Unfortunately due to me spending 3 days in the hospital, I also missed both of my finals that were schedule for this week. Fortunately both of my professors understood and are letting me make them up, but now it is time to play catchup and get myself ready for the finals.
While studying here I have noticed more and more dissimilarities between German and American universities. The biggest adjustment is that throughout the term there is no real assigned homework, no quizzes, no midterms, nothing to really make sure you are keeping up and understanding the material. It is just week after week of 4-hour tedious lectures by powerpoint and the rest is on your own.
Of course at this point we are all adults and should be more than capable budgeting our time, but this is just a structure that I am not used to. As I begin to study for finals I am finally realizing how much I appreciate the structured terms at Drexel University. Of course as we are going through it everyone complains about the homework and that we have too many exams and midterms week is such a drag, but I have really learned to appreciate that now. Typically our courses at Drexel determine our final grade by a combination of the midterms, finals, and homework, with the final exam never weighing more than 40% of our grade.
Unfortunately that is far from the case in Germany. Here, the final grade for each course is based 100% on how you score on the final exam. Talk about a huge weight on your shoulders all over one single exam! By being tested throughout the term it forces you to always be on top of your work and ensures you that you understand the topics as you go. Now that I study for my final exam, which is also my first exam, all of the areas that I struggled with before are now coming back to haunt me. With this setup, preparation for the final is much more intense than I am used to and on top of that there is more importance on it than ever. I see many very late nights ahead of me and beautiful days spent inside studying, however this is what I must do. My familiar course style is one that that I truly look forward to upon returning to the states and Drexel University.