A friend of mine took a test on the module “electrical engineering” yesterday and exclaimed his astonishment of how easy the test was. Sometime back, I kinda gave him the mentality that the paper will be a race against time, which was the case last semester, all questions were manageable and it’s just a matter of whether you have time to finish all of them. Hence, he did rush through it only to realize that by the 35th min, he had reached the end of the paper. Following which, he took his time to flip back and check his solutions where most of them were just simple few steps answers. 15 mins went by and he was done with the first round of checking. Therefore, he went through it a second round while having the notion that he might not get full marks due to a possible deduction of 1 mark in view of his untidiness. He wasn't the only one who think the paper was easy, most of his friends had similar experience.
One should be happy with such easy paper or should we? What is the point if everyone achieve a high percentage of the score when at the end of the day, we are still going to be graded based on a bell curve? Ultimately, it boils down to how careful you are. One careless mistake will render you a poor position on the curve and thus poor grade. Is this a test of your carefulness or your concepts of the subject?
Furthermore, an easy paper could give us a wrong impression on our grades. Our judgment on the “feel” of the paper is no longer accurate. One might expect an A from the paper as he/she understood all the concepts and find most questions manageable. Yet, that person might get a B+ instead, for example, not because he/she do not fully understand the module, but losing to the competitiveness instead. I shudder at such thoughts.
A difficult paper, on the contrary, would serve more purpose than that of an easy paper. Instead of a test of your carefulness, a difficult paper can successfully differentiate the better students from the average and the average from the weaker ones. Yet, such papers could be very demoralizing.
Either case, it’s going to be stressful experience. As a matter of fact, examinations have always been stressful as everything depends on them. From young, we had been given the notion that examinations are all that we should be concern with as so much depends on them. Right here in nus engine fac, where competition is so high, there is no room for failures at all, else one would see the cap score dipping. There is no joy at all, it’s a chore. Something important is absent; the fun of learning, the enthusiasm in learning, these factors are all missing from the equation of learning. It is just simply preparation for examinations after examinations.