On tests

I’d consider myself a fairly good college student.  I rarely miss class, I participate often, and I keep a somewhat impressive GPA.  I figured out early on how to get good grades, and I have yet to get a C in college.  Call me a nerd, stuck-up, loser, geek, what you will, but that’s who I am.  I expect that from myself, and honestly, it hasn’t been that hard.

Most of the time professors are just making sure that you actually learned the material when they test you.  Even better, the best ones use tests to ensure that you know how to apply the material learned.  My selling class tests are an example of this, they’re extremely tough (no multiple choice!  just open ended and essays), but Dr. Stevenson does an incredible job ensuring every student has understood the course.  I actually have to LEARN, not memorize the material.  There’s a big difference.

However, this semester has been quite different.  Despite studying more every time, I have yet to make above an 80 on any of my Management Information Systems exams.  There’s been five of them.  I understand the concept behind the class, and if you stuck me in the real world right now I’d have a great understanding of the basics of Information Systems.

So do you think we’re tested on knowing the concepts?

Of course not.  We’re tested on our ability to answer trick questions and memorize the book.  Literally, some questions this year were just copy and pasted from the book, with one word removed or switched.  That’s pathetic.  What have I learned from that?  Take for example, this problem:


Today’s enterprise applications are focused on accomplishing fundamental business processes in concert with a company’s…

  • a) suppliers and customers
  • b) suppliers, customers, and partners
  • c) suppliers, customers, partners, and employees
  • d) none of the above

OK, so maybe I’m supposed to select the “best” option.  But c’mon, aren’t A and B both correct as well?  These types of questions infuriate me.  It’s almost like this:

Which of these colors is not green?

  • green
  • turquoise
  • red
  • yellow

The correct answer is Red, because it’s the color that’s the least related to green!  Oh sure, you can say to your professor, “Dr. Guy, turquoise isn’t green either!” but he’ll be a smartass and say, “But it’s not the BEST answer.”

If you choose an option that is right, shouldn’t that be counted as correct?!

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Posted on May 1, 2008, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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