Friday, September 26, 2008

Make It Short, Sweet, and Legible

Yesterday, I had to give a few short essay questions on my first exam. If it was up to me, the entire exam would be all scantron, but someone up the food chain wants to make sure that the students are "evaluated for writing skills." Probably someone who never had to grade pages and pages of gibberish. Sad but true: I like the ones where they leave the answer completely blank. Either that or the ones where they hit every single keyword I'm looking for, and they're underlined, too. But really, I'm just happy if it's legible. What a lost skill penmanship is.

One student came up to me afterwards and told me it was the hardest test ever. She must have had some pretty easy teachers. And never taken the SAT. One other girl apparently had such a hard time on the essay portion that instead of rambling on and on for partial points, she wrote a little note to me instead:

I studied for 8 hours for this test
(that's all? well no wonder!) I read the chapters. I did the whole entire study guide. The study guide you provided us gave little help regarding this exam. I do not know the answers to any of the essays. I believe they weren't adequately covered in the study guide or the lectures (so I didn't tell them the exact question). I am not trying to be rude, just honest.

I believe her grade will speak for me. Apparently I will have to put a disclosure on my next study guide: QUESTIONS ON EXAM WILL NOT NECESSARILY APPEAR IN THE SAME WORDING YOU SEE HERE. Also: INTEGRATE ALL BULLETED POINTS IN YOUR HEAD. Meanwhile, I hope my eyes don't bleed out this week.

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