourself to do work all around the year or you've got a bit of a problem at the end of the year (comme moi)...

    16 Apr 2006, 16:53

  5. JC

    Kunal said:
    No, having exams at the end tests people's time management, handling of pressure, concentration and memory to the maximum. Only those that exhibit talent in all these things do well.

    I think Udayan's point is that that is not in any way a useful test of what one has learned in lectures, classes and exercises prior to the exam.

    I agree with Laura; if one has applied oneself to constant attendance, revision and learning all year round, the exams should be a breeze. Last-minute panic, on the other hand… well some people can make it work for them, but I'd hardly say the Uni forces it upon you.

    16 Apr 2006, 17:13

  6. That's true, but no way should exams be ditched in favour of more regular testing.
    Some people simply work hard all year and aren't that intelligent whereas others don't, but are very intelligent. Exams sort these two types of people out in my opinion, especially in the sciences.

    16 Apr 2006, 17:35

  7. Thats not true at all!

    First of all time management is a lot harder when you have regular tests rather than one strressful exam at the end of the year, what we do year round should make us time-efficient not what we do in one term
    Who says regular tests are not a good way to handle concentration?? If anything our concentration improves as our tests depend on listening to the lecturer and it makes us more alert rather than sleepy.
    Memory??? Why should my learning be about my memorizing capabilities? I have come here to apply my self not to memorize passages – something I can do quite well at home not spending 15000 pounds a year.

    Hard work all year round!!! bollocks
    If you work hard from the last 2/3 weeks of easter to the begining of your exam there's no way you won't get a decent score.

    Yes university is about one's own initiative, but primarily it should be about learning and having one exam apart from teaching me how not to cope with stress also goes to show how little the system has encouraged me to learn constantly all year round. Coming from school does not mean magically transforming yourself, some help is needed

    16 Apr 2006, 19:00

  8. Regular tests involve very little subject matter – they can be revised for the night before. They require no time management skills whatsoever. My first year was a doddle for that reason.

    It takes a lot more to concentrate on revision for an exam on a warm summer day that it does to listen to a lecturer.

    Like it or not, learning is as much about memory than intelligence, probably more. If I relied simply on 'applying myself' in my engineering exams the past 2 years, I wouldn't be here now.

    If you work hard from the last 2/3 weeks of easter to the begining of your exam there's no way you won't get a decent score.

    Amazing how many people just can't handle the pressure. That's why exams are such good tests, and why employers regard exam results so highly.

    Remember, you won't get regular tests when you start your career, but you will get stiff deadlines to meet under massive pressure.
    I felt it last summer, even though I wasn't in the firing line. Exams are pretty damn good practice.

    16 Apr 2006, 21:36

  9. On a side note – you mention u worked last summer…..do you mind if I ask you who for and what the experience was like???? sorry – desperately short of good sources!

    16 Apr 2006, 22:36

  10. Yeah sure, it was for Faber Maunsell, an UK engineering consultancy owned by AECOM in the US. By the looks of it you're a PPE man, unfortunately they only hire people from a technical/science background. But that's irrelevant since the company functions pretty much like every other consultancy on the planet. It was awesome experience…just 8 weeks there and you get a general idea of what consultancy is all about – winning clients, telling all the other companies on the same project that they're wrong, and working your ass off to deadlines set by the PM. At the time I was there we had to produce drawings for an entire office building in a matter of weeks – which meant arguing with architects (and other consultancies) and just getting work done to a really high standard and tight schedules.

    16 Apr 2006, 22:50

  11. Wow, sounds impressive and daunting at the same time. You are right consultancy firms tend to work in a similar manner across inductries. I am also keen on getting a good job, but not too sure about the sector…...what I liked about your description was the opportunity to debate and challenge other people's ideas…..sounds like something i could live with.
    Thanks a lot Kunal.

    17 Apr 2006, 02:08

  12. nikhil JAIN

    yes , its true… the whole year, we dont bother going to lectures, wasting out time on everything and anythin till its term 3 and we realize that we paid 12000 quids for hays.. and we are no trying to find a needle in it .. i was so composed of going for the xchange programme to US., but cudnt get in the end to wharton .

    31 May 2007, 18:43


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