So I got the results of all my exams back now. And actually, I'm pretty impressed with myself. First, I'll mention that Hong Kong exams are TOTALLY different from U.S. exams in the grade expectations. In the US 'passing' is assumed, even for quite low-performing students. But in Hong Kong, simply passing is everybody's goal. Getting an F is a real possibility with the incredible 'marking schemes' student work is compared to to figure out the appropriate scores. And these are not graded on any curve; all students are judged against this marking scheme, instead of each other.

And so, my results:

My Use of English Exam was not really any surprise. If I hadn't gotten the highest results in Form 6, it would have been a real shocker seeing as English is my first language and everybody else's second or third (after Mandarin). I passed every section (there are 6)with excellent scores, just missing some marks here and there for silly errors or due to the specificity of answers required by the teacher. eg. I put more complex versions of the desired answers, and they were marked wrong. But whatever, I don't really care about arguing for every single point. I passed. I did wonderfully. Hooray!

Then, I got back my Biology exam. But I take Form 4 Biology which is quite easier than any Form 6 classes. The exam was much easier too, consisting of multiple choice and short answer questions rather than essays. Also, as my A-Level class exams were 3 hours long in duration, this one was simply 1.5 hours. Much less mentally taxing, and I didn't even bother to study at all since 90% of the information we cover in class is review for me. And, it turns out, I really do know what I'm doing in Biology! I got 71/100 marks, an extraordinarily high score by HK standards. The highest anybody got in my class was 80/100, and I was in the top 4 in the 4th Form. I'm pleased!

Then comes history, which is divided into two sections: China and Europe. Each section had its own exam (2/3 essay, 1/3 Data Based Question) but the scores are combined in the end to form one big 'History' grade. I knew that History posed a big problem for me, as all my in-class essays received quite low marks for their lack of evidence. Apparently I have many excellent theories but I just don't back them up enough. Anyway, I studied about 20 minutes through the notes from both sections, which by Hong Kong standards is the same as not studying at all, but for me it was all I needed to remember a few basic important facts. And it worked; I passed both sections. 30/50 on the European part and 25.5/50 on the Chinese. I'm very pleased and surprised!

Geography. Geography is the one subject I have never studied before in America and I have absolutely no interest or background in. Soil and biomes and agricultural systems just put me to sleep. And the exam was 3 hours of hellish essays about topics I honestly didn't know much about. Just some facts I remembered from the lessons and another 20 minutes of reviewing the class notes with some improvised details to accompany them. It worked. Kind of... I passed the section on Physical geography but failed the human geography section. But when you factor in my daily marks, I passed!

Really, I'm just so glad the exams are over. No more sitting in a hard wooden chair for three hours writing essays about things I don't really understand or care about. And I passed all my classes, a real personal triumph.

Ben

Comments (1)

On January 27, 2010 at 8:45 AM , Leon said...

Well done Ben.

Keep the blogs coming, they are very interesting and informative.