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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Read, once in a while...

Well, listen AND read (for context, see the previous post).

You have no idea how much this peeves me (well not really, but still). So due to the sheer size of the course, there is a page (on the front of the exam) for students to circle their lecture section to more easily sort exams. Instructions are displayed on the first page of the exam indicating that students must circle a lecture section, and failure to do so will result in lost marks (I think 5 was the case). So not only are instructions explicitly written down, we also do the courtesy to read out those exact instructions.

So during the mid-term exam, while collecting signature forms (basically stating that you were at the exam, and that you are who you claim to be on your photo id), I decided to spend a few seconds for each person and check that they circled their lecture section. About half of the people I checked did not. I'm sure they can do the math; losing 5 marks (on a section of the exam that's worth 20 marks), is a really big deal.

No seriously, we assume you are at least half literate, so READ.

When it came to final exam time, I figured that these people probably know their lessons by now, but I'll still read out this specific set of instructions. And luckily for people who handed in their exams early (of which I could check if they circled, as opposed to everyone rushing to pile in their exams at the end), I caught a few that neglected to circle. I even chased one of the students who was outside the classroom to get him to fill it out.

You may think this isn't a big deal, but there are two major reasons to follow said instructions:
  1. To not lose marks:
    Note that the exam indicates that you'll lose marks (5 in my case), but when we actually mark your exams, somehow, we get too soft and end up only deducting 2. Either way, you still lose out.
  2. Making TA's lives and your lives easier:
    Realise that there are ~1500 exams and TAs need a systematic way to mark them. By writing down your name and lecture section, we can categorize and allocate exams accordingly. In addition, when it comes time to inputting your marks into the system, all the exams are nicely ordered. So if you neglect to write down crucial information, you waste our time attempting to figure out what lecture you belong to and will delay the return of your exams and marks.
So if you can read carefully and follow instructions correctly and write (well legibly, we do try our best to decipher what you write, but try not to give us a hard time doing so...) you are already off to a good start.

I do not own or take credit for all of the above images & videos, if you would like them to be taken down, please contact me.


Fang said...

I would sort of understand it if it weren't read out loud. After all, everyone usually just skips the first page, eager to get the exam done and over with. But if it's being read out loud and you just don't pay any attention to that, then you're being pretty stupid. Especially if it's widely known (it should be by now) that you lose marks if you don't do certain things.
At least they didn't forget to fill out their name. We had two people in the class who did that a while back, and didn't get "caught". They both got to redo the test, but eh, things could've been worse.

DWei said...

I wish we had this kind of policy at my University. So many idiots would forget to do this, dragging down the curve and making the course easier for me.

Mark said...

If it's on the front of the test then really there's no reason to not notice it. Especially if the instructors are also reading out the rules and making them known.

DieNand said...

Sorry about my comment on your last post using my real name, you may know me better as DieNand.

Anyhow, back on topic. People not reading instructions are really just stupid, even at school level, losing marks for your own stupidity is really not the way to go and people just tend to ignore it even if it is read out loud. Perhaps because they are worried out of their minds for the test ahead, I don't know.

A quick comment on the image in this post. ~ I think some people writing tests are really illiterate, I remember one time in our class, when we wrote essays, somebody wrote the entire test in English while the essay was actually suppose to be in Afrikaans(our home language). The instructions as well as all the other questions are written in Afrikaans. Seriously how do you make a mistake like that...

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