Exams, grading, and everything in between

The first part of the one-year Nutrition science programme already passed and I’m now in the process of my degree project a.k.a thesis. Looking back, there are several aspects of KI education system that are very different from what I had experienced in my previous education. Exams and grading are among those things.

Exams and assignments

First of all, you might notice that I will use the word “exams” and “assignments” interchangeably here because those two things often serve the same purpose (in terms of academic setting). Another thing, I will try to explain how exams were usually done in my previous education, then how I experience them at KI, so you can get the nuance of my perspective.

There were several types of exams in my previous education, but the majority was a 2 to 3 hours straight written examination containing multiple choices questions and questions that need short or long answers. Looking into the literature was strictly prohibited in these kinds of exams. In my clinical years or clerkship (as I studied medicine back home), there was also practical clinical skill examination, either with mannequins or real patients. All those exams were usually conducted at the end of the course or term. Suppose I fail the final exam, or I couldn’t meet the minimum score for all subjects, I have to do the course all over again from the beginning. I have to admit it was quite stressful.

Given those experiences, I can quickly feel the difference right after the study guide and schedule was handed out to us on the first day of our programme. The assignments or exams can be classified into group and individual tasks.

group work
Source: freepik

Group assignment

In group assignment, we were assigned into groups and given a task that should be worked on during a period of time. We need to be able to distribute the tasks evenly to every individual and build good communication and workflow within the group. In the end, the outcome of the group assignment should be submitted and/or presented in front of the class.

One of the most memorable and enjoyable group work I’ve ever done was actually from the previous course (last course of the first semester) when me and my friends made a study protocol of an RCT that use a mobile application as part of the intervention.

Individual assignment

Another type of exam is an individual assignment or take-home exam we usually call it. In this exam, we were given some sort of questions or tasks that requires quite a long answer (but still with certain maximum word counts). I need to read and submerge myself into the literature, elaborate on all information I gained from reading, lectures, and discussions, and then construct my answer which hopefully can reflect my own understanding and comprehension of the topic. The questions or tasks usually were given from the first few weeks of the course, giving us plenty of time to finish it. We were also allowed to ask and discuss with the teachers and friends if there is something unclear, yet the task should be written and submitted individually.

From my point of view, going through this experience has given me another perspective on exam. I don’t see exam as something that scares or shakes me any longer, rather view it as a challenge and opportunity to practice my thought process and how to connect the dots that I got throughout the course.

Source: freepik

Grading system

Again, let me start with what I had experienced back home. The grade for a student’s test in my previous education was usually given in the scoring system which was then classified into the A-F scale.

While at KI, the fail/pass/pass with distinction scale is used (at least from what I experienced in my programme). The criteria for each scale (fail/pass/pass with distinction) usually will be stated in the study guide of the course. There’s also an opportunity to resit the exam or extend the deadline as long as you communicate with the course leader.

Please keep in mind that exams, assignments, and grading might look different in different programme. I suggest you to read some pieces from our previous bloggers: Winner and Aline, for their perspectives. Yet, personally, I quite enjoyed all the exams and satisfied with the grades that I got so far!

How about you? What do you feel when you hear the word “exam” and “grade”? Or, do you have any burning question about study at KI? Just shoot me an email, more than happy to talk and share with you!

Sepriani Limbong - Nutrition Science

Sepriani Limbong - Nutrition Science

Hello! I’m Sepri, a medical doctor from Indonesia. I’m a master student of Nutrition Science at KI. I’m keen to learn about the interplay between diet and health status as well as the role of nutrition both in disease prevention and intervention. I love to study, but in my free time you’ll find me listening to music/podcast/audiobook. As a blogger, I’ll write about my programme, experiences that I have in Sweden, and give you a little snippet of student life. I’m excited to share this journey with you!


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