Exam stress

This week is by far the most stressful week of the teaching semester for lecturing staff, as Friday marks the deadline for submission of exam papers. If you teach four courses, which is fairly typical for Institute of Technology lecturers, that’s eight papers of questions and model answers to be handed in if you include the repeats.

I’m not saying it’s a bad idea in principle to have exams submitted half way through the semester, far from it (besides, the timetable is set by the fact that the papers have to be posted to the external examiners). However, it’s a lot of prep and the stress is twofold. First there’s all those neat questions you thought of as you were teaching the course, but now can’t find. Second, it’s the realisation that, in every course, you are far behind where you should be. If only the students knew!


Enthralled class

Worst of all are the shared papers. This involves inumerable meetings, changes and compromises, until all participants are happy.I often feel it would be easier to write the whole damn paper myself, even if I only teach part of that course!

Still, shouldn’t complain. Next week is midterm and we have a whole week off. I intend to make the most of it, with a weekend in the Comeragh mountains with the Glenwalk Hillwalking Club, followed by some surfing and music in Doolin during the week. I deserve it.


With Glenwalk in the mountains of Mourne


Tunes in Doolin last summer


Filed under Teaching, Third level

5 responses to “Exam stress

  1. cormac

    Thanks Malish, that looks v useful…I’ll pass it on to my students

  2. Anytime, I will set them up a site for their and your use. All I need is valid gmail IDs and the number of questions/years of pas papers they want to revise from.

  3. Malish, I like your strategy for the examination. It is very helpful to the students and can lessen the stress of the teachers. I may share this to my friends. :)

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