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Finals at the Copenhagen Business School

by Tommy Clark Wednesday, May 16, 2018

At the Copenhagen Business School, the grades for each course are determined by one exam. So the stress level is high. The exams take three forms: a four-hour sit-in exam, an oral exam and a written-paper. Fortunately, I was able to try out all three! The sit-in exams all take place at the Examination Hall, which is about a 30-minute commute from the buildings that house classes. After the start-time, the exam can be downloaded from the examination website then one can write their answers on specially designed paper using a Digital Pen. Once answers are written on the paper, the pen is supposed to be placed in its holder and the answers are scanned onto the computer. I did not enjoy this integration of technology and exam. It was overly-complicated and distracting. For example, my Digital Pen stopped working in the middle of my finance exam. I had to wait for a tech to come to my desk, explain my problem and wait for it to be solved. Ten minutes later, I resumed my long response. Plus, with hundreds of students around you typing some answers, the room was filled with a buzz of computer key clicks. In any case, the different exam was at least an experience.

My one oral exam varied far more than exams in the US, but I really did enjoy it. The oral exams involve the student, the professor and proctor.  The exam begins with the introduction of three questions relating to one topic from the course in a separate room. I was allowed twenty minutes to prepare a short presentation. Then I entered another room with the professor and proctor. I shared my thoughts for around the first seven minutes, then the rest of exam is shaped and influenced by follow-up questions from the professor. The student has the power to influence where the conversation goes. It is refreshing because it provides the opportunity to show what you know. I recommend professors in the US experience with this idea. I believe it provides better practice for the pressure of a career in business and making a presentation under the gun.

Finally, the written exams were nothing out of the ordinary. Some written-exam last as long as ten days. So, as the weather warmed around me, I hunkered down into my dorm and hunched over my lap-top. By the end I felt like Gollum.

The most important thing is that finals are over and that concludes my junior year. It is hard to believe!