I've taken up a teaching assignment at the Ateneo de Manila University. This semester, I teach Biotechnology for Everyone, a course designed for non-biology majors. I'll write about my experiences from time to time.
That second long exam was tough to prepare. Since the students mostly got high grades in the first exam, I thought it's a good idea to crank up the difficulty level to see how much they've actually understood about the topics covered and not just what they've memorized. And because I know this was to be a difficult exam, I peppered it with a lot of bonus questions, with the hope that the kids would all pass.
What I didn't realize immediately was that a tough exam was also difficult to grade. Two weeks after the exam and I still hadn't finish scoring! I was feeling a bit down already because (1) it was taking too long to check and (2) I could see that the students at least tried to solve the problems but they just didn't arrive at the right answers.
Until the wee hours of Thursday morning...
I was checking the last part of the exam (essays) and one student had a perfect score. That drew my attention. Hang on, a student actually answered it perfectly! I was so happy I just had to sum up the student's scores to see how he fared overall.
Guess what, he PERFECTED the exam! His score even went over the perfect because he's answered some bonus questions correctly. His score? 92/80. That just made my day. Made my day. Thank you!
With that boost of encouragement, I happily finished correcting exam blue books. What made me even happier is that the majority of my class passed the exam.