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exam problems

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by ryno, Dec 12, 2008.

  1. ryno

    ryno fluent in sarcasm
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    Hi guys. I just wanted an opinion of a situation I incurred recently, and thought this may be the place to come.
    So, here goes. In the past three days I have taken 4 exams, 3 of those being intense comprehensive science finals (Physics I, ochemII and calcII). As I was talking with a calc II classmate yesterday, they mentioned that the prof is allowing him/her to take the exam with his other section. This exam time is on Monday, that is, five days after everone else in our class had to take the exam. This seems a little unfair to me, any opinions?:confused: I am most certain I could do better on the exam had I had five more days to prepare for it. I am considering emailing the prof concerning the situation, but dont want to sound like I am whining, or being rude or blunt.
    In the anticipation of discussion, I will add that this individual did not ask to defer the exam due to uncontrollable circumstances, he/she just had alot of exams to study for:rolleyes:
    Any help is appreciated.
     
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  3. Dulcina

    Dulcina =)
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    I'm surprised that the professor is allowing them to take the exam late--I've never heard of that being allowed. I would consider talking to the prof about it.

    But that granted, finals are never fair--you got an unfairly packed schedule, whereas others naturally get a nice spaced out schedule. That's just how it goes, I guess.
     
  4. DrYoda

    DrYoda Space Cowboy
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    My school has a policy that you do not have to take more than two finals per day. So if you have three finals scheduled on say Tuesday, one of the professor will be forced by school policy to let you take it on another date.

    I have no idea if this is a common policy, but if you're that worried about this you could look at your school's final policy.
     
  5. ryno

    ryno fluent in sarcasm
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    We dont have a policy which limits the number of exams a student will take in a day, I had to take three today.
    While I realize that exam schedules are random, this seems like a blatent advantage being given to a certain student.
    What is even more agitating is that this student asked me about details of the exam, in hopes that the same one will be given again. I have thought of asking the prof to allow me to retake the exam, because this exam will determine my letter grade in the class, but im not sure if this is smart or not. I feel as though I should not "rock the boat" before grades are finalized, and I don't really know how to ask.
     
  6. WeAreNotRobots

    WeAreNotRobots doctor of medicine
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    nothing is fair.

    even though your school has no official policy on # of exams/day, it doesn't necessarily mean exceptions aren't made...maybe you should have spoken up and asked for rescheduling yourself.

    but then, maybe other students would be complaining about you...
     
  7. justdoit31

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    We have the policy though it is no more than 3 on one day...

    Who knows there could be something else going on that the student didn't mention- like illness, family issues etc.

    I will be taking 3 of my finals in January because I had to have emergency surgery 2 days before finals started. My classmates could say that it is unfair that I have a whole month to study but in truth I just want them over! (oh-well)
     
  8. EpiPEN

    EpiPEN Aegis of Immortality
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    Yeah, it's not very fair, but sometimes you can't do much about it. You just have to think of this as training for when you have much crazier schedules in med school. Remember, "pain is weakness leaving the body!"







    sometimes that weakness is in the form of hardened stool though.... in which case... might want to change up some fiber diet :)
     
  9. ryno

    ryno fluent in sarcasm
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    Yes, I see where you are coming from, and I think yours is a completely justifiable situation. In this case, however, I was told that this individual was simply not prepared. Wether this is true or not is debatable, if it is true, then I see no justification of the extra time; if he/she is lying, they are just stupid, and should have expected the reaction I am having.

    Normally, I wouldnt worry about somthing like this, but in this situation I am on the verge of getting the lowest grade I have ever gotten in college. This class does not award +- grades, and the difference between a C and a B is big to me. Five days of studying could potentially have a huge impact on my grade, as well as my performance on my other exams.
     
  10. ryno

    ryno fluent in sarcasm
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    :D hah. Well I suppose I have learned about time management over the past three days. As of right now I have been up for 40 hours, but I aced my other exams (besides calc)
     
  11. HeatherMD

    HeatherMD Queen of Passiveagressiva
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    I just finished 4 exams over the past three days and they were horrid. I actually cried after my physiology final this morning, before going in to write an advanced chemistry one only a few hours later.

    Naturally my easiest exam of the year is scheduled AFTER the weekend, because the universe conspires against me, yadda yadda yadda..

