flowerskerfuffle
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Hi, I'm a psychology student and we had an online exam which I spent a while studying. The exam word count expectations were ridiculous. I can't remember the exact number, but in total we were expected to write roughly 3,500 words in total within 24 hrs. I spent from 8am to 2am writing my answers, barely stopping to eat. All my classmates took this long. It was essentially diagnosing conditions and suggesting treatments, so I wrote down every condition we were taught about, and the suggested treatment. All of this, just to get a grade of 39%. Thankfully the grade boundary was lowered to 30% pass otherwise I'd be screwed - it's the only thing I've ever "failed"
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Catherine1973
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Most of my law exams were max words of 3- 4K across 3-4 questions
But they stress the word count is a max and really we should spend 3 hours doing the exam.
Of course everyone spent 24 hours (well I went to bed 10pm and back up again for 8)
24 hour exams are not healthy for students.
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flowerskerfuffle
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(Original post by Catherine1973)
Most of my law exams were max words of 3- 4K across 3-4 questions
But they stress the word count is a max and really we should spend 3 hours doing the exam.
Of course everyone spent 24 hours (well I went to bed 10pm and back up again for 8)
24 hour exams are not healthy for students.
It's a crazy expectation, my essays are 2,500 and we get like 3 weeks to do that.
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Catherine1973
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But 1000 per question is fairly reasonable. I know I can type that much in 45 mins, the equivalent of writing in an exam hall. In my last in person mock I wrote 6-7 pages in longhand in 45 mins for a land law question .
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Galdiowolf
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Wow, that's a lot! Yep, i had to spend 24 hours in exams too, they mention it should take max 3 hours but it is not true.
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username5770391
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(Original post by Catherine1973)
24 hour exams are not healthy for students.
What makes you say that? Nobody should be expected to sit an exam for 24 hours straight, but 24 hour exams are not inherently unhealthy.
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Catherine1973
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(Original post by Acsel)
What makes you say that? Nobody should be expected to sit an exam for 24 hours straight, but 24 hour exams are not inherently unhealthy.
as the reality is that students will spend 24 hours doing them, then maybe straight into another similar exam.

I mean you make the results such an important thing in someone's life and give us 24 hours to produce a result. Now, most people will take as much as possible over them. who knows what gives any student those vital few marks that takes them say from 58% to 62% or 2.1 to a 1st. So you will polish and edit as much as possible won't you? Not just do 3 hours then say eh, that will do!

Most people on my course worked through the night and went to bed once exam over. Maybe that's just law students. I don't think its particularly good for mental health for people to work for 24 hours but there you are.
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username5770391
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(Original post by Catherine1973)
as the reality is that students will spend 24 hours doing them, then maybe straight into another similar exam.
I think that depends on many factors, including the student and the type of exam.

I've sat a 24 hour exam, not for university but for a professional qualification. The awarding body also has 48 hour exams. You are expected to schedule your time accordingly, which means you choose how long to sleep, take breaks, etc. If someone has a 24 hour exam and doesn't schedule their time properly, that could be a problem with their time management skills rather than the exam format.

I'm not saying 24 hour exams are necessarily a good thing. Although I do think they can be healthier than the traditional "sit for 1 to 2 hours in front of a written paper and we'll assess you based on whatever you can recall and write in that time". But they're not inherently unhealthy either. Ask yourself "does the university expect me to spend 24 hours on this". If during preparation you find yourself spending too long ask yourself "what can I do to improve my time management, or spend less time on this".

(Original post by Catherine1973)
I don't think its particularly good for mental health for people to work for 24 hours but there you are.
I completely agree. But there's a fine line between "unis need to look after the mental health of their students" and "students need to learn how to effectively manage their time". In some ways, it's quite similar to stomeone who has 2 weeks to do an assignment, then pulls an all nighter because they didn't do any work in those 2 weeks. It's the two extremes of the same spectrum.
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Catherine1973
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that is true about the planning.

I was (i think) well prepared for the exams. I took 24 hours as a chance to spend 2-3 hours on each question, then a break, then do another, etc. For each one i could plan an answer, then write it, then check facts and edit it, then a break for lunch/dinner etc

Then I'd print all of them out and read them in the evening with a red pen to edit awkward sentences and where my conclusion wasn't clear. then final re-read and edit in the morning and submit with an hour to go (bar one with 4 questions where i wrote the final question in the morning over 3 hours and hated that experience, as felt stressed and rushed). So I'd be spending maybe 12 hours on it? the extra time for me was polishing time really. Maybe re-check some articles i'd read in the term to see if they were relevant to include.

for the OP, do you know yourself why you got 37%? was it very different to one's you had practised/previous years? was it stuff you hadn't seen before?
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flowerskerfuffle
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(Original post by Acsel)
I think that depends on many factors, including the student and the type of exam.

I've sat a 24 hour exam, not for university but for a professional qualification. The awarding body also has 48 hour exams. You are expected to schedule your time accordingly, which means you choose how long to sleep, take breaks, etc. If someone has a 24 hour exam and doesn't schedule their time properly, that could be a problem with their time management skills rather than the exam format.

I'm not saying 24 hour exams are necessarily a good thing. Although I do think they can be healthier than the traditional "sit for 1 to 2 hours in front of a written paper and we'll assess you based on whatever you can recall and write in that time". But they're not inherently unhealthy either. Ask yourself "does the university expect me to spend 24 hours on this". If during preparation you find yourself spending too long ask yourself "what can I do to improve my time management, or spend less time on this".


I completely agree. But there's a fine line between "unis need to look after the mental health of their students" and "students need to learn how to effectively manage their time". In some ways, it's quite similar to stomeone who has 2 weeks to do an assignment, then pulls an all nighter because they didn't do any work in those 2 weeks. It's the two extremes of the same spectrum.
yeah but that;s a choice to pull an all nighter... I'm more responsible than that. with 24 hour exam I was expected to do more work than an essay, in a 24 hour period
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username5770391
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(Original post by flowerskerfuffle)
yeah but that;s a choice to pull an all nighter... I'm more responsible than that. with 24 hour exam I was expected to do more work than an essay, in a 24 hour period
I'm not specifically commenting on your exam, just pointing out that 24 hour exams are not inherently unhealthy. We don't have all the information to actually say whether you specifically were in an unfair situation or not.

It sounds like the uni got things wrong in this scenario, which is why the pass boundary was lowered. But you say you were expected to write 3500 words, was this actually part of the mark scheme? Would you lose marks if you didn't write at least 3500 words? I imagine this is unlikely, and it's a number you were given as a guideline. You mention in your original post:
(Original post by flowerskerfuffle)
I wrote down every condition we were taught about, and the suggested treatment
This sounds as though you were simply regurgitating information from the course, which could attribute to why you didn't get a higher mark.

Like I said, we don't have all the information, so I'm not going to judge either way whether your exam is unfair or not. Even if you gave details about what you're expected to do, I don't know enough about the subject to say whether it's reasonable or not. I'm just saying that all 24 hour exams aren't inherently bad. As far as your specific scenario, I feel like there's probably more than "being asked to write 3500 words in 24 hours is unfair" which would explain your grade.

At the end of the day, if you're unhappy with how things are you should get in touch with your lecturers. Seems like they're already aware of an issue given the change in grade boundaries. You can explain that you think it's unreasonable, but also ask what you could have done to get a higher grade.
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Catherine1973
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It’s clear to us that our word count is a maximum limit and we don’t have to write anything near that to get a good mark (though I have written the max for every exam), only coursework had generally been “write x words +\- 10%. It’s just to stop us writing tons as we have more time.
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