This week is exam week.
At KTH, exams are preceded by a week of individual study time. During this time, students can prepare for the exams. Usually, a student has 1-3 exams in the exam period. Past year papers are generally provided, as well as the answers to them. Students thus have a large pool of resources to rely on.
Taking an exam is exhausting. Exams start at 8 or 9 in the morning, and last quite a few hours. For me, my written exams are 4 hours and 5 hours respectively. As I live far away from the main campus, I need to get up at 6 to be on time. If you are late for over 30 minutes, you won’t be allowed to take the exam. Students often bring snacks, fruits and drinks to exams.
Exam demands understanding of course materials, especially theories. No cheat sheet is allowed, so students need to memorize all the important formulas. For the programming courses that I took, I was required to write down codes by hand on pieces of paper. There is no opportunity to test run and debug. Speed of solving the problem is less important, as abundant amount of time is given. Most people finish the papers earlier than the deadline and are able to hand them in earlier.
Questions include multiple choices, short answers and long answers (some focus on calculation, others on analysis). Depending on courses, sometimes plotting is also required. The most difficult type of question is multiple choices with several correct answers. Incomplete answer would have half of the points, but if you choose a wrong answer you get no point.
To do well in the exams one need to be meticulous. Grading is dependent on the scores, not bell curve. Some professors offer bonus points during the course, which will be added to the final score of the exam. This effectively decrease the difficulty of the exams. Requirement for A is often getting more than 90% of points. Difficulty of exams varies, depending on courses. Re-exams are offered. Students can take them even if they pass the exam. The highest grade among all attempts is taken as the final grade.