As you know, Imperial gives all of us medical students an iPad which we use to get a whole range of resources. This includes eBooks for modules, we complete our sign offs for hospital placements on it and even have revision tools on it. However, this was the first time I have completed an actual end-of-year summative exam on the iPad and it was really interesting.
So the exam was the Pathology exam (5th year exam) on Monday which covered Microbiology, Immunology, Haematology, Histopathology, Chemical Pathology and Ethics & Law. It was 175 questions with 50 of them being very short answer questions (vsa). The set up of the exam worked exactly the same as a normal exam- we all sat on normal exam desks and had a plain sheet of paper we could write notes on as we filled in the exam on the ipad. The exam begun by our screens locking in the Practique app so we could not flick to google mid way through the exam. Then we all put in our unique ID codes and off we went (I was so nervous!).
Obviously as it was an online exam there was bound to be a few people with technical troubles but I was so so thankful that all ran smoothly for my Ipad. For those that did have problems there were several staff there to resolve it/give a new iPad to use (which you would just re-login to).
I felt that the app was super user friendly and it was easy to flag questions and return to them later. You could also monitor your own progress throughout the 3 hour exam as every time you answered a question the question number would change colour on the progress bar.
I am yet to find out my results (*cross all fingers*) but hopefully now it is on this online system and not a handwritten exam we can all get better feedback on how we did and also get our results faster.
This is just my view point and I am sure there are some that think this move to iPad is an awful move for exams- but it really is the future of exams and it is exciting to be at a University that strives to keep improving its assessment and feedback model. Imperial’s science and technology core shines through with this exam format. Although… I would be lying if I said I didn’t have nerves about using an iPad for the exam when it was first announced.
My specialties exam on Friday is on normal paper again, but I do wonder what this will hold for my exams next year. Hologram Patients? Virtual reality OSCEs?…probably not yet.
*This blog will have spelling/grammar errors in as I am just quickly writing this on a revision break- please excuse! Just wanted to write it while it was still fresh.*