Friday, March 20, 2009

An easy grader?

I did just fine on that mineralogy midterm. In fact, with the extra-credit points I racked up in the beginning of the semester, I got over 100% on the exam. So, I spent a week and a half being a miserable jerk for no good reason.

It happens.

I think that I studied too hard for the exam, which barely scratched the surface of the details in our textbook. In class, we just sorta skimmed over ideas - not going into detail - but our reading was pretty in-depth. Having no idea what to expect or, better yet, what was expected of me, I just studied everything in a ton of detail.

The exam was very long - but it required very broad answers. I spent too much time answering the first 10 questions (in as much detail as I thought was expected) and then panicked when I realized that I still had half an exam to complete within 10 minutes. So, I rushed through the last half of the exam, spending very little time and attention on the details. I did just as fine on those questions as I did on the first few.

Lesson: For the final, I should really try to give broader, less specific answers. I could study less, too, but what would be the point of that?

1 comment:

Chris Nedin said...


But I suspect the reason you did so well in the last part of the exam is because you studied so hard. When the pressure was on, you had the information to hand, so that you could answer the questions quickly. There is no substitute for study - except a photographic memory!

As an added bonus, the more study you do now, the more accessible the subjects become later on, because having a good grounding in the basics now, makes it easier to go deeper into the subjects in 2nd and 3rd years. People who are still struggling with the basics, have trouble when the subjects get more detailed later on.

Taking exams is an art form. Some people breeze through them, others struggle.

There are some things that you can do to help however.

In the exam is all the same format of questions, then divide the time you have by the number of questions and stick to that as the amount of time taken to answer each question. If you haven't answered the question in that time, move on to the next one and come back to it if you have time.

For your final, check with the lecturers that the format of the final is the same as for this exam