Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Exam Day

What an exam. Every question was fair, and if you subscribe to the idea that even exams should be learning experiences this exam would be a perfect candidate. You would think that this far into my university experience I wouldn’t mind sitting for a two hour exam. No matter how you look at it, two hours is a long time to sit in a chair. Physically exhausting, not really; mentally strenuous? Absolutely.

There wasn’t anything “new” on the exam, but there were some interesting bridges to cross. Algorithmically it wasn’t terrible, and could have been a lot worse. In fact, the whole exam could have been a lot worse. It was just a big thinking exercise. The real challenge came in the form of its length. One really needed to understand assembly in order to get through the exam problems quickly enough to finish thoroughly, and correctly. There simply wasn’t time to “figure out” what needed to be written.

On the whole, the exam was a good experience. One of my friends came out saying that the law of averages would be the friend of this class. Unfortunately for this class, I don’t think that you can bet on the law of averages to work in my favor. School is just too competitive, the results are too constrained. The name of the game is staying at or above the average, which for this class means hours spent studying. Not just doing the homework, but assimilating it.

The next exam is going to be about how computers do binary math. It is probably time to get started on the studying. Given this first test experience, there is no way anyone would get through the entire exam questions if they don’t learn it cold.

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