Midterms. I understand the stress. In a traditional college class there are two major tests. The midterm…and the final. These are the only two exams that are guaranteed to be comprehensive all semester.
That’s an ugly word. Comprehensive. A college class with comprehensive exams wreaks of many students spending the night before slaving over their books and their notes. This is where a college student often becomes familiar with coffee if they haven’t already. Coffee is one of very few socially acceptable things that help keep you going.
The program I participated in to finish my degree, there wasn’t much in the way of midterms or finals. But there were two important things that were huge to the program.
The first one was a paper. In this program, it was a fast-track program for people working in a place of business who couldn’t afford to drop their work schedule to go back and finish school. So there was a severely long research paper that was done over the course of a year, IN ADDITION TO other classes. The background of the paper was intended to be each person’s job they were working in. I had a big problem. I didn’t have a full-time job at the time I started that program. I had a crappy idea approved. I got a regular job after a few weeks. My idea changed. I changed jobs after a year, which was half-way through the program at school. My paper idea changed again.
If you’re sitting there reading this thinking “he didn’t finish the paper,” then you’re right. The advisor I had on my paper kept on giving me B’s.
I DID try to work on it. I was just in a crappy situation.
The other thing was a big test. This test was a test that the school gave to their business majors at the end of their time in the program. These business majors had to pass this test to be able to obtain their degree. No pass, no diploma. On the other hand, while I was doing a business-related degree, I was not a business major. All they wanted with my (and others in the program with me) scores was to use them against their business major scores to see if they were successful in teaching everyone the same thing.
Well, I’m not a good test taker. No way, no how am I a test taker. When you throw in statistics and accounting…well, let’s just say “epic fail.”
The way I take tests: I either know it or I don’t. I rarely sit there and try to talk myself in to one answer or out of another. If I don’t know the answer, I pick one and move on. If I do know the answer, I pick the right answer and then I move on.
Three days after I took this test, I received an email from the head of the program insisting that I come in and talk to him in his office as soon as I had a chance.
Uh-oh. No one likes getting called into anyones office, do they?
Once I went in, I was blatently accused of throwing the test. What? Why in the hell would I do that? I just took out $10,000 against my name and spent two years doing all these classes just to throw ONE FRICKIN’ TEST?
I tried to reason with the man at first. It didn’t go over well.
Instead of wasting my breath, I told him if he really thinks I threw the test that I would volunteer to take the test again. I would make sure and spend as much time as I possibly could taking the test.
So that day came three days later. I went and took the test in the same room. I spent so long on several of the questions that I zoned out numerous times. In the end, how much time did I spend versus the first test? About 10 more minutes.
I don’t know what my score was. At that point, I didn’t even care if they didn’t bother me with it again. I was allowed to graduate.
Frankly, I could have used a Fall Break and a Spring Break and a Summer Break and a Winter Break.