Please help me out with your opinion...

Page 1 of 1 [ 11 posts ] 

Prim8
Blue Jay
Blue Jay

User avatar

Joined: 8 Apr 2009
Age: 44
Gender: Female
Posts: 75
Location: Queensland, Australia

17 May 2009, 8:02 pm

I am in my 4th and final (Honours) year of an undergraduate degree. So far, I have got by just fine with the assessment, although I often have to seek an extension on the due date of papers and I always wish I had more time in exams. It takes me a bit longer than most to read and to decipher what is required and come up with a strategy for providing an answer.

I was diagnosed with AS two weeks ago, so it makes sense to me now that I might require a little extra time to cope in an exam situation, especially those where you're required to write several essay questions in limited time and you're switching between topics across the essays (that does my head in!). Anyway, we had a multichoice exam a couple of weeks ago. Normally I do really well with multichoice because I have exceptional recognition memory and I always study to understand the tpic conceptually. Now it's a 4th year statistics course, so I wasn't expecting it to be a breeze, but I was expecting it to assess statistics! The exam questions were outright ambiguous and cryptic and when the lecturer debriefed us on it last week, he admitted to putting "trick" questions on the paper. Several of the questions were so poor at discriminating between high and low performers, that he had to scrap them from the results. There are well over a hundred students taking this course and, I assume, most of them are NTs and they're all griping about how vague the questions were as well. What chance did I stand, given that I have AS and do not cope very well with ambiguity or having to decode meaning in what someone is asking? I expect to have to work a little to figure out the answer, but I do not expect to have to feel sick to my stomach and like I'm about to have a panic attack because I can't even work out what the question is asking!! !

I've gone from being a high scorer to scoring below the average in that exam and it will impact on my final degree grade. I have a lot to lose because if I don't get a 1st class honours, which was achievable, I will not be able to get a scholarship to fund my PhD. I have worked tirelessly towards this goal for a loooong time now. Should I inform the lecturer that I feel I was disadvantaged by the format of the questions he asked? Should I approach the disability office at my university and ask their opinion? Should I register myself with them so future exams for the rest of this year will be more equitable for me?

Have any of you encountered similar situations and/or asked for special dispensation due to having AS??


_________________
"Burn brightly without burning out" -Richard K. Biggs


sinsboldly
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Gender: Female
Posts: 13,488
Location: Bandon-by-the-Sea, Oregon

17 May 2009, 8:32 pm

tell him you thought about your answer and now understand how you also could have responded. If the prof will listen to your second answer and accept it, then all is good.

But if he says the time for answering the question is over and the answer you gave, stands. Then take it and continue to move in your direction. If there was something incorrect about the accomodations you are already receiving they can be modified. But to write a new accomodation based on something you already decided to take with out modification might be closing the barn door after the horse is out.

Once you make anything your excuse for something it will be your excuse the rest of your life and you will blame all your shortcomings on it.


_________________
Alis volat propriis
State Motto of Oregon


DonkeyBuster
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 11 May 2009
Age: 62
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,311
Location: New Mexico, USA

17 May 2009, 8:53 pm

Approaching the instructor... depends on how you feel about him. It may be the quickest and most straightforward approach if you feel comfortable with the other person. Perhaps just asking to take the test without any trick questions... they're what scrambled your thinking and caused you to underperform. A straightforward test covering the material honestly would show if you understood it as well as is required to get an A.

If you don't feel comfortable with the instructor, then I would indeed go to the disability office... the guy wrote a test that disadvantaged you and your future depends on passing it. They will also be able to tell you the advantages to being registered with them... you might also ask for some other students names you could talk to and see if they thought it was a good idea or they regret signing up.

It can be a bad habit to blame all one's problems on a disability label, but it can also be a huge stupid mistake to not do everything you possibly can to insure a bright successful future for yourself.

On this one, I'd go for getting all the help I could. Tough and broke ain't nearly as much fun.



Prim8
Blue Jay
Blue Jay

User avatar

Joined: 8 Apr 2009
Age: 44
Gender: Female
Posts: 75
Location: Queensland, Australia

17 May 2009, 9:00 pm

sinsboldly wrote:

Once you make anything your excuse for something it will be your excuse the rest of your life and you will blame all your shortcomings on it.


Firstly, thanks for your response sinsboldly! I appreciate what you're saying and I do have severe reservations about 'using' my diagnosis to gain an advantage that I've done relatively well to date without. I don't know if I came across clearly, but I am not receiving any "accommodations" currently. I do not get extra working time in exams and I do not have specially written exam papers. I have never stuck my hand up and said, "Hey, I'm a little different and I need my assessment to be structured accordingly". That's why I'm now pondering whether I should. After all, if a bunch of NT students are complaining about how hard it was to make heads or tails of his questions, surely my tendency to interpret things literally put me at an even greater disadvantage of being able to accurately decipher his trick questions?? I have sometimes asked for extra time on an essay paper (i.e., non exam papers), but have never cited AS-related difficulties as the reason.

