A Jersey Guy's Excellent Adventure in China

Marking Tests, Calculating Grades Like Waterboarding


I just finished marking 150 final exams and calculating year-end grades for my five classes at Henan University of Technology. I’ve never been waterboarded, but I imagine the experience is similar.

Our grading system is so convoluted that it must have been invented by Rube Goldberg. It’s divided into five parts, with each representing a percentage of the grade. If you like math, it’s wonderful. If you hate math, like me, it’s like having a tooth pulled.

Anyway, I’m done now. Most of my students aced the final, which isn’t surprising since it was mostly multiple choice and fill-in-the-blank questions. Chinese students excel at formulaic tests because they take them all the time. However, they struggle with exams that require creative thinking and problem-solving.

I’ve been very busy lately with grading, packing and farewells. I’ve made a lot of friends during my 10 months in Zhengzhou, and it seems every one of them wants to take me out for lunch or dinner this week. I had lost some weight in China, but I think I’ve put it all back on in the past few days.


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Categorised in: Education, Henan University of Technology, Zhengzhou

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