Your Professors' 6 Favorite Types of Exams
By Ben Popkin
The "No Exam" Professor Image: Happy professor with sunglasses with his arms around some uncomfortable looking students. "This course won't have an exam because I don't think exams properly measure your knowledge and more importantly, I just want you to like me." With an ego more delicate than fine china, this professor opted out of giving you an exam in a desperate attempt to get their "Rate My Professor" score up. And guess what? It worked. It's the least you can do for the person who made it possible for you to leave for home half a day earlier. Enjoy this professor while you can, they're going to be fired soon. The "Hardest Exam You or Anyone Else Has Ever Had" Professor Image: POV image of a stern professor towering over you. He hands you a paper that just reads "Does every prime number appear in the Euclid-Mullin sequence?" "I took this exam and got an 87%, but good luck." You took this professor's course because it was the only prerequisite for your major that you could fit in your schedule. Sure his nickname is "Dr. Death," but how bad could it really be? Really fucking bad. This person is an asshole who enjoys watching their students squirm and stumble out of exams like they just got hit by a bus traveling at a velocity that they had to figure out to solve Question Three. You supposedly have "all of the tools" needed to pass the exam but it's like trying to use a hammer to build the White House. You'll get a 43% on the exam which equates to a B+ thanks to the curve your professor is forced to use. The "Take Home Exam" Professor Image: Door to professor's office. It has a window and blinds. Next to the door is an in-box full of papers and a sign that says leave papers here. The blinds are parted a little bit and we see a pair of eyes peering out of the darkness. "Leave your exam in my box, slide it under the door, or give it to my TA. Just make sure I don't have to look at your face when you turn it in." This professor is as sick of you as you are of answering questions without using Google. Luckily for you, the take home exam allows both you and your professor to get what you want. The entire class promised to take the exam alone but you were all crossing your fingers. If everyone takes one question you'll knock out the exam faster than Muhammad Ali knocked out Joe Frasier. The exam barely exists, all because your professor hates looking at your youthful, blissfully ignorant faces. It's good to be young. The "Scantron Exam" Professor Image: A fat professor sleeping next to a scantron machine, dumping completed tests on the floor. "If you forgot your number 2 pencil, don't worry, I've got an oil barrel full of them." Since writing the exam a generation ago, the only thing this professor needs to do during the test is make sure you have the right pencil. By using a scantron, this professor gets credit for giving an exam without having to do any pesky grading. This exam will be easy if you prepare the right way. To prepare for the test go to the library, look over your notes, and received a copy of the exam from someone a year ahead of you. You'll finish the exam in half the allotted time, then doodle for thirty minutes so you're not the first person to turn it in. The "Hilarious Inside Joke Exam" Professor Image: Professor in a suit and wacky tie can barely contain his excitment as he stands over the shoulder of an annoyed student taking a test. "Did you see Question 7? Classic me." Yes, we saw Question 7. The one where you used classmates names as part of a question about social psychology. "Jake wants to ask Cindy to dance, but Jake can't dance," was a hoot. Unlike your other exams, this professor will act as proctor so they can watch the students' faces for smiles and subtle laughter. Smile politely when you see the joke, but don't be the student who cackles madly because they think the professor will give them extra credit for their laughter. Finish the exam, turn it in, and thank whatever deity you worship that your name isn't Jake or Cindy. The "All Essay Exam" Professor Image: a student sits at a desk stacked high with blue books. A student holds a cramped, gnarled hand in pain over his head. "There's a box of additional blue books on the table if you need one. Oops did I say 'if?' I meant, 'When you need one.'" You don't know why this professor hates your hand, but they have just given you an exam that will leave you unable to high five for a fortnight. The exam itself is one sheet of paper, single sided with 5 questions and you only have to answer 3, but somehow you'll find yourself scribbling madly in a blue book for three hours until the TA pries the paper from beneath your smoking pencil. Your grade on the exam will depend on your knowledge, arguments, and if the TA grading it can read your handwriting.