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309 Midterm

309 Midterm

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Gah. I got anywhere betwen 60-75%. I was really hoping to do better, but I forgot that uni exams have that "time drill component", where it isn't as much can you answer the question, but rather answer the question without thinking. I needed like 5 more minutes. It was a 9 page exam, 11 pages if you count the BLANK periodic table and the front. I had 2 pages of questions left when I had to give my paper in, and they were EASY, but somehow I lost track of time in all the questions, I just kept plugging away and didn't skip anything because it all seemed relativly easy.

This guy is hard: memorize the periodic table, AND hand draw molecular orbitals AND a photo-electric spectra by HAND!!!!
  • I hate exams like that because they are based on the instructor's naive assumption that everyone can physically draw letters and diagrams on paper at the same speed. The result is that people who are gifted with the ability to write quickly get an unfair advantage (they don't have to think as fast) while people like me who have trouble properly holding and using a pen or pencil are unable to finish all the questions, no matter how hard we study or how well we understand the material.
    • Yep, all about writing FAST. And a zillion diagrams to draw.
      I made some stupid mistakes because I didn't have time to remember things. : /
      I'm a little bitter. I get my exam back on monday.
      I suppose I should aim for speed rather than just understanding to bring my grades up... but time drilling seems so stupid! (Not to mention I don't have time for it if I want to eat healthy and take care of myself :/ )
      • As far as I'm concerned there is not much difference between giving an exam like the one you described and giving an art project as a homework assignment. In either case they are not using an understanding of the course material as the (exclusive) metric for measuring performance, and such a practice should not be tolerated in this day and age.

        I've taken several time-constrained exams at BCIT, however most of them were actually set up in such a way that it only take about 5 minutes to write the entire exam if you already knew the answers. The first time I was unable to finish an exam because it contained too much writing, I was so pissed off that I actually complained directly to the dean. He suggested that I go to the DRC (Disability Resource Center) and present them with an note from a medical professional documenting the problem with my fine motor control. All I wanted was an amount of extra time on the exams that was proportional to the amount of writing and drawing involved, but instead they gave me a flat 50% time bonus on all exams, even ones that were entirely multiple-choice! There were at least 5 other people in my program who were also given the same bonus, and I think one of them even got double time.

        As a matter of personal pride I always made a point of finishing each exam in the time I was supposed to take, unless it contained a large amount of writing and drawing; my marks were almost always the highest in the class and I didn't want anyone attributing them to the use of a handicap. Of course, anyone who's ever watched me struggle to fill out a Rug Doctor rental form knows that I'm not bullshitting when I say that I have a serious deficiency in my ability to use a writing instrument. My writing is so bad that I don't even need to put my name down on an exam; the instructor will immediately recognize that it's mine.
        • At least your story has a happy ending and a solution.

          I type SO much faster than I write. I don't think I have problems writing, but it is a factor that hinders me in exams. I prob only wite 10-20% slower than others though. I needed only 1-5 more minutes to get more marks, if I had 10, I would have had time to read stuff over and catch stupid mistakes.

          I hate how speed turns it from a learning based exam to a memorization based exam.
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