Finals Finally Finished

I came home last night and decided to take my Applied Climatology final first. I guess my thought was it was the easier of the two and so I wouldn’t be depressed and shaken when it was over.

As it turned out, it was the tougher of the two.

I started the Radar Meteorology test around 3:00 AM. It was 50 questions in one hour. There were no math calculations necessary, just identifying facts and concepts from the entire 12 lesson course.

The midterm, worth 30% of the course grade, had been brutal, with the average score right around passing. The instructor had done everything he could to keep the pressure on, including a public pronouncement that the midterm would remain as graded with no curve.

This posed a problem for some. In order to be certified you need to pass every course with at least a “C”. Some students, who are being reimbursed by employers, need to get a “C” to get their tuition back.

A few weeks ago a message was posted that allowed a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel. The final would be heavily based on the quizzes and tests we’d already taken. Some questions would be similar, others the same. I quickly copied all the previous questions and threw them into a small text editor I use.

After running through the test and rechecking, I finalized it on the computer with just a few minutes left. This morning I got the grade: 98% which gave me a semester average of 94.5%. So my streak of “A’s” remains intact (the Applied Climatology test hasn’t been graded, but I have a great deal of room for error and am confident of an “A”).

Last night, before leaving work, I asked a few people if they cared about their grades while in college? Of course, it’s not a scientific sample, but no one said yes. All they wanted was to get the classes behind them.

On the other hand, the few friends of mine who have gone back and finished some part of their education after ‘growing up’ have all been accomplishment oriented – and worked to do well beyond just passing.

Fall semester starts August 16. Three more to go. Six more midterms and six finals to take. Maybe the ‘younger’ college attitude is the better one, because this stuff’s getting stressful.

2 thoughts on “Finals Finally Finished”

  1. We are having parallel educational experiences and ponderings. I recently re-started my MBA program and just yesterday morning took my 35-question-60-minute midterm. The course is Managerial Science and has mostly to do with linear programming concepts. ITS HARD. Or at least that is the reputation the course has among its past students. In reality, I think the hard factor comes into play because the minor amount of basic algebra required is something most of us have not seen since high school and that was a LONG time ago.

    Back to my point though…When I first started out on the MBA course I fretted over anything shy of a perfect score. A 95 nearly put me over the edge in one course. Why? I don’t really know. I’m paying (dearly) for the classes this time, so mom and dad won’t be there to disapprove if I should get a B or a C. I only need to maintain a C average to receive the degree, and I don’t have my employer even paying attention to my school activities, so why does my grade matter? Someone once noted that adults who return to college are in some ways attempting to re-do their past college experiences. True, I didn’t exactly shine in academics in the past. I don’t even know what my BA grade point average was; all that mattered was graduating, which I did. So maybe I’m expunging some self-imposed guilt by doing it right this time? Or filling in some ego-gaps by trying to really learn something this time?

    Either way, I spent a good portion of the morning yesterday analyzing the class analysis section of my class. You can see where your scores rank in relation to the others enrolled, and even look at a question by question analysis of your answers and what everyone else chose. Made me feel better to know that the 3/35 questions I missed were only answered correctly by 34% of the class. 😉 Oh, and that my current 91.4 percentage is withing the 90th percentile of the class.

    Onward to the final in 4 weeks.

  2. Holly,

    I’m starting to get the feeling that this is a universally shared adult experience. Of course, as opposed to the first time, we all know why we are going and what use we will make of our credentials.

    Geoff Fox

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