    A rough exam schedule is part of university life. I agree it is absolutely unfair that the prof is letting this person write the exam later, and I would approach a dean about it. While not all things are fair in life, that doesn't mean one should let all instances of blatant injustice fly.
    Every student should have equal opportunity to succeed in a course -- extra days to study for a final is a HUGE advantage.

    Go to the department head.
     
  12. fusionx22

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    What kind of details? Specific questions or more like what the focus on the test was? If he wanted to know specific questions, I'd be irritated, and I wouldn't tell him. Also, I agree that it's not fair in the first place to take his exam 5 days after everyone else. However, when you said that he didn't have a good reason for taking it later, could it be that he's not comfortable telling you his reason? How well do you know this person?

    On another note, are you mad at this kid because you may end up with a C? I understand that it might not be fair for someone to get more time to study, but instead of getting mad, just do better next time. Manage your time better or make a few sacrifices throughout the semester to give your a good buffer for the final. Your grade is no one's but your own. Of course, talking to the teacher about this is up to you. You may rock the boat (some teachers don't like students who bring this stuff up), but then again, if you have a strong moral objection to that kid getting extra time, then talk to the teacher. Just make sure you approach your professor relaxed and willing to accept an appropriate answer.
     
  13. WeAreNotRobots

    WeAreNotRobots doctor of medicine
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    I have to disagree. I don't think I have ever taken a class in which every student took the final at the same time, and yet my grades were never compromised because of this. Everyone has different schedules and, in reality, you cannot be sure why someone takes a final at a different time unless you ARE that person. After all, how advantageous is "extra" time if you have other finals during that time, or you are recovering from surgery?

    It sounds like the real problem here is that someone is unhappy with their own performance. Congratulations, we are not robots! Do better in Calc 3.
     
  14. URHere

    Physician PhD 10+ Year Member

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    Don't take this the wrong way, but it sounds to me like you are really upset because this person thought to ask for a later exam date and you didn't have that idea (or know it was a possibility) until after the exam. I've run into a few professors during college who made similar allowances for students who approached them to ask flat out - if you were so concerned with having too little time to prepare for this exam, why didn't you talk to the professor beforehand? I have trouble believing that you would still be here posting about the unfairness of a postponed exam if you were the one to benefit from it.

    Yes, I agree with everyone that crappy exam schedules tend to be a part of life, but professors know that some of their students will have 2-3 other finals on the same day while others will have absolutely none, and they are usually pretty receptive to helping a student even that playing field. If the other student uses the extra time to ask about answers and cheat, then sure, be upset. Otherwise, take this experience as a lesson that next time you have a billion exams on the same day, there may be a way to change that. In other words, don't make a big deal over it.
     
  15. ryno

    ryno fluent in sarcasm
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    Yes I am would say that more upset about this situation because of my current situation in the class. This person, if they had a plausible excuse, should explain their problem or not bring it up at all. I dont think I am over-reacting to somone asking me about specific questions on the exam so that when they take it late, for no good reason, they will have even more of a leg up.
    I think I am agitated especially in this situation because I have already identified several problems on the exam that I just made stupid mistakes on. I didn't think to ask for more time, because if it was awarded, it would strike me as nullifing the entire exam schedule process.
    I also fear approaching the prof because if I were to get a B, it would be due to 'holistic grading' which this prof is known for. I know several friends very well who have taken this same course, and say that this prof has given them just the grade they needed to get the letter grade they hoped for (this comes from 3 students; one was a borderline A/B, the others B/C--like me). I fear that voicing my concerns would lessen the chances of a 'miracle' like this happeneing to me.
     
  16. Bacchus

    Administrator Moderator Physician 10+ Year Member

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    Our school did this and then academic affairs changed it to 3/day which imo is not a good policy change.
     
  17. mmmcdowe

    mmmcdowe Duke of minimal vowels
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    My school also has a policy that you are allowed to request alternative dates if you have more than 3 exams in a day. The problem is that no prof wants to be the one to give you an alternative exam...
     
  18. HeatherMD

    HeatherMD Queen of Passiveagressiva
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    Extra time is obviously very advantageous, otherwise it wouldn't be sought.

    If you're recovering from surgery, fine, but if you just have a lot of exams and are stressed out, stop whining. That is not a valid excuse to defer an exam.
     
  19. HeatherMD

    HeatherMD Queen of Passiveagressiva
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    side question: how do you guys even get 3 exams per day without running out of hours to write them?

