Testing Times

Something which cropped up in the chatroom earlier reminded me that there were a couple of stories from last week’s exams I hadn’t shared with you all.

The exams were two of the three I need to pass to get my National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety: The first was “Agents” – nothing to do with James Bond, it’s all about noise, chemicals, radiation, stress and other things that can hurt you. Anyway, I sat down, and when the examiner said so, I turned the paper over and read the first question:
“Compare and contrast the merits and limitations of prospective cohort monitoring and reactive cohort monitoring in epidemiology”
I won’t tell you what my first thought was, but it had the F-word in it, and loosely translated to “I don’t really know”. Luckily there were loads of other questions – the exam consists of six compulsory questions worth ten marks each, and five worth twenty marks from which you have to answer three. So I answered all the others, and in the ten minutes left at the end of the exam came back to the epidemiology one and wrote some waffle that may or may not attract a couple of marks.

The second exam – in which nothing really exciting happened, apart from Steve quaffing six cans of Red Bull just before starting – was “Workplace and Work Equipment Safety”. I had to waffle on one of the compulsory questions in that as well.

Mot of the “Agents” papers that we’ve done in practice have included a question on poisons, which includes a part worth three marks that goes something like “Describe the symptoms of poisoning by…” followed by the name of some industrial chemical. They didn’t ask that this time – we think they must have figured out that whatever they’re asking about, there’s a 90% chance that the answer “Initially flu-like symptoms, in extreme cases death” will get two of the three marks.

Anyway, results are due mid-April, at which point I should get results for two of my three submitted assignments as well – so at that point I will hopefully have just one assignment, and one exam (“Civil Law and the Management of Health and Safety”) to go. The exam is in July, the assignment is when I get round to it.

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