Tag Archives: exams

3rd Annual Advice for Exam-goers

This is totally a tradition now, since I have done it twice before.

So, here goes.

  1. Be willing to accept that “this course has a take-home final” is an actual true thing. I am not saying you have to take the instructor’s word for it the first time you read it on the syllabus, but be willing to draw a line. Give yourself a guideline, like “the tenth time I hear this, I will be willing to believe it,” or “I will only email the instructor to ask this 3 times, if I get the same answer each time”.
  2. Accept that the take-home final will not get an official time and room allocation on the exam schedule. Sure, we could put “Your Bedroom, 2am on the morning the final is due at 9am,” but that would only work for 85% of students. The keeners would go mental asking if they PLEASE couldn’t do it earlier.
  3. This might seem like an undue technological burden, but if your take-home final has to be submitted electronically, you need to learn the submission process. This may take more than 60 seconds, especially, and this is critical, if those 60 seconds are the 60 seconds before the absolute and final deadline.
  4. Recognize that turning up to class on the last day, when you haven’t been to class in a month, is not a subtle and cunning plan. Your Prof, while she may not know whether you are Kaytlin, Caitlyn, Kate-Lynne or Qua’tlyn, does have rudimentary arithmetical skills, and being more wily than you, gave the vital exam hints in the third last class. PWNT.
  5. If you are going to cheat by using the high tech method of texting a photo of the exam question you can’t do to an accomplice, you should work out the details in advance, so that you don’t end up leaving clues like “look this up in the book and then text me the answear” on your exam paper for your prof to find.
  6. If you fail to adequately pre-arrange your cheating via text, then write your instructions in PENCIL, so you can erase them, thus avoiding leaving the vital clue on your exam paper.
  7. Make sure your accomplice is not a moron who, after all your preparation, sends you the wrong “answear” anyway.
  8. I have given this one before, but it bears repeating. “Answer 6 questions” means answer SIX questions. Not five, or WTF, seven.
  9. Take a stab at the essay question. It’s an English essay, for fuck’s sake. You can probably bullshit your way to a D+. Writing “I have no idea” just makes your Prof depressed.
  10. If your Prof rushes out the door of the exam after calling “time” at the end, in order to vomit into a handy garbage can, wait patiently for her to return. Running after her waving your exam book just risks getting your answers sprayed with puke.


Asstards, Liars and Wankers from the End of Semester.

The end of semester tends to bring out all the creepy crawlies that have been hiding under their assorted rocks. The ones who disappeared weeks ago suddenly filter back up to the surface. Here, then, is a sampling of the delights they have to offer.

The Desperate, via Email:
Hi Prof
I realise I haven’t been to class since week 2, and I really wanted to learn, and you seem like such a great teacher, and I am sorry I didn’t take the time I should have taken to absorb your pearls of wisdom. Is there anyway I could still pass?
Me, ticked:

The Liar, who looks me in the eye:
Me: So, I don’t seem to have your research essay.
Liar: I totally handed it in on Wednesday [this, by the way, would make it 10 days late, but who’s counting].
Me: ORLY? Where did this supposed “handing-in” take place?
Liar: In the Office. I utterly gave it to the Secretary.
Me: So you signed the book of handing-in-ness?
Liar: Probably.
Me: [steely glare]
Liar: Not exactly.
Me: So, where did you hand it in?
Liar: Look, they obviously lost it.
Me: Are you sure you want to continue in this vein?
Liar: How about I give it to you on Monday?
Me: How about you print it and give it to me NOW, since we are in a lab, and we have the technology.
Liar: Oh, it is on my laptop, at home.
Me: Okay, so go home and submit electronically.
Liar: I have to go to work.
Me: So, submit it later.
Liar: Okay.
Needless to say, the essay did not show up.

The Arrogant Asshole:
Me: So, I don’t seem to have your research essay.
AA: I decided I could take the 15% hit.
AA: Sure. [Exit, stage right.]
Amusing Suck-up: I guess he missed the fine print in the course outline that said you had to submit that essay to pass the course.

The Guy with nothing better to do with his time, apparently:
Me: So, before you go in to the room for the final, I need to point out that you haven’t handed in any work, and therefore have a zero percent chance of passing the course.
Guy: Yeah, I kind of got behind.
Me: So, you know, writing the final isn’t going to resolve this situation.
Guy: I don’t mind.
Me: You get that you won’t pass, right?
Guy: Yeah. [Goes in and sits down, and gamely takes up a pen.]