The Exams Story

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The Exams Story

Firstly, exams were tough. It is hard to find any MSc student (at least it’s true for Software Engineering and Web Technology) who would disagree with this statement. However, having said that, I must remind you guys that we were told we need provide “sufficient evidence of background reading”. That’s where the real story begins!

From my personal point of view, these exams were slightly different than those I had taken in my undergraduate study. Usually, those exams require you to know fundamental concepts and their applications in a particular area. Sometimes they might evaluate your ability to show a good understanding of the relationship between two relevant topics. However, these exams were different. They were designed to know whether you have an in-depth knowledge of a subject. The most challenging and difficult questions were designed to evaluate your understanding of the contemporary approaches towards a particular topic. This was to assess if you had done any background reading. Consequently, the answers were not just the lecture notes that we “throw back” to our teachers, but also our understanding and personal experience related to questions. I hope this amalgam will get us some good marks.

One interesting thing that I would like to share is about two particular modules. I confess that I took one of them very lightly under the impression, “Yeah, yeah. I know it all. It is just common sense”. However, later in revision days I realized it was a blunder. It took more time to revise and even then I could not revise it well. Thus, that paper became a nightmare. I knew I would get average marks for that subject.

The other one was one of my favourite subjects. I had good groundings and practical experience in that area. Furthermore, I gave it appropriate study time. So I expected that I would get some “solid” marks to help me improve overall percentage. And you know the first thought that came in mind when I saw that paper? No, I wish it were “Hurrah”. It was “et tu Brutus!” (You too, Brutus!). That paper was one of the most challenging papers I have ever seen. I just wonder that it must have taken our teacher weeks to write those questions. The questions where not like “Define X” or “define types of X”. It was designed so that you needed to write your own thoughts about particular topics. It was tough but I enjoyed it. I had a good opportunity to write something out-of-syllabus and I did it well.
Anyway, as one of my class-fellow said, “It is MSc, the bar is high”, we are supposed to work harder and put some more efforts in it. Now, as we have a better understanding of exams, I hope we will do better in this semester.

By the way, have I told you before that I love coursework?

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