I am infuriated.
It’s because of my Biology Lab Practicum (Final.)
I did relatively poorly on this final. I am a good student. This grade is completely different from my usual performance in this class.
There are two reasons for this:
1. The final was not composed, created, or in any way made up by the Professor who teaches my Bio Lab. It was instead created by the Head Biology Professor. I feel like I have been penalized because I was not in the Head Biology Professor’s class. I did receive a review sheet from the Head Biology Professor. I thought it prudent to divide my time between studying from this review sheet and from my lab notes. My lab notes, however, as taught by my Professor, are much more conceptual in nature (focusing on ideas and vocab terms.) The final focused on a methodological approach to Bio Lab: it was detail-oriented, focusing on chemical equations, an understanding of all the steps in the experiment, and which gases were emitted at what time.
2. After speaking to several students, I am almost entirely convinced that the final given on Monday and the final given on Tuesday were the same exact test, with the same exact questions. The questions were not, to the best of my knowledge, rewritten, reworded, or refocused to test the same concepts differently. This means that there is a good chance that there are students who took the test on Tuesday with prior knowledge of its content. This is monstrously unfair. It is very different from the Midterm, where the questions were changed and reworded.
I personally know that there is a good chance that students took the test with prior knowledge of its content because I, a Monday test-taker, was asked by another student what questions were on the test. I did not answer her.
I think the system would be much improved if:
1. Everyone took the final on the same day
2. Finals were composed by the professors teaching the material, or we should be informed that we should ONLY study the Head Biology Professor’s review sheet to the exclusion of our own lab notes
Because of my grade on this Lab Practicum, my entire Biology Lab grade suffers. I now have an average that is a full letter-grade lower than my usual performance in this class.
I feel that this does not accurately reflect the time, effort and energy I have put into Bio Lab. I think it is unfair that I am expected to take a test that was not composed by my professor, and especially unfair for my grades to be compared to those of others who had every opportunity (if I am correct, and I think I am) to cheat.
I am as of yet unaware as to how this grade appears on my transcripts. Even if it is averaged into my Bio Lecture grade, it is the principle behind this that bothers me. I cannot understand why our Midterm was made into such an important affair- the window to the classroom was blocked with paper, the questions were reworded and changed- and the actual Final is treated like a walk in the park, with no precautions, safeguards, or check-systems in place.
This is truly unfair.
Addendum: I neglected to study as much as I could have for this test, based on certain assumptions I made about the material. I did not study to the extent I could have, and do not deny that a certain part of the blame rests on me. Some of this is my own fault.