#349 – Exam Time

Image courtesy of a mystery photographer.

More than a few years ago, I took a Distance Education course from the University of Waterloo. At the time, my right elbow was in pretty bad shape, so the university and the professor allowed me to spread a one-term course out over two terms.

This worked out well for me, but I neglected to consider the exam. More precisely, the length of the exam.

The exam was invigilated by a local librarian. I spent three solid hours writing. By the end of that exam period, I practically had to chisel my pen out of my hand.

It would have been better to write the exam in two separate sessions of an hour and a half each. Using a keyboard to type out the answers might be an option, although research shows that motor actions, such as physically writing, reinforces the learning process, and I believe, helps in recall.

Since it’s been so long since I’ve been in a university exam situation, I’d love to hear how you’ve worked around this issue.

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6 Responses to “#349 – Exam Time”

  1. That would be a dilemma… I too find writing notes and rewriting things that I would like to remember as a helpful aide to memory. Typing the same info just does not work in the same way. However, if I had no choice and I had to make do with the computer as my method of studying, I think I would try and come up with ways to make the data entry part more meaningful. Hence, more likely to have a positive impact on my recall. So for example, I would be more creative in entering the information – perhaps trying to enter symbols along with notes or to ask myself questions about the information I was typing as I was typing (various tricks to aid in subsequent recall) so as to avoid mindless typing of information and zero recollection of facts later.

    • That’s an interesting idea to use symbols, Dorlee. I also read that you can help trigger memory by using an essential oil when you study, then dabbing the same essential oil on a tissue or your hand for your exam.

  2. Examinations? The last I wrote was in 1967! I wouldn’t be caught dead writing one ever again.

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