First two exams done!

ETH logo I had my first two exams at the [ETH][] today: first a one hour written test in the Object-Oriented Software Construction course, followed by a two hour test in the Language Based Security course.

Both tests went fine, I think. The OOSC test was the easiest one; at the LBS test I didn’t have time to answer all the questions. The questions in both tests were a mixture of “explain this concept” and multiple-choice questions.

The written tests I’ve had in Denmark were all structured a bit differently: there you get maybe four or five major questions and for each major question there will be around four minor questions. And you have to write something or calculate something for each, not just write “True/False”. But on the other hand, then it’s nice when you just have to mark the right answer, for then you don’t have to write so much — my handwriting is… well… not optimal, and I always get tired in my hand when having to write too much.

My next exam will be on Tuesday, and after that I’ll have my summer holidays. Then comes the exams in my other three courses, but that’s way into the future! :-)


  1. Mikkel:

    I don’t like multiple choice exams at all. What’s wrong with traditional exams, and why should multiple choice exams be any better? The fact that they are easier to grade does NOT count.

    Well, it doesn’t matter, I hope all goes well with your exams.

  2. Martin Geisler:

    Well… multiple choise exams are also quicker to answer for us students, if that counts? Having two written exams on a single day would have been a pain if they had been the four-hour long ones we usually have in Denmark.

  3. Mikkel:

    I see what you mean, but two exams in one day is already too much if you ask me. I guess I just like the traditional oral exams the most - they don’t take very long, it’s easier to explain what you know and you get the result right away.

  4. Martin Geisler:

    You’re right — I certainly like oral exam best too! And I would also have preferred to have the exams spread out a little so that I would have been able to concentrate on them better.

    Another problem with the multiple choise exams is that you have very little chance of explaining yourself — you either get it right or wrong. That makes them very unreliable since they only take a small sample of your knowledge, like, you get two questions about “Path Coverage”, two about “Inherietance” and so on.

    My strength with the oral exams has always been that I’m able to give the examiner the impression that I know and understand the subject. That’s harder when you’re only being judged on single binary answers.

  5. Thomas Mølhave:

    Good luck with the last exam, and keep updating your site during the summer - we are curious.

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