Danish Academics, and a Surprise!

One of my friends in Tietgen was telling me how she was stressing to study for an exam this upcoming Friday. “So you’re taking summer classes?” I asked her. She replied that she actually isn’t currently in any classes, and explained something I thought was fascinating about KU:

Here, your grade in a class depends on your final exam—you’re not continuously evaluated throughout the semester like in Caltech classes, with homework sets and labs and midterms. You can choose to “blank” the exam, meaning that you just turn in a blank piece of paper. This will earn you a grade of “–3” on a 12-point scale, which is essentially getting an F (I love how they get into negative numbers here; like, you didn’t just fail, you LITERALLY SUCK). BUT, when you blank an exam, or actually take it and fail, you have two more tries to take it, but at a much later date when you’ve had more time to study.

Isn’t this such a student-friendly policy to have? My friend explained that people often blank an exam when they don’t feel prepared enough to take it, kind of like how we can request extensions at Caltech. So while having your entire grade depend on one test on one day may seem stressful, you have several chances to take it!

Any thoughts from other Techers? Would you rather be evaluated on an average of your assignments throughout the quarter, or just have a final at the end? (I’m not entirely sure about my opinion on this one—finals like ACM95c this year would make me hesitant, haha.)

Later, I went to check my mailbox and I was pleasantly surprised to find cards and a package from some of my favorite people!! 🙂

2013-08-06 17.07.23



One thought on “Danish Academics, and a Surprise!

  1. I think you should be very happy about how it is at your uni. Our system produces a lot of lazy students, who almost do nothing during the entire semester (seeminly?) because they have better things to do. I do certainly not say that that is the case for everyone, but that is simply not the way a uni life should be. We should at least try to eliminate the possibility of too much slack during the semester – and I think that homework sets are a good guard agianst the slack. You are supposed to get an education at the uni, and that means in my opinion that your study should be a part of your everyday life, not just something on a paper with some random exam grades.

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