Friday, November 6, 2009

Examens !

Today was the first test in our Français des affaires course.
After I spent hours reviewing the 3 dossiers and 15 chapters from the course workbook because the professor stressed the need to know all the vocab, the test turned out to be 6 fill in the blanks, a couple matching, one short definition, and a huuuge commentaire de graphique. This part only actually required knowledge of every day vocab words such as fluctuate (fluctuer), stagnate (stagner), drop (chuter), etc.
I am not necessarily disappointed that the test was so easy, but rather that it only covered a small, small portion of what we did in the workbook*. More importance seemed to be placed on knowing how to say "up" and "down" than on knowing the difference between different types of sociétés.

Last week I had a test in Essentials of Project Management as well.
It consisted of 10 essay questions. At first we all (the foreign students, but the French students too!) thought it was an open-book test, so we took out our notes. Then some goodie-two-shoes announced to the professor (who wasn't paying enough attention to notice everyone using notes) that, maybe some foreign students didn't understand, it's not an open-book test. So we were all told to put our notes away, and reminded that we were not five years old.
Then the professor left the room to answer his cell phone, which of course lead to masses amounts of answers being swapped as fast of possible. I would like to add, here, that I was one of the few students who did not actively seek or give answers. ;)
The professor returned after 2 minutes. What I find interesting is that he did not notice the entire silent classroom start to move and buzz before he had even made it out the door, and that it took a couple seconds for it to calm down again once he reopened the door and proceeded to sit at his desk.
After an hour and a half, we turned in our tests and took a 15 minute break. Upon returning to class, the professor announced that one honest student informed him that everyone had cheated like little children on the test and that he shouldn't have to babysit us and as a result, we were going to re-do anther essay test instead of having a lecture. This actually turned out to be in my favor, since I couldn't answer several of the questions on the original test (see, I left them blank, I didn't cheat). The new test only had two questions: describe a business plan and what does it consist of.
This week he returned our tests and said he had been "generous" with marks. I think the lowest grade (and I know what everyone's grade was because the professor announced them as he handed back papers) 10,5/20. This is just above the "average" cut-off (11/20 is considered "acceptable", 15/20 is "good!", 18/20 is "excellent!"). I found it interesting to note that 10 or so of the 13 Chinese students in the class got between 14-16, the highest grades.

* the amazing workbook must be stressed as the main learning tool in F.d.A. since only 15 minutes per class period (2x a week) is dedicated to correcting the exercises and the rest of the time to listening to personal stories from the professor on unrelated topics.

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