Giving Danish Exams a Go

Ho ho ho it’s Phoebe the Grinch here to talk about EXAMS — everyone’s favorite subject! I know there are a dozen posts about exams on this blog already, but there’s not much else to talk about this time of year except how to afford Christmas presents on a student budget, and on that topic I’ve got nothing. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

This is my first semester, and my biggest challenge so far has been wrapping my head around the Danish concept of exams. I have been out of school for… a while… but I have vague recollections of “finals” in the US being  essays or multiple choice/short answer tests that would count for 20-50% of the grade, balanced by midterms and smaller assignments. Here, my grades rest entirely on my final exams, which consist of a group paper, a synopsis + oral exam, and a portfolio.

Each program has its own regulations, so I suspect this is completely unique to Linguistics and complete irrelevant to you. I’ll move on to some more broadly applicable stuff.

  • Here are some of my favorite posts from the Hey You AU archive dealing with Exam Study Tips, Procrastination, and Productivity.
  • Here are some of my favorite presentations on Time Management and Emotion Regulation.
  • The Academic Regulations spell out exactly what each course’s exam requirements are and what the course objectives are (which is what you will be graded on).
  • The Digital Exam system is where you electronically submit your work. Don’t wait until the last moment to submit because, as with all inflexible digital systems, there are always unforeseen circumstances. A tip my student guidance counsellor shared is to upload your exam paper early, then continue to make last-minute improvements because re-uploading will overwrite your previous submission.
  • Studypedia (formerly Study Metro) contains so much information it would be overwhelming if it weren’t so neatly organized. There are some entries, like the one that explains how many characters equal a “page” (2400 including spaces) that aren’t available in English, but that’s what Google Translate is for!
  • Finally, a quick note on the grading system: Danes use what’s called a 7-point grading system that extends from -3 to 12. It made zero sense to me at first (how could 2 out of 12 be a passing grade??) but Wikipedia came to the rescue:

Grading Scale

Fun fact #1: the grades 00 and 02 are formatted as two digits so that you can’t put a 1 in front of them and pretend they’re 10 and 12.

Fun fact #2: If you fail your exam, you can take a re-examination!

That’s all for now—I have no plans to re-take my exams, so I need to get back to work on them. Good luck to all my fellow students out there!

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