Oral Exams

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Have you ever taken an oral exam for a final? Do you prefer them to written exams?

-- Anonymous, June 10, 2000


I actually took a cell bio oral exam this past Thursday. It was an interesting experience, and they also focused on like two parts of the 4 in the class. It was weird. It is done now. I like written tests much better because you can think about what you say versus in an oral, any thinking is a weird pause of dead quite. Anyways, so one of the professors told me that they do oral exams to exactly stop that, he wanted to see the holes and not clever ways of covering it up. I think this is dumb because most every hole in research is nicely covered up. They just didn't want to grade papers. Anyways, congrats on the lab Jen. Hmmm, I wonder which one it is since you e-mailed "him"!

-- Anonymous, June 10, 2000

I had oral exams when I finished graduate school. I also had to defend my thesis. Six days after my last test I had a stroke.

I guess I don't handle stress very well. :)

PS: Jen- congrats on being done! Woohoo!

-- Anonymous, June 10, 2000

Oh, and no, I definitely do NOT prefer them.

-- Anonymous, June 10, 2000

Yeah, I don't really think it's a great way to hold exams either because of what you said about not having time to think...the format makes you much more likely to just blurt out the first thing that pops into your head just to end the uncomfortable silence.

I guess the idea is that you're supposed to have thought things out beforehand, which is probably a valid assumption for the proposal part of things, but some of the coursework questions I got were kind of weird, and there's no way I could have predicted them.

-- Anonymous, June 10, 2000

I have never been a fan of oral exams. A lot more than just your knowledge in tyhe area (body language, stage presence.etc.) is under scrutiny. I guess the positive thing for the examiner is that he/she/it can assess your knowledge by evaluating your answers and changing the subsequent questions accordingly. Computerized tests have started doing this (adaptive testing). To answer your question, yes, I have. No, I don't.

-- Anonymous, June 11, 2000

I did my doctoral defense with an oral defense of my dissertation. That wasn't bad at all. Very conversational, really. Last fall (yes, back in law school!) I did my Appellate Advocacy presentation orally for a 3-judge panel. That was scarier, but I *had* defended my dissertation and defended papers at conferences. Being grilled by judges wasn't any harder... But I've given a few oral exams to students and seen how nervous they get... All in all, I'd rather write...

-- Anonymous, June 12, 2000

See, I told ya I wouldn't fit in here. A huge opening, and I do mean gaping, and no one even said anything the least bit off-color or distasteful.

Anyhoo, hope you're doing a Jennifer Love Hewitt and having the 'Time of your Life', except with a bit more success than her hour long drama yawn.

-- Anonymous, August 09, 2000

Sorry bout the fake email thing -- you should put the warning above the submit button for dips like me. All apologies. This one's true.

-- Anonymous, August 09, 2000

Rude boy!

Crossing over, I take it?

-- Anonymous, August 10, 2000

ah the page who's website is hosted in New York.

-- Anonymous, September 04, 2002

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