Senior HTF Member
- Jan 6, 2001
Allow me to vent. I have six, count em, 6 two hour finals starting tomorrow and lasting until wednesday. GRRRRRRRRR Pray for me.
You only have 6? Granted I'm in High School, but I still get 7. This year I get them for....
A college final is the equivalent of about three or four finals in High School. Believe it or not, things get harder exponential-like as you go up in the education ladder. High School was harder than shit compared to Junior High. But when you get to undergrad college, the stuff is eight times as hard as High School. Then you think, "Well, can't get any worse than that." But then comes Grad School or Professional school, and you'll learn very quickly that undergrad was a joke.
Chuck C, I sympathize with you, but to be honest, what the hell were you smoking when you decided to take six classes?
But hey, look at it this way, the alcohol and if you're lucky, the sex will be that much more rewarding after a stressful week.
I enjoy your suffering Just think once you graduate there's a good chance you will spend 8 hours a day in a Sensory Depravation Chamber ...er... "cube" working for The Man Actually my cube as a window so I am lucky.
I generally refer to this as my "inevitable cubicle doom"
I don't want to start a 'you American students have it easy' topic, but you American students have it easy.
Generally, Brit universities have moved over to a modular system, and work is examined at the end of the semester in which it's completed, so 'finals' in the sense of not being examined until the end of the year has largely disappeared now. However, exams are nearly always concentrated into one week (usually two weeks after the end of teaching) and as students take four modules per semester, that's up to four exams per semester they can look forward to.
Outside of the goofy attire requirements, I'm not seeing much of a difference here. Finals have almost always composed a great deal of my ultimate grade ranging from 33% to 100%. I've been through the two main methods of exam structure and find they both have major flaws. I've also had the "final only" grade situation and actually found that to be easier, because the detail comes in the initial exams. On a one exam course, they don't have anywhere near the time to test you on all the minutiae you would need to learn for 4 separate exams with the 4th covering part 4 and cumulative info. Three hours of exam time simply cannot equate to what they can test you on in 9-11 hours of exam time.
Two main types of exam schedules:
Exams in all subjects spread over 2-4 days and given every 4-5 weeks with cumulative final. Exams include Gross and/or Microscopic lab exams plus written Multi-choice and/or Essay exams.
Flaws: Overloaded the entire week with perhaps 8 hours total sleep. Following 1.5 weeks spent crashing from the prior week of hell instead of learning new material. MC exams allow for zero explanation and wording often leads to misinterpretation of either choices or the question. MC choices are often filled with info not part of the course material and thus difficult to rule out. Questions tend to be of the form, "Which of the following is not true." This can be extremely tricky when scientific info you have no way of knowing is listed in the choices. Basically you have to know all the course and book material by heart just to rule out the answer choice that is incorrect. This is why I love essay exams that allow me to explain my answer and provide details.
Exams given by Departments at differing intervals:
Same 3 exams plus cum final, however the departments schedule exams such that there are usually no more than 2 per week. Cum finals given over 2-5 day period anywhere from 7AM to 9PM, luck of the draw on scheduling. Taking a night exam followed by an early morning exam, when you are not sleeping much to begin with, leads to "problems."
Flaws: Since exams are given almost every week students tend to cram from one subject to another and spend 2 weeks with next to no study time on the subject following exam. School work continues during exams and you tend to have busy work, essays, etc. due around every exam. Finals are equivalent to the Block schedule.
Overall, I find that grade school -> high school schedules equate to better learning. You are exposed to all subjects 5 days a week and there is no way to put off one to study for another. You need to balance your school schedule and extra-curricular activities to meet a very demanding pace. (*Of course, this depends entirely on student's interest in learning at this age)