Anyway, maybe I'll just wear the low score and move on; I don't think it was a fair assessment, or that my mark is representative of my knowledge or my ability, but I am loathe to use AS as a 'crutch' and it all seems to confronting to have to go and tell a lecturer that his multichoice questions sucked even more than he thought!


_________________
"Burn brightly without burning out" -Richard K. Biggs


Prim8
Blue Jay
Blue Jay

User avatar

Joined: 8 Apr 2009
Age: 44
Gender: Female
Posts: 75
Location: Queensland, Australia

17 May 2009, 9:03 pm

DonkeyBuster wrote:
Perhaps just asking to take the test without any trick questions... they're what scrambled your thinking and caused you to underperform. A straightforward test covering the material honestly would show if you understood it as well as is required to get an A.

On this one, I'd go for getting all the help I could. Tough and broke ain't nearly as much fun.


Thanks DonkeyBuster. I vacillate between agreeing with these sentiments and feeling like it's all too hard to speak up, but I know there's a lot at stake!!


_________________
"Burn brightly without burning out" -Richard K. Biggs


cyberscan
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 16 Apr 2008
Age: 52
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,296
Location: Near Panama, City Florida

17 May 2009, 11:09 pm

I can definitely understand where you are coming from. If you can approach your instructor without negative consequences, what is the harm in trying?


_________________
I am AUTISTIC - Always Unique, Totally Interesting, Straight Talking, Intelligently Conversational.
I am also the author of "Tech Tactics Money Saving Secrets" and "Tech Tactics Publishing and Production Secrets."


TheDoctor82
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 28 Feb 2008
Age: 38
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,400
Location: Sandusky, Ohio

17 May 2009, 11:24 pm

Wow...you mean you have a professor who's actually giving you a taste of what life is like? Congratulate the man!



philosopher
Raven
Raven

User avatar

Joined: 26 Jul 2007
Age: 53
Gender: Male
Posts: 103

17 May 2009, 11:36 pm

Approach the disability service i did and got an exra half hour on exams.good luck



Prim8
Blue Jay
Blue Jay

User avatar

Joined: 8 Apr 2009
Age: 44
Gender: Female
Posts: 75
Location: Queensland, Australia

17 May 2009, 11:44 pm

TheDoctor82 wrote:
Wow...you mean you have a professor who's actually giving you a taste of what life is like? Congratulate the man!


I grew up in a Third World country amidst a dysfunctional family and I've been around the traps at least a little longer than you mate, so keep your condescension to yourself unless you've heard my story and can accurately judge what sort of a taste of life I, or anyone else, has had! I'm not asking for anyone to make my life unrealistically easy; I don't see the harm in demanding equity however.


_________________
"Burn brightly without burning out" -Richard K. Biggs


TheDoctor82
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 28 Feb 2008
Age: 38
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,400
Location: Sandusky, Ohio

18 May 2009, 1:43 am

Prim8 wrote:
TheDoctor82 wrote:
Wow...you mean you have a professor who's actually giving you a taste of what life is like? Congratulate the man!


I grew up in a Third World country amidst a dysfunctional family and I've been around the traps at least a little longer than you mate, so keep your condescension to yourself unless you've heard my story and can accurately judge what sort of a taste of life I, or anyone else, has had! I'm not asking for anyone to make my life unrealistically easy; I don't see the harm in demanding equity however.


In fairness, I wasn't talking about making life unrealistically easy. but in many cases, NTs can be more predictable than you may realize; it's just about watching out for these things. You grew up in a third world country with a dysfunctional family, and had to deal with all the traps; I was just gonna say to consider this as another obstacle, as you might have to deal with it upon leaving college as well.

If you do feel the need to talk to your professor, do what you have to...but I just sense you might have to deal with it again later on in life.



DonkeyBuster
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 11 May 2009
Age: 62
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,311
Location: New Mexico, USA

18 May 2009, 4:11 pm

Quote:
I've gone from being a high scorer to scoring below the average in that exam and it will impact on my final degree grade. I have a lot to lose because if I don't get a 1st class honours, which was achievable, I will not be able to get a scholarship to fund my PhD.


This for me is the crux of the question... your future plans which you have been working towards for a long time are at serious risk. This is not the time to 'suck it up and take your licks' for fear of using AS as a crutch. If you fail to attain your highest goal and then blame it on AS, THEN you're using your disability as a crutch. If you're merely acknowledging that you aren't average and need what the school sees as reasonable and offered accomodation, then you're taking advantage of the opportunity and chance to show what you can do.

You're not asking for a simpler, dumbed down test, you're asking for a fair and straightforward test. It's not your fault the guy can't write a good test and you shouldn't be penalized--possibly for a long time--for his mess.

If you don't know the material as well as you think you do, it'll show on another test as well, and THEN you can suck it up and take your licks.