Posted by: thediygeochemist | October 2, 2009

exam proctoring

Part of being a TA is that you have to help proctor the freshman chem exams. These are huge (since I’m at a tech school, chemistry is required for all freshmen) so they are scheduled in the evening rather than during class time, and each TA is given a room full of students to watch.

Last night was the first test. Of course, we weren’t allowed to sit down and read–we were required to walk around the room the whole time, keeping an eye out for cheaters. I wouldn’t have minded this so much except that I was assigned to a large-ish lecture hall with a steeply sloping floor; as a result, I felt like I was on a Stairmaster for a couple of hours.

One of my jobs was to verify that the person turning in the test matched the name written on the test. This meant matching the name on the test with a photo ID, then verifying that the photo ID corresponded to the person’s face. The latter part proved to be more or less impossible, since none of them looked like their photo ID: some had glasses in real life but not the photo (or vice versa); some had changed their hair style; one guy had grown a goatee. And, of course, the photo IDs all showed smiling faces, whereas the faces I looked at were all shell-shocked.

Ah well, the world can’t be perfect.

At least they give Scantron exams here–my freshman chem exams were all composed of incredibly hard problems designed to be worked out in a blue book. And they were take-home, which means the professors didn’t care whether or not we finished in 2 hours. In retrospect, it’s easy to feel sorry for the TAs at that school–I’d rather proctor an exam for 2 hours than have to grade fifty tests.

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