Examination is a game

Time for exams and as usual here we go with the last minute attempts to pass papers we’ve hardly studied for during the entirety of the semester. Personally speaking I’m genuinely interested in the program I’m studying and occasionally learn hard but I put in my best effort to learn when it’s time for exams. This shouldn’t come as a surprise since somewhere along the way, most if not all of us stopped learning to remember what we’d learnt and started learning only to pass tests or exams. If I have a couple days between now and an exam, surely the best way to spend the time if I want to do well on the exam, is to read the lecture notes and assigned reading for the particular subject and even most of that I can ignore, because I only have to worry about the sort of information that could turn up as a test or exam question. There’s a lot of information in your slides you can safely ignore if you have your course outline since examinable outcomes are clearly stated in there but some of you don’t even bother to get that because it’s not the sort of thing that could be turned into an exam question. If only you knew,also if your lecturer often threatens the class with a particular question or topic often it tells you that it’s something you have to worry about later so you’d better know it. At a university there are often copies of old exams floating around and these narrow further what you have to learn. As well as learning what kind of questions a particular lecturer asks, you’ll often get actual exam questions that will reappear in your exam. Many lectures re-use them. After teaching a class for years, it would be hard not to reuse some previous exams since setting them is tedious and as humans we can sometimes be very lazy. All I’m saying is exams are actually very easy to pass if you know what’s expected of you. If you care about getting good grades you have to play this game or you’ll be surpassed by those who do.

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