Monday, May 14, 2007

Ruminations about exam papers

Today I finished my third exam this year for the course having the nice title «Biochemistry of Health and Disease». For the convenience (or not) of students the course was quasi split into two half course units; one half about cardiovascular disease and the other about cancer biology (some information about Prions was interspersed). Obviously this is quite a workload, especially if you don't simply want to scratch the surface, as most lectures did.

What upset me was the exam format. Theoretically (which was also clear from past exam papers), it would have been able to complete the exam with only revising half the course content (i.e. either CVD or cancer biology). In my opinion, this is the wrong way to set an exam, as it only encourages students to leave out half the content, or in my case confronts them with the dilemma of wanting to achieve good marks and having a thorough knowledge of the whole course content.

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