5 Types of Exams You'll Take in College

5 Types of Exams You'll Take in College

The Freebie

This exam has one question, and it’s, “You studied for this exam. True or False?” Exams this easy are rare, but it’s bound to pop up at least once during your college career, more than likely towards the end of the semester when a sympathetic professor wants to give their students (and themselves) a well-deserved break.

The Impossible

You’re convinced that this test doesn’t have a single item on it that was covered in class or in your textbooks. You’ve never even heard of some of things this test is asking about, and you’re sure no amount of studying would have ever gotten you a perfect score. These tests are more often than not given by teachers who don’t believe in giving As, and want you to study more for their class than you have for any other class in your life.

The Irrelevant

You will take an exam where one of the questions is, “What did John say last week when I called on him in class?” The reasoning behind questions like this is to keep you on your toes, and to keep you coming to class. If a test asks you about irrelevant events that happened in the classroom, you’re more likely to show up and have a better attendance record.

You may also encounter questions such as, “What university did your professor attend?” When you don’t remember the answer, and confront your professor about why you need to know this information, they’ll tell you that you should have read the syllabus more carefully. This lesson supposedly teaches you to pay attention to even the smallest details in your readings, because you never know what will be on the test, or what you’ll need to know later in life.

The Study Guide 2.0

This test is exactly like the study guide. It’s so close to the guide that it’s nearly word for word, with a few numbers or a few vocabulary terms switched around. If you put any effort at all into completing the study guide, this test will be an easy ace, because you’ve more or less already taken it. Fortunately, many of your college exams will probably be like this. It’s a tried and true method that teachers and students both support.

The Technical Difficulty

Many of your exams in college will be online, and wherever computers are involved, there are bound to be technical issues. Sometimes the power will go out in the middle of an exam. Sometimes the internet won’t work. Sometimes the exam itself simply glitches out. There are also varying degrees of severity to the results of technical difficulties. Sometimes it’s merely a hassle and a time waste to get the exam working, and sometimes an exam can’t be taken or is accidentally submitted before it’s finished. Occasionally, professors will cut students some slack for technical problems and allow them to retake exams, but, sometimes, you have to roll with the punches and keep your grade high enough that it can survive an accidental bad grade you couldn’t prevent. If this does happen, take a screenshot of the problem to show your professor – they’ll most likely understand and cut you some slack.

Related: 5 Simple Ways to Study Smarter