Exam time

At a university, sitting an exam is not the hard part; sometimes it is harder to get your exam paper and marks back …


November 23rd, 2020

I had a most interesting time at the AUT University exam hand-back on this day back in 2013. It was the end of my second semester here and I had taken four papers, three of which had final examinations to sit.

I talked to the Nice Lady who was on the door at the Exam Hand-Back room. “Hello, my exam number is shown as ‘Not available‘ on your list over there. When is the next hand-back time?”

“There isn’t one …”

“So…what happens next?”

“I do not know…which paper do you want back? ” So I showed her the paper number and she said…. “No, you are wrong. That ‘Not available‘ does not mean that.”

“Ohh .. So what does ‘Not available‘ mean then? Is my paper not available yet?”

“But it does not mean that …”

“Right”, says the very confused Badger..

She had me sit down and fill out a Yellow Form. I went into the Hand-Back room and sat where she told me to. The Nice Lady came over and took my form. … sat there … sat there … still sitting …

About five minutes later, the Nice Lady came back and asked me why I was still sitting there. I politely explained that she had taken my Yellow Form but not given me my exam paper yet.

“Oh”, says the Nice Lady. “I filed your form.”

“Ahh … OK … so what happens now?”

“Um…not sure.” In my obvious ignorance I asked: “Well can you possibly get it out of the filing? Surely you filed it in alphabetical order?”

“No, these are exam conditions…I am not allowed to do that.”

“What? This is not an examination, it is an ‘exam hand-back’. I understood I was supposed to come here, do what I was told and receive my examination script back. I cannot change anything, only check the adding …”

“What was your paper number?”

“It is a six-digit number. It is Algorithm Design and Analysis. It is in the bag you asked me to leave outside the room. I cannot remember the exam number, but it is on the list on the door outside.”

“Then you will have to go outside and fill in another form …”

The obedient Badger went outside and filled in Yellow Form Number Two. Ten minutes later the same Nice lady on the door asks “Why are you back?”

“Please don’t ask …”

Again, I went in, sat down, gave the Yellow form to the same Nice Lady just like I did the first time … sat there …sat there … finally …got my exam paper

I took my phone out to add up my marks.

“Stop – You can’t use your phone in here” says the Nice Lady. “This room is under exam conditions. Put it away or you will have to leave.”

I put on my best stern Badger face: “Today, this is not a phone. Today, it is a calculator. I am using it to add up my marks … “

“I repeat, this room is under exam conditions. Put it away or you will have to leave.”

“Right, thank you. IT IS A MATHEMATICS PAPER. I AM A SKILLED MATHEMATICIAN. I WILL ADD IT UP IN MY HEAD …”

I passed …

Author: Rockweather

I am a writer, musician, teacher, and researcher at the Auckland University of Technology (AUT) in Auckland, New Zealand.

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