Report from Stockholm: part 2 of 3

This a the second part of my description and thoughts on studying and staying in Sweden. Find the first part of the origin of this long text in https://studentblogski.wordpress.com/2014/01/31/report-from-stockholm-part-1-of-3/

Tests, examinations and evaluations are also different in Sweden that in Colombia. There is a general emphasis in group work and less in the individual one. Only one of the examinations I have had, in the Introduction course, was an exam in the traditional format (traditional for us in Colombia). Although I can not forget that 5 hours exam with books and whatever you wanted, made from home.. totally stressing and demanding. The rest of examinations have been papers (individual or in group) with a lot research work behind, lectures, discussions, seminars and even a log book where you should write you learnings, what worked well and what could be done different. This log book is one of the mandatory parts in the final evaluation and it does not matter if the feedback is positive or negative or its quality and timing.

Grades are also a different issue. You do not receive a numeric grade or a letter in a rank (A,B,C…). In Sweden the options are only pass, pass with distinction and fail. Of course it is also a ranking but less comprehensive that others. It is not crystal clear for me the way you got the final grade because there is no the method to give a specific weight to each exam, paper of lecture and ponderate the final numeric rating. Most of the times the attendace to mandatory sessions is only a yes/no requirement but it does not have an effect in changing grom pass to pass with distinction, only in the case that you do not fulfil the attendance requisite and the course evaluator defines that you lost the course. Although there is also some flexibility depending on the coordinator because it is not the same to miss a practical or computer exercise than miss a peer review seminar. It is possible to agree the attendance in advance with your teacher. Anyway, there are some criteria on how each deliverable is rated and how the final grade is obtained from the intermediate tests grades.

If possible, evaluations are anonymous, for instance in the paper based traditional exams or some of the ones delivered through Ping Pong system. The evaluator, usually different from the course coordinator, only receives the exam and a code and a third person matches the grading with the student identified with that code.  Another different issue is that if you receive a fail in the final grade, you have up to 5 additional chances to pass the course with other test. This do not mean that, for some reason, you must repeat the course but this is actually a real headache because courses are given once a year and it is almost sure that the following year there will be a conflict with the course or courses corresponding to that time of the year. Do not forget that you are fully dedicated to one course and for sure it will be difficult to find room in your schedule to see two. That issue of conflicting courses is also problematic if you are interested in attending a course from other Master Program, it is almost impossible to do it. The only option you have is the summer courses.

Next and last part, next Thusrday: my own reflections

2 thoughts on “Report from Stockholm: part 2 of 3

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