When all of us go on exchange studies, I think we are all equally nervous about it as a whole. There were a million thoughts inside my head but one thought was more clear when I arrived at my exchange. How fast paced the education was and how would they structure the exams? We were gonna read 5 courses at the same time, and I were stupid enough to take 5 last year courses in business administration and finance. When our first lectures had gone by, I had hope. But down the line of lectures I realized that it became harder to follow all 5 at the same time.
But, since they all stretched out over 1 semester, there was room for falling behind and managing to get back up to pace. The structure over grading could vary a little from module to module, but most of them were similar to this. 10-20% of the grade would be made up from being actively involved in the lectures (most of them were mandatory), this was easier than in Lund since our classes were around 45-60 people. 20-40% would be made up from one or two group assignments/presentations. Sometimes, there would be one individual assignment as well for 20% of the grade. And the last 40-50% of the grade would be made up of one mid term exam (half the module) and one final exam (the whole module). So not only could you fall behind, you could manage to screw up entirely one exam and still get a good grade because you showed over time that you could use the topic and implement it in different situations.The teachers were also very active and curious about our lives and tried to help us after lectures if anybody in the class didn’t understand. But the exams didn’t have the same mercy on you.
The exams were structured quite differently. A lot of them were just 1-2 hours, which is very short compared to Lunds 4-6 hours. The short time forces you to understand the concepts and be ready to implement them. They also skipped all of the unnecessary texts and the context, the questions were very specific and spot on, everything was outlined and there weren’t any uncertainties. Normally, all of this would make me very stressed. But on all of the exams, you were either allowed to have the literature (if it was a writing assignment) or a (cheat-paper) if it was facts and calculations.
The cheat-paper was an A4 paper you could bring to the exam and use any time. But you brought it from home and you could write down anything you wanted on it. Formulas, facts, calculations, texts. Anything. So, you didn’t have to spend time learning 27 formulas in corporate finance or 13 ways to arbitrage in financial markets. So the short time on the exam didn’t matter when I didn’t have to spend half the time trying to remember a formula I studied 4 weeks ago.
As one of my teachers said, a longer exam and no cheat paper results in 3 things. Students focus on just remembering until the exam, not after. They also focus on the school’s example because they know how the exam is structured, but they can’t prepare remembered answers in the worklife. And no one in your later workplace will ask you to write down all 27 formulas from your head or not to use a computer to calculate the 13 ways to arbitrage since you should have learned the formulas in school. You will use a computer for everything and internal systems as well. The important thing is that you understand how to use the numbers and formulas and can implement them. So the final question is, is EC outdated on the exams as well? (Disclaimer, I don’t have any actual studies or facts to back up any of the claims, it’s built on my personal experience and people I’ve talked to). The university I studied at is 11th ranked in the world as well and got very (VERY, almost frightening) experienced teachers.