Take home Exams
This weekend I did a take home exam and given the coronavirus situation I feel they may become more common or they will at least give us a view into how our summer exams may work. Due to this I thought I would take you through the process, particularly for philosophy and give you some tips.
So, the way a take home exam usually works for Philosophy is that you’ll have from Friday-Monday to complete an essay but you will only receive the questions on the Friday. For a normal essay you’ll usually get the questions at least two weeks in advance. This then means you have to spend your time wisely dividing it well into reading/researching, planning and writing.
Tip 1- Is prepare in advance of the test. It’s tempting to think since you don’t know the questions you can’t possibly do any work until the weekend of the test but this is very ill advised. I knew that there would likely be a question on each week’s content so I went back over each week to assess which topics I felt most comfortable with. I then went over the reading for the content I felt strongest in so when it came to the essay, I knew exactly which question I wanted to do.
Tip 2- Don’t try and do it all in one day. Because it’s a take home exam and your time pressured anyway most people feel tempted just to leave it until the last minute. Whilst for some it might be possible it’s really not a good idea and I’d highly recommend spacing your work out so you can take breaks.
Tip 3- When planning note down where you’re pulling quotes from. When you don’t have all that much time you really don’t want to find yourself in the position of needing to do footnotes but not having the information to hand. They can be really time consuming if you’re hunting around for what quote came from where so definitely put page numbers next to quotes until you’re ready to do the footnotes or do them as you go along.
Tip 4-Remember to allow time for editing. It’s easy to forget when you’re panicking about the content of the essay that you’ll need to spend time editing and finessing it so ensure you give yourself enough time to do so.
I hope this explanation helps these styles of exams seem a little less daunting to everyone. As ever good luck with your work and stay safe!