Monday, January 24, 2011

Come Prepared with Pencils and Erasers!

Today I had my first final exam, and I have to say, the Turkish examination system is much different than that of the American style. For example, an exam in America is typically 50 - 100 questions, majority being multiple choice, and some short answer responses. In Turkey, speaking for myself at least, I feel like the exams are like quizzes. I mean that, an exam for me was 2 extended response questions; and before for my midterm it was 15 multiple choice and one short answer response. I can see pros and cons in this method. Firstly, I noticed that it took me about 1/4 of the time to finish a final exam, where in America it could take forever. So there is not much to worry about time constraints, which is quite relieving. However, if you miss 4 questions you are up for debate on your grade, which can be risky. Even though this is the case, the majority of professors tend to curve your grade, or raise the majority of the class’s average above passing. But a word of advice: unlike in America where you can negotiate a curve, do not try it with Turkish professors. If you mention it, that option will completely go out the door. So keep your mouth closed and roll with the punches. ;)

I also noticed that in America, on a short answer response question, we are taught, at least in my business school, to be clear precise and to the point; meaning write 3-4 very strong convincing sentences to answer the question. They teach us this way so that you learn how to be concise in business speeches or “elevator speeches”(a proposal, pitch, or status update to a manager in an elevator). HOWEVER, in Turkey, I tried this same technique, but I got marked off for having such a short answer. I have since then learned that they expect at least over half a page of explanation, whether it is wordy or not.

Overall, for it being my first final, I feel very confident that I passed my first class in Turkey, which is always a good and relieving feeling. My goal is to press onward; I now have a few more days to finish my take-home final for Business finance, and then the rest of the week to study for my last 3 exams. Exams, for at least Yasar, last 2 weeks, and then we have a 3 week break. The one and only thing pressing me forward through exams is a break. Given that I’m used to the quarter system of ten weeks, my mind kind of shut off after week ten in this semester; however, I think I am slowly learning and fully prepared to start another semester at Yasar. Time can go as slow as possible though, I want to continue enjoying the Izmir life outside of school, and leave the books on the bookshelf. ;)
"Education is an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity." ~Aristotle

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