    All my finals are scheduled at either 9am or 2pm, and range from 2-3 hours long, and this is consistent through the entire university. The earliest is always 9am and no exam can go later than 5pm. There's no way to schedule 3 exams in a day without running out of hours to put them in!
     
  20. ryno

    ryno fluent in sarcasm
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    Our exam times are two and a half hours long, and start at 8am. One could potentially have four exams in one day with our schedule (evening class exams are from 6:30p to 9:00p)
     
  21. WeAreNotRobots

    WeAreNotRobots doctor of medicine
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    simple: at my institution exams would begin at 9AM, 2PM, and 7PM. better get used to using your brain past 5PM if you want to go to school in the US!
     
  22. HeatherMD

    HeatherMD Queen of Passiveagressiva
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    lol but at school in the US I can just complain about my exam schedule and have it deferred.

    And then if I don't like my grade at the very end, I'll request a withdraw.

    I'm also doubting the difficulty of US coursework & exams in general, from my own experience and from what I've read here. This probably varies by school though.
     
  23. DrYoda

    DrYoda Space Cowboy
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    Simple, the exams take like no time. I finished a final yesterday in 30 minutes (14 questions, essay and short answer). I fully expect my finals next week to take an hour max. I think in four years I've had two finals that have taken me over an hour to complete.
     
  24. HeatherMD

    HeatherMD Queen of Passiveagressiva
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    I wasn't questioning anyone's exam-writing speed.

    I've finished exams early too, but the school would never allow me to take my 2pm exam at 11am.

    But thanks for yet another example of why the US schools are easy :p lol
     
  25. IHeartNerds

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    Yeah, you don't want to go there. Some of us went to much harder schools than anything you northern neighbors can fathom. Are there crappy US schools? yes. But nowhere nearly all of them are.

    On the other hand, hard is not equal to hard-ass. We too had the "no more than two finals in one day" thing, and since our finals came in four hour blocks, that was pretty nice. The sad part is, currently I don't think four hours is particularly long for an exam. Oh those were the days...
     
  26. HeatherMD

    HeatherMD Queen of Passiveagressiva
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    oh I wouldn't think all of them are crappy. I imagine the Ivy Leagues and the well-known schools are much more rigorous.

    There seems to be a huge discrepancy between state colleges and world-renowned universities though, but I suppose that's what the ultimate equalizer the MCAT is for.
     
  27. DrYoda

    DrYoda Space Cowboy
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    I wasn't bragging about my exam writting speed. I was saying the length of the tests at my school don't require very much time no matter if you area fast or slow test taker.

    I've had overlapping finals before and I just tell the prof of the second class that I might be a few minutes late. Easier than reschedueling

    I know a good deal of Canadians at my school and most of them claim it's a joke compared to Canadian universities. I have my doubts their claim, but either way, your country men have spoken.
     
  28. WeAreNotRobots

    WeAreNotRobots doctor of medicine
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    wow, i love what has become of this thread hahaha.

    but just to keep it going:
    Heather, if you doubt the caliber of US schools, then why are you interested in going to one? isn't it because you want the best education available? or are you just not "good enough" to get into a canadian school?
     
  29. justdoit31

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    my school runs all our courses either M/W or T/TH so a class is 1 hr 15 mins...and 15 min breaks to change. 3 day weekends every weekend rocks!

    So for finals there are 5 possible exams each day because they do every other class period has a final during the day (4 days of finals) and you take the exam at normal time and extend it to 2 hours.

    We are overcrowded so they run classes from 8am-8pm as well as extended length once a day course options on Friday and Saturday or online courses (the best!)
     
  30. Retsage

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    Stop whining. It won't do you any good, no matter how many tears of "it's just not fair!" you shed. If it was a few days before your exam, you could email him to ask for an extension. But what do you expect him to do? Flunk the other guy after giving him the extension? Boost your mark (as well as everyone else's)?

    There's absolutely no point. You'll just come off as a bitch.
     
  31. WannaBePreMed

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    I think you should stop b*tching and suck it up. I know it's difficult but it makes you stronger. Don't approach the dean; I'm a firm believer in NOT SNITCHING. It does nothing to help you, it just punishes the other person. It's a straight up punk move.

    Good luck with grades:xf::luck:
     
  32. WannaBePreMed

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    Amen to that :)
     

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