Since most grades are reported via Blackboard or ANGEL these days, students rarely actually see their graded papers and exams. Today’s tip comes courtesy of a friend who works as a Teaching Assistant, “Always schedule an exam review with your TA or professor.” Here’s a few facts about TA’s:

  • They are sometimes usually terrible markers
  • They are overworked
  • They don’t really care about you.

 When you put it all together, it’s easy to see how a TA might make a mistake when grading your paper. Just recently, I went in to review a mid-term exam I scored 72% on. The professor gave me my exam and an answer key to see where I went wrong. My intention was just to get an idea of what kinds of mistakes I had made so I’d be prepared for the final. I ended up finding several answers where I had written the same points found on the answer key, simply in different wording. I politely pointed this out to the professor who rewarded me full marks. On one question I failed to provide any of the suitable points for marks, but I succeeded in showing my understanding verbally while talking with the prof. He gave me half marks. At the end of the quick 15 minute review session I managed to raise my mark to an 80%.

To summarize, reviewing marked exams shows the professor that you care which can translate into bonus marks if you can demonstrate your knowledge. Reviewing marked exams also lets you identify your mistakes so you don’t make them on subsequent evaluations and gives you the chance to ensure that your work was fairly graded. Basically, reviewing marked exams = higher marks. Suddenly the 15 minutes of time you invest makes a lot of sense.