Monday, January 19, 2009

Midterm Exam Experience

I took my midterm exam online in one of the local internet cafes a few days ago. The exam site was pretty straightforward, and it had a Resume feature, but I did not get to use it for fear that it would invalidate the exam.

The questions were fairly what you would expect from anywhere in the University of the Philippines. UP alumni would understand what I mean.

It was a surreal experience. Here I was, after a particularly punishing 9 hours of work, answering questions on an exam. I fought off fatigue and sleep, and tried to blink off some eye strain after hours staring at a computer monitor.

The internet cafe was quiet for a while, and then midway through the exam it began to fill up - students researching in teams, occupying stations in pairs or by threes.

I just bit my lip when, during the last 45 minutes of the exam, I was asked to create complete assembly code to fulfill some output. It was a struggle, and in the end I managed to answer only one problem satisfactorily.

The results of the exam would not be known for some time, but the experience itself instructs me to be better prepared next time.

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