I always feel a little bit deflated after receiving exam results even if, like this time, I achieved the grade I wanted. I still remember finding out the result of my first degree in 1985 and thinking “now what?”
At least this time around I have DD307 to look forward to next year and I may also decide to register for SD226 as well – but I only have until the 22nd December to make my mind up if I really want to do both courses simultaneously. However, I’ve definitely decided to switch from the diploma to the degree and I’ve updated my records on StudentHome already to reflect this change of plan.
When I took my computer science degree at Warwick in the 1980s, before the wonders of the world wide web, the way you found out your result was to fight your way through a melee of students outside Senate House to squint at sheets of closely typed A4 paper to find your name and result alongside those of your fellow students.
Anyway, I picked up my DD303 result just after 7am this morning by the wonders of my laptop (a fantasy in 1985) and a wireless broadband internet connection. I still remember thinking the first 56k modem I owned was really, really fast.
Looking at my result in a bit more detail, the question that let me down (these things are relative of course!) was question 7 on concepts. This surprised me – I’d thought it was my second best answer on the day but as the other three were good enough, I’m not going to worry about it too much.
The other surprise was that this year the OU don’t seem to have provided a detailed breakdown of how you did on each individual question – something I did get on both DSE212 and ED209. On those courses you saw how you fared on each question broken down by accuracy and level of understanding, use of evidence, critical analysis, clarity & structure of your answer and your focus on the question. This time around there’s just the overall grade band each answer falls into.
The part of the results analysis that I suspect most people like to read is the indication of how others fared on the exam and the questions they chose to answer. It’s all reported anonymously, unlike the sheets of paper on the noticeboard at Warwick in the 1980s.
So I know there were 974 of us who took the exam and that 80 of us achieved the top grade. I also know that the question on connectionism was the least popular from the methods section (only 108 attempted it), that I chose to answer two of the three most popular questions from part 2 of the exam (the one on concepts and the other one being on perception) and that I was one of a hundred people who answered the part 3 question on cognitive modelling. The part 3 question on consciousness, with a staggering 798 attempting it was by far the most ‘popular’ question on the whole of the exam paper.
Well done to everyone who passed and commiserations to those who didn’t get the result they wanted. For some I know it also marks the end of your OU journey.
Maybe you’re like the 21 year old me and thinking “now what?”
Whatever your answer is, I wish everyone the best for the future.