Mid-September to November is midterms for American students! This year, just as my friends back home were settling into their first lectures, I was already taking my first midterm exam and have just emerged extremely tired but extremely excited for this weekend’s Halloween events!
It’s nearing the end of October, but some of my friends have still got exams and papers due in November, even in spite of taking the same classes as me in some cases. (This is another reason to check individual class syllabi before choosing which to take, and another bonus of having the option to choose your class!) I still have the odd quiz and lab submissions due before finals start in December, because America likes to keep you always on your toes, but nothing too stressful so I’m so grateful for a little down time finally.
However, even if you check ahead with your class syllabus, your exam and paper deadlines can easily still change! After years of knowing exactly what date and time my GCSE and A Level exams were going to be, it’s such a strange system to get used to. Several of my exam dates and paper deadlines were postponed, which might seem convenient, but can be awkward if you’re trying to make plans. But the bonus is that all of you are in the same boat and your professor doesn’t want you to fail (!) so is really doing everything in your interest.
Another strange thing to get used to is the different methods of testing. A lot of my exams so far have included a heavy emphasis on multiple choice, which was unusual to me but explains why professors don’t seem to worry too much about letting you know when your exam is a week before the date! We have to buy our own Scantrons, which I personally recognised from Mean Girls…
But the ones I use look a little more like this…
They’re inexpensive and are easy to find in the bookstore or in general stores on campus.
The fact that I’ve been taking midterms and quizzes in America is such a strange concept to get used to. To me, it’s just bringing to life movies that are set in High School where teachers torture students with ‘pop quizzes’ etccc! It’s very different but quite fun to get used to working in new ways, and if in doubt, playing the “I’m a confused international student” card can get you a lot of help as well as respect from most professors!