October 8, 2007

The Economics Midterm Exams

After the loaded day last Wednesday, we had a loaded weekend with the Economics Midterms Exams. It was an exam of two parts: a 2-hour "open books" exam and a 5-hour sit-down exam. The latter was also doubled as a Written Analysis of Cases (WAC) paper, which is a first for our batch.

The first part of the midterms was very, very, and I mean, very difficult. The exam had everything on it-- multiple choice (there was a question with 16 choices), reading comprehension, essay and fill in the blanks/multiple choice hybrid. Any exam where I answer "financial chaos" on a monetary policy question is bad news and it didn't help me that some questions had vague instructions. As far as topics covered are concerned, it was everything we tackled plus more.

The class was practically stupefied as the exam ended. Looks of discombobulation and "What was THAT?!?" expressions littered everyone's faces. A lot of people felt their study was rendered useless by that exam. Ah, if you took our class picture just right after the exam, you would have to caption it with "Frustration."

15 hours later, we had our WAC/Exam. Given the length of the exam (5 hours), we we allowed to bring food and drinks which we can consume inside the exam venue. (It felt like a licensure exam). I prepared by bringing instant cup noodles, canned coffee and puto (a native delicacy). The security policy of allowing only two male and two female students to go out at a time caused exasperation at the start, bur was ironed out when a queuing system was implemented.

The case was about the Chinese economy-- is growth and effects on Asia. I felt I had a good paper as a WAC (I felt my writing structure and frame of thought were decent), but as an exam, I honestly feel I could add more economic theory in my analysis.

After that Language of Business (LOB) finals and the Economics midterms, I kinda have an idea what an MBA crash test dummy would feel like.


As if on cue, our very generous Quantitative Analysis (QA) teacher Prof. Purba Rao invited our section to have lunch in her place in Makati the following day after our exam. Although not everyone in our class was able to come, I personally feel that lunch was a much needed momentary break to socialize and enjoy authentic home-cooked Indian cuisine (my Indian classmates could attest to it). I joked that probably as soon as they tasted Prof. Rao's cooking, they felt like calling home and tell their mothers they miss home.

After eating, we gathered 'round the living room area to sing songs. I played the guitar as accompaniment for some song numbers. I found it weird at first because here in the Philippines, the gatherings we have are fairly different. As soon as a classmate explained that such group singing activities were commonplace in casual Indian occasions, I felt a lot more comfortable and jammed with the crowd.