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Surviving Finals’ Week

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The countdown begins to the end of the semester. This was one short semester. And to think that our AUS folks are finishing in January…why the rush, MI?

One thing I don’t understand is this; we have long holidays because of eid, National Day, Hijra New Year…a long holiday which we DON’T enjoy anyway because we have so many projects to finish, and then when we come back, they surprise us with make-up classes for the long holiday that we didn’t enjoy anyway (did I say that again?)….

Anyway, I just thought of reposting the following note for the newbies on how to survive finals’ week.

It’s funny how after 18+ years in academia you learn tricks of the trade that help you pass* exams with a smile. Some of the techniques I’ve come across;

1) When it comes to essay questions, mess up the handwriting, except for the ‘code’ words. That way, the professor thinks that you know what you’re talking about except for the scribbly-chicken handwriting, and might give you the benefit of the doubt. The only effort you’ll have to make is know the code word for each course, and sometimes you don’t have to look hard and long for them, because they’re right there in the title of the course. Like for corrosion course, ‘corrosion’ was the code word. What type of corrosion? Doesn’t matter…just mess up the handwriting of what comes before and after.

2) If the question is too tough, scribble it out, and change the question with one of your own and then answer that instead. Show the professor that you studied, and open their eyes to the possibility that maybe the question was wrong, not your answer…

3) If the whole exam was so tough, and you can’t leave the exam room until the first hour is over, entertain yourself. I used to write poetry at the back of the exam. Alternatively, write an emotional letter to the professor about how they’ve been the best professor you’ve ever encountered, and you can’t believe what sort of exam they’d come up with, that you feel betrayed, but you’re sure it’s their evil twin who put the exam, not him. Give him another chance to repeat the exam, or alternatively, tell them to give you an A, and you would forgive them.

4) If you are really angry at the professor for putting out an exam where the results of those who forsake a fun outing to study would be equal to those who went to have fun, then scribble out the ‘good luck and smiley face’ at the end of the exam, and tell them, “Next time, don’t even bother writing good luck.”

5) If you have to submit a lab report, get an SA&D** student to fix your cover page, put lots of pictures in the introduction from google, and print the whole report in color.

6) If you have a deadline to meet where you’ll be penalized for late submission, slip in your essay under the professor’s door before the deadline, no matter how bad it looks. Then once he leaves, stalk one of the cleanco guys working along that corridor, and when he opens this specific professor’s office to clean up, see if your essay is still around (sometimes it is, with a large foot print on it), take it back and resubmit again over the weekend or at night.

7) If you have a presentation, fill it with animation (the continuous ones that move even when you’re on the same slide), so they’d be so in awe with the animation that they won’t pay attention to what you have to say. When we told our advisor we’d do that for the design presentation (with the reason of course), he laughed. I guess he thought it was a joke. The results on how it worked with us were mixed though; Even though we used animation in both Design 1 & 2, in Design1 – we were not asked a single question. Design 2 – we were the group asked the most questions….so judge for yourself.

8) If the exam was really, really, really tough that your heart begins palpitating furiously, you begin sweating, and the walls seem to close in on you, what you can do is repeat each and every single question in the space provided for answers. Repeat each question 3 times, some backwards, do some translation if you want. also make sure your font is 7 so they’d have to get a magnifying glass to read. Make them suffer the way they made you suffer.

Alternatively, just work hard and study, or ignore…

*By pass, I’m not talking about an A or even C-, but pass as in get the exams over with

** for non-AUS’ers, SA&D is School of Architecture & Design students, where the artistic talents lie

I’ve personally tried 3, 4, 5 and 7, what about you?

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