This might not be the most exciting title or picture, but it’s more fun than you think. So far I did not pay a lot of attention to the study here, but I am doing that of course. In fact, I already had three exams. Before the first exam we got this paper with rules, as you can see on the picture. Now you should understand that there are some differences between Dutch and Norwegian exams.
The exam takes place in a class room, with tables in nice rows, and it is forbidden to peek. So far so good. But the order is not maintained by the teachers, they only drop by once or twice to answer questions. Instead there are some retired people that you never met before sitting in the room. When you get in, you have to go to them to get your number, which is not your student number but a random number that differs every exam. You also have to sign an attendance list. They give you a paper that are attached where you have to fill out this number, and which course it is and some other information. This paper is shaped like this that you can insert your answers afterwards in it. You get this paper twice. Because now comes the fun part: to get a grade that is valid in Norway, your exam has to be checked by two different teachers. So you have to have all of your answers twice. Instead of copying your results afterwards, you get these special papers to write on. Every sheet has two sheets behind it, and the paper is like this that if you write on it, your writing also gets to the papers behind it. Afterwards you detach this, leaving 1 paper for the first teacher, the second for the second and the third for you. You also have to add your number and course etc. to every sheet you hand in. Since I wrote about 12 sheets (exams are also longer here, I had 4 hours but 5 and 6 is possible), I spend half an hour filling out the same information and separating and sorting papers.
Okay, so that’s what happens before and after the exam. But during it is also interesting. You are not allowed to walk: meaning that if there is anything you want, for instance extra papers, you have to raise your hand and wait for the old people to come to you. If you want to go to the toilet, one of them has to go with you and wait outside, to make sure you don’t get any “improper assistance” (rule number 17) on the way. I had to go to the toilet once, and it was actually a lot of fun, talking to this lady. You can also have a break if you want, for instance to smoke, but then of course with a supervisor.
After one exam I was used to everything, at least I thought so until the lady supervising gave us all a reflective bracelet afterwards. Not sure if she came up with it herself or that it was from the university, because internationals are not used to the early darkness (now around 16.00) of course, but it was sure a surprise. So no matter how terrible the exam went, at least you can have fun on the way ;)