May I ask you a question before you proceed to read? Have you ever heard about home exam? If yes, have you ever taken one? Oh! Am I designing a survey questionnaire or…? Anyway, I guess most of you have answered ’no’ even to the first question.
For me, it is not only answering ‘no’ to these questions, it took me sometime to understand what is meant by ‘your final exam will be a home exam’. Oh! Sorry, I am talking about the final exam for the course Health Economics: Health and Medical Care Financing. Aha, is this blog going to be a kind of ‘the cart before the horse’ since I didn’t say a word about the course itself? Ok, no problem! I will have another blog talking about the course soon (probably most important for prospective students). So, now I can talk about the exam.
As I said, the exam was a home exam. When the course leader was asked which specific place would be better to sit for the exam, his response was ‘anywhere on the earth as far as there is internet’. We had a big lough with the answer; and I was intending to ask: ‘why not on the moon if there is internet?’ but I didn’t dare to say it. But my wish and thought about it continued. In a moment I found myself hallucinating: I saw my classmates and myself being the first students who wrote their exam on the moon. Oh shit! It is too late to check the availability of internet and arrange travel to the moon; I have already booked a group room in the library.
You might ask ‘if you are allowed to be anywhere, why still in the library?’ This is a valid question but some classmates and myself have preferred to take the exam in the library. The main reasons for me were two. The first is being ‘risk averse’: Who knows? If the internet in my home fails for the first time? If the fire alarm shouts suddenly and takes me several minutes?…The second is that my ‘want’ for visiting the kitchen, the toilet and the corridor is so high and frequent when I am at home as compared to the few survival ‘needs’ I have when I work from the library.
We were given eight hours (including lunch break). I used the whole time (except few short breaks to go to toilet and have something to eat) to work on the exam but my efficiency was much compromised in the afternoon. In my opinion, skills of paraphrasing and writing fast on the keyboard would be very helpful for such an exam. In addition, it would be important to have a good sleep the night before, have ‘the appropriate’ kind of breakfast and taking break during the exam would help a lot.
N.B: For this blog, I have used some words and concepts from the course text book, Morris et al., 2012…so no risk of plagiarism