Thursday, June 15, 2006


Coming from the British education system, one of the biggest differences I've noticed at Wharton is the frequency of exams. In undergrad, I started courses in late September and finished them with the one and only exam (per course) in June. At Wharton, most core courses are only six weeks long and many of them have mid-terms, which means exams every three weeks.

I'm accomplishing my US work authorisation through Curricular Practical Training (CPT) which basically means you can work because you need to in order to fulfil a course requirment. In order to cover the academic side of things, Wharton provides an on-line summer course that's basically 'workplace skills'. You do an initial an assesment to judge your exisiting skill level, the computer program recommends which modules you should do, and you then do a short (ie <5min) lesson every day. It uses up a quarter course credit, or contributes a quarter course credit to those you need to graduate, depending on how you look at it, and its not a course I'd choose to do normally, but it serves its purpose and is certainly easier than the alternative way of getting work permission.

We have to do two modules and we were told that each of these was roughly 20 lessons, with an assesment at the end. My first module was only 15 lessons and assementless, but I logged on this morning to find that the second module was giving me a mid-term. It's the first time I've taken a mid-term before I've got out of bed. I'm pleased to report that I passed, although given that the questions were the same as on the initial assesment and I'm pretty sure that I gave the same answers, I'm not sure why the program, in its infinite wisdom, decided that this was a module I needed to do.


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