Thursday, November 04, 2004

Examinations examined.

“And your time startsssssssss nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnow.”

Exam beings. Shit.
I have begun commenting on the first of 5 quotes we are supposed to attribute to 20th century French philosophers. I will soon run into problems in this exam because due to my highly focused study style I have only studied for 5 philosophers and only 3 of those 5 appear on this years exam. Shit
Worry? No, I am calm. Why? Because I am almost assured of getting an A- anyway.
I’ve now finished with the 3 people I have studied for, I think the answers are good. They have to be, as they may have to carry me.
Why didn’t you be extra careful and study a couple of extra philosophers as back up?
I reason being is the fact that I am treating this semester as a kind of test as to what is the core base amount of work I need to do to achieve the mark that I always get, an A-
In my first year I put in quite a lot of effort to studying and I gained A minuses. My second year I just did what I thought was enough to get by and got A minuses. This year I have taken on heaps of extra curricular activities, written essays the night before they are due, and began studying for exams the day before. I am on track for more A minuses. You may think this is a gift, I think it is a motivation killer. Why study harder if all I am going to get is less time to do other things and A minuses? This is ridiculous. I do not consider myself a highly intelligent person, I am surrounded by people who are more clever, funny, articulate and intelligent than me. I know some amazingly smart people who only get a couple of grade points higher than I do, and I know that they have to work damm harder to get those extra few percentage points.
I am going to be OK. French philosophy consists of a couple of key themes followed by 12 chapters of waffle. I remembered the key themes of Irigaray and Fanon, noted them down and then waffled cleverly for a number of paragraphs. This was of course good luck rather than good management. It is lucky that I am good at exams and I am good at studying. As my 4pm rant stated, I just don’t seem to have the motivation for doing more or less work as I will undoubtable get an A-. This means that I do just enough study to remember the key themes for the works. So little study time that I factored in this morning before the exam as proper planned study time. Not cramming, cramming suggests franticness. No this is all part of the plan for achieving the seemingly auto-achievable. My brain, gobbles up all the information it can in the knowledge it will simply vomit it all back up again in the afternoon. This has prepared me well, time and time again. I am now onto an essay, comparing Marx to Sassure. Easy, this exam is looking better.
One of the things I can’t understand though is the fact that I see people in the exam who I have never seen before. These people really piss me off. I cannot believe that so many people simply do nothing at all at university. Granted I don’t know what marks they are getting, they could be just like me getting A minuses yet not even having to turn up to class. However I would say that they are marginal students at best, the C’s get degrees people. Coming to the exam to receive that mediocre mark. Well, as yet another person leaves the exam (probably the tenth, after the first left just after 4pm!) I do not think that the long-suffering taxpayers funding 2/3rds of their degree are getting their monies worth. A- is the new benchmark at university in my book, anything under a B is a waste of time and resources. That money would be better spent on people who are at least giving their degree a good go, or helping other people into university. Not on people waffling through university to get a mediocre degree.
“There is 15 minutes to go you may not leave the room.” Several people have obviously rushed the endings to their essays, as there has been an exodus of people in the last 15 or so minutes. I can never understand rushing the last bit of your essay, surely its not that bad to take just that little bit longer, only 15 miniutes to go over and maybe add something else. Those people leaving are going to be stuck in traffic anyway. Whats the point? Don’t they want to do a little better? Or have they accurately attuned their sense for knowing when they have achieved mediocrity. I ALWAYS need to go to the loo at this point in the proceedings.
“And your times up” Says the invigilator. What kind of job title is invigilator?
I am disappointed with this exam. Firstly because they didn’t ask me about 2 of the philosophers I studied. Secondly because I will still probably achieve an A-, reinforcing my belief that the university marking system is too soft. And thirdly because I feel as if there are people at university that don’t deserve to be here and are wasting their time and the countries money. No I don’t think they are any better than me for simply putting in the base amount of work required, however I think that if they put in a base amount and can only just get by then that is a waste. I think I should have to try mush harder to get the marks I get.
But things are looking up, that’s one exam down and only two to go.


  • Um, I like my C's...

    Though you might say what you want about people who don't turn up to lectures, without knowing them I think it is a bit unreasonable to say they don't deserve to be here. Some people have work commitments, or family (I know some people with small cildren, for example) and some people have illnesses.

    Some people just aren't recognisable, they come in late and sit in the back, don't go to the same tut as you and don't stand out

    Elitism that says only the people who turn up, stand out, kiss ass and always get an A should get any funding actually isn't very good for society, we are trying to get more people involved in higher education and scaring them off with nose-in-the-air snobbery doesn't improve peoples confidence.

    I don't know if you are being Garth George to get attention, taking an angle and playing with it beyond what you really believe, but I haven't heard you talking of "long suffering taxpayers" before :)

    There are probably people out there getting A+'s wondering why you are there...

    By Blogger Moneo, at 9:56 pm  

  • I can understand the mothers and people with work commitments not turning up and yes there are people who you may not recognise. But I think you know what I mean, there are heaps of people that come to exams that just have not been there and I don’t think they can all be accounted for simply through other commitments. That’s not really what the post was about anyway.
    There are people at uni simply wasting their time. I am not being elitist. I come from one of the poorest backgrounds out there and I get really pissed at what can only be described as middle class mediocre people wasting the states resources when they could be better spent with better targeting on people who need it or deserve it. People bleat on about the high cost of tertiary education, that is because we have sooo many people going through university. What I am saying is that some of that money is wasted on people simply floating through their education. Sure there may be people who cant make it to the lectures, I am sure they study hard and make it up. What my post was about was the fact that university is too easy. I think it should be harder. Less people would be inclined to stay there if their mediocre effort resulted in failure and there would be more resources to spend on the people actually doing well.

    By Blogger Constar, at 10:15 pm  

  • Well, if it was an indiscriminate barrier to a degree such as tougher educational standards, then that would be one option to look at.

    It is my understanding that university is supposed to get tougher each year anyway...

    One thing I have been talking about is developing a greater emphasis on trade education; the university promotes itself as a job factory, when in reality more jobs are available in trades.

    Oh so sleepy...

    life of a student eh ;)

    By Blogger Moneo, at 1:36 am  

  • I agree, degrees are not the only way of getting a job.
    I blame employers, they think that they only people worth employing have degrees.

    By Blogger Constar, at 10:56 am  

  • The market is to blame; people overlook the psychological factor involved in the market, that requires people to make judgements on the future.

    The market system acutally doesn't produce the best outcomes, nor does it even guarentee its own success. It just rewards people who have made a decision which fits the future situation best.

    By Blogger Moneo, at 8:06 pm  

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