Inhaltspezifische Aktionen

How to: Oral examination

Ever had an oral exam? Don't panic! Here are some hints and directions how they work in our group:

  • Admin Stuff
    • Please take a look at our online calendar for our un-availabilities and find three alternative one-hour time slots that suit you. Send them as suggestions via mail. Please also state in which module you want to take the oral exam.
      • We will be three people: the examiner (typically me), someone taking minutes (e.g. Katharina) and of course you. Thus, include the minute taker - should you know who takes this role - in your mail!
      • The actual exam lasts 20 or 30 minutes, depending on what is defined in the Modulbeschreibung.
    • Note that I only have to offer one module test per year. However, I typically offer one, but not more, additional test to avoid overly long waiting periods.
    • Right after the exam, we need the room for a few minutes to discuss your performance and agree on a grade. After this discussion, we will ask you to come back in to give you feedback and tell you your grade. Don't run away.
    • We will submit the grade to the examination office. You don't have to do anything on your end.
  • Preparation
    • I don't have a fixed catalogue of questions and rather spontaneously jump across the content of the module. However, be prepared to make good use of openers like "which is your favourite topic in module XYZ"? ;-)
    • You won't have to code anything live on the computer, nor type in commands in a terminal. However, you should in principle be able to write them down on paper.
      • We will provide pen and paper.
    • It doesn't hurt to double check with your peers about being examined by us ;-)
  • During the exam
    • Don't be afraid. An oral exam is comfortable as misunderstandings can immediately be resolved. This is different from a written exam, where nobody can provide hints should you misunderstand a task.
    • I'd love to read your mind, but since I still fail doing so, help me by vocalizing your train of thought.
    • Don't panic. There will be the situation where you don't know the answer. I do this to check at which level of detail or speculative argument you have to pass. This is no failure on your side!