29 April 2008

You know the dream where you show up for the test two hours late and naked...

I just completed the worst exam experience of my life.

Now, I'm no spring chicken. I've been through a lot of exams. Lots. Many, many. Gobs.

Nothing like this.

This was my first, and perhaps my last (!), online exam.

I'd gotten nothing but positive feedback all semester from my online instructor and online classmates. Still, I studied just to be on the safe side.

It was a multiple choice exam.

Multiple choice! you cry, What could be easier?

That's what I thought.

85 questions in 85 minutes, with a timer going as soon as you hit go.

The questions were of this kind of format:

You walk down the avenue. You hear a melody in the distance. You see a blue bird. Do you:

a) admire the blue bird

b) consider Thomas Jefferson's role in history

c) link the rise of the combustion engine to current economic theory and the reduction of brown birds

d) toaster


Okay, I'm pretty sure toaster is wrong. But I could theoretically do any of the other three and maybe do a jig, too, to that catchy melody I'm hearing and I don't freakin' know why I'm seeing a blue bird to begin with because there's no genuine context given in the question! Maybe if I read it again... nope, still makes no sense.

Now multiply that by 85.

Now, just for fun, throw in technical difficulties.

For approximately 25 of the 85 questions, when I hit the submit key, it gives me an error message whose only option is an "Okay" button. "Okay"??! No, it's not okay! You didn't save my answer and the freakin' clock is ticking! Eventually, it doesn't even allow me that much interaction as it switches to an "already working this request" message but never actually saves my answers!!


I should have picked toaster because I think I'm toast.


Bilbo said...

With a question and a set of answers like those, this was obviously a philosophy test, in which case "toaster" was clearly the correct answer. I'm sure this makes you feel better about online voting.

lacochran said...

Good point! That hanging chad problem is looking more and more appealing.

Dixie said...

I hate tests like this. I've had to take a couple when applying for jobs in the past, and they never make much sense to me, probably because I overthink them and get imaginative.

Is there anyone you can talk to about the errors you kept getting? That shouldn't factor into your time, I wouldn't think.


Sudiegirl said...

I feel for you...I remember taking my insurance licensing exam on a computer and becoming frantic when I would answer a question and hit enter.

lacochran said...

Dixie & Sudiegirl: Thanks for your comments!

I did send several messages to the instructor where I was whining in the most positive way possible about the technical difficulties. I saw no point in mentioning the very poorly constructed test questions. He wrote back to say that I, somehow, but don't ask me how, passed the exam.

Hallelujah!! 'Cause I don't think I could face a re-take.

zandria said...

Arrrgghh...how frustrating! That sounds like a nightmare. :(

Anonymous said...

oh my god that that is funny! I especially like "toaster!" I think I will start answering "toaster" to anything that stumps me.