Final Stretch of Final Exams
It is pretty emotional to think I only have 7 days left of my study abroad time in Manchester, England. Even though there are so many things I am looking forward to going back home, I am definitely going to miss the new culture, environment, and the friends I met here. A lot of other exchange students have already gone home except for some people, like myself, who still have few more exams this upcoming week. I already took 4 out of 5 of my final exams and I am on the final stretch to wrap up my semester this Tuesday.
In this post, I want to write about the differences I realized in the university education system between England and the US. The first biggest difference I noticed during the year was that there is no daily or even weekly homework. The University of Manchester has an online platform called “Blackboard”, very similar to UMD’s Elms. So I was expecting to get assigned and submit some online homework. However, the closest thing to a homework was just doing some problem sets before the workshop to discuss the approaches and answers with the TA. In some classes, there was a project or an essay that is due in the middle of a semester (equivalent to a midterm exam) that counts for around 30% of the final grade. Other than the assignments mentioned above, the final grade for the courses all depends on the final exam. I guess that is why the revision period for the final exam is about 3 weeks long compared to a single Reading Day in the US.
In my personal opinion, I think the US’s education approach helps me learn more effectively by keeping me on track through homework instead of trying to self-teach the whole course at the end. Also, I think the Final Exam’s weight is inappropriate to test students’ understanding of the course contents and their skills. Some students are just bad test takers. In conclusion, I can say I will feel more grateful towards our education system and all the online assignments next year.