How to Pass Your Final Exam

The Final Exam is Coming!

The final exam can often make or break the overall result.  I have worked in systems that, regardless of the overall grade, if the final exam is failed then the whole course is gone too.  I have also worked places where the final exam pass mark is so low that even if they just write their name on the front of the answer paper, in the correct box, it would potentially account for being half way to a pass.  However, please note, that in this type of institution, it is unlikely that the student can spell their own name, let alone write it in the correct place on the paper.  Thus, anticipation of what will come up (be asked) in the final exam is both tantalising and of high importance!


When will you tell us what’s in The Final Exam Paper?

This is usually the first question at the start of every lecture and tutorial in the last four weeks of a term.  An expectant and entitled approach to passing the final exam is always going to be asking your lecturer for the questions.  This is also an optimistic approach!  However, it may surprise those of you who may be reading from outside the field, that this is the norm, and becomes increasingly boring.  Maybe they’re trying to wear me down until I break and just tell them.  Oh no, my little friends, I don’t think so – although my sanity may be long gone, my integrity is very much as it was.  Perhaps it’s a generational thing?  I would never have dreamed of asking my lecturer something like this – maybe I should have, and avoided some of those 59-67% grades all those years ago as an undergraduate.  No, resolving with my integrity, I did that work myself (or lack of in some instances!).

How to pass your final exam

My favourite question during this period is often: “Do you know what’s in the final exam?”  Well, of course I do, you idiot, I wrote the damned questions so I would hope that information is definitely stored in my long-term memory somewhere.  There are some other common approaches too.


Final Exam Tears

In fairness, tears are not unique to final exam time, they can be a common weapon the lazy student’s arsenal.  I’m relatively hardened and immune to this now (after my very first semester).  These are demonstrated by water forcefully streaming from ducts near the eyeball.  Often with a plea of I need to pass, or else…blah, blah, blah…a number of reasons for being kicked out of home or university (bit late then I would guess), keeping the scholarship award, achieving a GPA  or degree classification which is often out of reach, along with many others.  Common responses: Can I interest you in a Kleenex?  Would you like to go and calm yourself and then come back and demonstrate relatively normal adult behaviour?


Final Exam Flirtation

I generally keep my work and private lives separate so nobody really knows which way I swing.  I’ve had both genders flirt with me for a number of reasons, including access to the final exam paper.  Sorry, I am most definitely asexual when it comes to the advances of someone who is young enough to be my son or daughter.  Try again…


Final Exam Gifts

This is a great phenomenon particularly around the December exam diet. A very popular phrase would be: “Sir, I thought I should buy you a small token of my appreciation for all that you have done (mistranslated from, what I hope you will do) for me,” Also just as common: “Christmas is coming and you worked so hard to support me that I wanted to recognise your time and effort…expectant pause…sorry, I can’t, I shall need to declare a conflict of interests should I accept this paltry offering and refer our conversation to the HR Department (who will no doubt dispose of the Quality Street in their expanding stomachs).  I also had a colleague who experienced this around valentines day one year – she thought it was student-lecturer attraction…a young man attracted to a dominant, sexy, clever woman…then she realised he was sitting with an average of about 43% for her subject and was confusing sexual allure with an obvious bribe!


How to Pass Your Final Exam

Well the time is upon us… so how do you actually pass your final exam?  My advice would be simple: Spend as much time studying as you do trying to seek out the questions by illicit means!