Remember school? Remember all the tests and exams we had to go through to get the measly piece of manila card printed with your grades we call a diploma (or in Malaysia, the SPM cert)? Exams, exams, exams. Tests, tests, tests. Exams were the reason I sucked at school. All the crap of having to memorise and cram your head with shit was unbearable for me. I wasn't too sucky back then, but neither was I outstanding. When I was exposed to Malaysian tertiary education, I was overjoyed because assessments weren't solely exams. You were given assignments, projects and other things to apply your knowledge instead of just (I hate to use this cliche word because it's so hackneyed in the context of discourse pertaining to assessments, and it reminds me of nasty hyenas gagging to feed their nasty spawn) REGURGITATING. The university I'm studying at is just like school. Basically all the courses, except 3, assesses its students solely via exams. That's the value of the uni's students - exams. Exams = 100% = students. There you go, a grotesque mathematical equation of sorts. I sucked at school because of exams, now I'm gonna suck at uni because of the same reason. I was a star student back in Malaysia because I could express myself in the essays I wrote assigned by the lecturers. I'm not saying that I'm not thankful to be in one of the world's top 5 universities, but is this really how a top university should value its students? No, I don't think so. We've gone this over and over again back in my baccalaureate; an exam-oriented assessment system should be abolished because it doesn't holistically do anything but shit. Speculations swirl around the exam-orientedness of the Malaysian education system spawning from the British education system. *Barfs*
Getting a distinction, i.e. 80% and above, is virtually impossible here. Idk, but I think that the uni is stingy to give 80% apparently because of its world ranking and status. To get an overall distinction for my MA, I need to get 70% for all courses including my dissertation. So far, here are my scores:
Foundations in Linguistics: 66%, _%, _% [2 essays, 1 presentation]
Semantics and Pragmatics: 63%, _%, _%, _% (BLERGH!) [2 exams, 2 essays]
Syntax: 66%, _% (WTF. I was expecting a whole lot better for this course) [2 exams]
Phonetics and Phonology: 76%, 74%, _% (I should be a phonetician instead of a syntactician) [2 exams, 1 transcription test]
Morphology: _%, _% [2 exams]
So far, an overall distinction is still within reach if I do well enough.
It's cool that I don't have much work to do compared to Malaysian unis because I don't have many assignments, but it sucks having to study, study, study.