Sunday, May 06, 2012

A Thought or Two...

... upon the grading of final exams.

Yes, really, you should be able to write decipherable handwriting.  My recollection is that most people are able to do this round about the third grade.  As a college student you really shouldn't be causing your instructors to think about your handwriting.  Yes, I know, you type everything now so it isn't fair that writing an exam longhand should have to be legible - and besides everyone knows that doctors have terrible handwriting and they are very smart.  Sometimes life isn't fair.  Take a weekend and work on your penmanship.

Would you think you'd have to comment on penmanship in college?

How about this: when I offer you free points, take the free points.  My finals often have questions on them you can skip if you've done some outside exercise.  But even if you can skip them, you also can answer them for extra credit.  That's free points, take them!  Guess if you have to, there's no penalty for wrong answers, just extra credit for getting it right.  Why on Earth would you leave those questions unanswered?

Read the questions and the instructions.  If a question says: "List and Define" you have to both list and define.  If a questions says: "give two reasons" then you have to give two reasons (and no, I wouldn't be a whole lot happier with three reasons).  The questions are specific.  The instructions say "Be sure to answer the ENTIRE question."  And yet, there are page after page of half answered questions.  More points down the drain.

I can't imagine a teacher likes giving an exam and having people do poorly.  I certainly don't.  The questions aren't designed to trip you up.  Follow the instructions.  Don't leave points on the table.  Why make it harder than it has to be?

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