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3hr exams...too long??

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3hr exams...too long??
November 10, 2006 11:29AM
Hi there

Ever wonder how many of you think 3hrs in a single sitting is a bit too long?
Don't you guys think that a 15-30min break halfway through the duration would be appropriate? Maybe a quick bite, a few puffs on a cigarette to calm your nerves and anxiety, maybe even a quick refresh of notes and study material?? BTW: just a "light-hearted" view- NOT TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY! (although I wouldnt mind something like this coming into effect -lol).

Anonymous User
Re: 3hr exams...too long??
November 10, 2006 12:10PM
and for those of us who don't smoke... we can get coffee or choclate breaqks or maybe just 10 extra % winking smiley
avatar Re: 3hr exams...too long??
November 10, 2006 12:30PM
Definately something that only a smoker would like smiling smiley
I would absolutely hate it ;p
Re: 3hr exams...too long??
November 10, 2006 12:34PM

// serious
For me, sometimes I'm so busy writing or reading that I look again and I have an hour left, then finish up and leave a little early maybe.

Perhaps two 2 hours exams would be more appropriate especially for the more practical inf or cos exams, one for practical application and one for theory, but I'm happy with just one to be honest.

The quick refresh would be very very handy I'm sure, and in the real world outside of the exam hall, referring back to resources be it online or textual is an okay thing to do sometimes. Although referring to the manual when writing what should be really simple or when asked a straight up question could make management a bit nervous. lol.

// not too serious
Yip, a break would great, maybe have a little stretching & exercises in the foyer, with perhaps a prayer group for those who skipped a chapter only to find that it was the most important one, or maybe a subject expert booth ready for questions at a premium fee.


Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
Scott Adams, 'The Dilbert Principle'
Anonymous User
Re: 3hr exams...too long??
November 10, 2006 01:47PM
I would honestly not like a break - seeingt as I usually duck after 1.5 hours from a 3 hour exam anyhow...

if we could quickly go refer to other manuals or textbooks in our breaks.. then exams may as well be open book
Re: 3hr exams...too long??
November 10, 2006 02:11PM
exactly, celene. I agree.
Re: 3hr exams...too long??
November 10, 2006 02:39PM
While we're on the subject of open book exams- how is it that some people actually manage to fail an exam having all resources (analogous to using a spell checker in MS Word and still having spelling mistakes)? Maybe these people can refer to the "Learning how to copy out of a book for dummies" tutorial on their 15/30 minute break while the rest of us strategise how to attack the exam over a beer & some pretzels?? smileys with beer
Re: 3hr exams...too long??
November 10, 2006 03:26PM
I have no idea, I am yet to do an open book exam; the beer & pretzels on the other hand, that I have a ton/litre of experiencesmileys with beer

Lol @ "Learning how to copy out of a book for dummies"
avatar Re: 3hr exams...too long??
November 11, 2006 11:04AM
An open book exam (at least a well set one - ive only ever written one and it seemed well set) is not like that at all, They ask more questions then a regular exam and in far more depth due to time constraints you only find yourself looking at the textbook when you really need it, and definately don't have time to refer to it for every quetion..

I agree with celene I finished most my 3 hour exams long before 3 hours. With the exception of one or two of the more difficult ones(COS340-A) for example
Re: 3hr exams...too long??
November 14, 2006 05:53PM
I think that open book exams tend to be more difficult than normal exams. It's hardly ever a case of copy and paste.
Interesting debate though on which type of exam would be more appropriate. In real life, nothing stops you from referring to a manual (albeit "How to copy out of a book for dummies"winking smiley and you don't need to load everything into memory.

3 hours tends to fly by quite quickly. I don't enjoy 2hr exams too much. You kill yourself trying to get a whole years worth of work into your head for a measely 2hr exam.

I thought someone said something about beer and pretzels - I'm off
Re: 3hr exams...too long??
November 17, 2006 12:29PM
i say keep the 3hour exams like they are.
for some subjects - COS211 it was not even enough time this year.
rather know you have time, write your exam in a proper ordered fashion,
than to wonder if you will make the time constraints.
This is not unique to unisa.
i have written an NMMU and some INF exams (WRA at NMMU) also have people leaving earlier.
i applaud Unisa for the material at this point in time.
our textbooks are on par with international universities and i learn a great deal.
Re: 3hr exams...too long??
November 22, 2006 09:29AM
I dont have any problems with 3hr exams
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