Exam Live Blog | A lecturer’s view on exams

Final(ly) exam time! The time that we anticipate the most. Finally it becomes clear why things have been taught, who they are related and what really stuck in everybody’s minds and who was able to prepare and understand best.

After reading this short intro you might already guess….I’m not a student, I’m on the other side. The dark side. I’m a lecturer at University.

Right now me and my colleagues have to hold final exams and while doing so we spend a lot of time in class rooms sitting and watching students taking on our exams. Here’s a live blog / coverage from one of those exams. All views and opinions are private and not meant to insult anyone.

12:10 – 20 minutes until exams start.

Arriving at exam venue. Entering, sorting documents out and starting to place the right documents on the right tables. A few students are already in front of the exam room. Still reading and acting like they’re preparing. From my experience: That doesn’t work but that’s something that most students all around the world will probably never figure out.

12:30 – Start of Exam

Nobody’s there but the two lecturers who have to ‘proctor’ today. Doors are open now, the few students in front of the exam room don’t bother going in though. Weird. Back in my days we tried to have as much time as possible. How things change.

12:35 – First students enter. At least they try to

There are a few things that students need to bring besides their brain. Pen would make sense for example. But also their student ID. Unbelievable how many of them forget it. I’ll have to send them back down to the main office to get a permission to enter the room. Another 15 minutes wasted.

12:36 – Students entered, forget their seat.

Outside of each exam room is a list with student names. Right to that name is a seat number and, to make it fool proof, there is even a seating plan outside so students can check where in the room their seat will be located. Yet it takes several students several tries to locate their destination. If finding the right chair is already that hard….good luck with the exam 😉

12:45 – more students arrive

Yeah. No worries. It’s only final exam. Be noisy, come late…great idea. Imaginary tweet: Students nowadays #wtf

12:50 – most students are finally there.

Hey hey…only 20 minutes after the exam started and MOST (not all) students are there.

13:05 – Making students sign the attendance sheet.

Excitement! Walking from table to table to let students sign their attendance. The last big part of action on lecturer side.

13:18 – First students finish

Yep. 48 Minutes after entering a 2.5 hrs exam the first students finish. Can’t say more since it’s not my exam. Only that much: My students don’t finish that early 😉

13:35 – Not falling asleep

Still awake. Nothing happens. Boring. But that’s part of the job – funny though that many students look like I feel. Bored and sleepy. Wonder if they realize it’s their final grade they are messing with right now.

13:43 – Frustration

More and more students stop writing and start being frustrated. Some of them seem to think really hard, others seem to make peace with coming again next term. Others might only be great actors. However it’s not Soap Opera Acting 101. But hey. How you doin?

14:05 – Shit, I’m pissed!

First student asks to leave for the toilet. We have to refuse. New college policy: No bathroom breaks anymore. We understand it’s kinda shitty but we can’t do anything. Sorry for that. Students are still pissed. I would feel similar.

14:27 – Still pissed

That facial expression over there doesn’t look to good. Hope she’ll be finished soon.

14:43 – Most students finish

Once the first 3 or 4 students in a row hand in their papers a group thing starts and the next 10 to 20 attendees hand in their papers and leave the room. Fun thing: Many leave a lot behind. Calculators (wasn’t even a Math or Economics exam), jackets, shoes (!)….

15:00 – Done

It’s 3 p.m. and everybody’s done already. We’re packing our stuff together, sort the exams in the right envelopes and off we go…to another 2.5 hours of excitement.

I hope nobody became offended. Just tried to show how a normal exam looks like from a lecturer’s point of view 🙂