Two tests in one week

Last week was my busiest week of school since 1999.  I wrote a little it about some of the work I had to do in yesterday’s post, and mentioned that on Friday I had to take two tests.  This is another part in my continuing series on returning to Real Estate School.

As an older student returning to college, a few things about college have changed in some not so significant ways.  The first time I went to college I graduated in 1999 in the silicon valley, and although this was in the heart of the dot-com boom, most colleges didn’t have a lot of computer based classes.

I carried a backpack full of textbooks, college-ruled noteooks, and a bunch of pens and pencils with me to actual classrooms full of other students.

We would sit through lectures in the morning, and in the afternoon, informally gather on the green lawns in the quad for study groups.  Most nights were spent reading the books, and taking notes to study for tests.  If I had a question, I could ask my professor in class, or visit them in their office..

This is how I learned to learn.  It was part listening, part discussing with peers, and a bit of self-study to cement everything together.  I got really good at learning this way, and loved to debate and discuss a topic didactically with my classmates.

Today studying is totally different.

Now, all my classes are on-line.  Instead of getting up and going to class, I sit down on my couch with my laptop and log on to the virtual blackboard at the real estate school online. to check my grades, comment on a discussion, or just read the syllabus to see what assignments and tests are due this week.

The only time I’ve been on campus were to get my student ID card, buy my books, and take the tests.

Everything else is done individually, in front of a screen.

Like I’ve said, everything is different, even the exams for my classes.  I remember the days when I would join all my classmates on a test day and we would nervously enter the classroom to take our seats.  Sometimes the professor would spread us out, as he handed out the tests.  We all would sit there together, answering questions, only getting up to hand in our completed work.

Last friday, it was totally different.  I entered the testing center, and had to fill out a 2-part form with the name of my class, the test number, and my student ID number.  I approached a desk where there were testing clerks who took my form, checked my ID, and gave me a key to check my cell-phone, and all other personal items in a locker.

I was given a scan-tron form, and a test booklet, and instructed to enter a fish-bowl like room full of other students.

The room was full of testing stations, and there was a large glass wall that gave a great view of all of us to the testing clerks.  I sat down at a small cubicle next to dozens of other students, all taking tests at the same time, from a myriad of other classes.  At every station, and on every wall and door were signs stating that having a cell phone in the testing center was considered cheating.

Of course nobody was talking.

I read through the test, and began answering questions.  Since I read the assigned chapters and answered the test questions at the back in my  Law of Agency, and Real Estate Principles classes I quickly answered the questions.

When I was done, I stood, up and left the glass enclosed classroom to return my test to the testing clerks.  They immediately scanned it, and I got my grade – a 98%!

But my day wasn’t over, I had to take a second test for my other class, and repeat the process.  This one was a bit harder, and I didn’t get my results instantly.  So now I wait, and check the on-line blackboard periodically to see my results.

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