By Vic Odarve


 He almost got a perfect score in the final exam! He got 64 out of 70 marks. But looking at my records I could not find his name nor registration number. One thing is certain- this student just took only the final exam and never attended the class throughout the semester! He is not a carryover or repeater of the course.

Relaxation at Chocolate hills,Philipines

Relaxation at Chocolate hills,Philippines

 He got my attention! For the past three years of teaching in this university I had not seen students passed the course without continuous assessment or CA. This CA showed that you are attending your class and constitutes 30 marks in the final grade. This includes assignment, attendance, quizzes, class participation, and others. Previous records showed several students attempted to do so but all failed to pass the course. Passing grade is 40 marks. Without CA, the only way to pass is to obtain at least 40 out of a possible 70 marks on final exam. This student was the first to make it.


 After giving the final exam last semester, several students told me that the allotted time of 2 hours was too short for them to answer all the problems. True enough, during marking I noticed most of the students did not complete answering the problems. Even my top five class performers did not finish answering the exam because of time limitation.

Expatriates from Philippines

Expatriates from Philippines

 But to my surprise, three names got perfect scores! They were not the good performers based on my records. Their solutions were well presented and done in a step by step manner. Analysis showed that they did it in separate methods in obtaining the correct answers! And how they did it was amazing! And why the best among the crop could not do it remained unknown!


 Because of large class size of 400 students, the school has a designated course representative to assist the teacher in a class management. But what happened? During a quiz, somebody made a quiz script for the course rep that was absent! After my investigation the course rep admitted that his classmate did the quiz for him because he had very important things to work out. I did not record his mark and instead, give him a warning!

 Final examination came. To my surprise the course rep was the only one who got the highest marks! He bested my top five performers in the class! So, that was it! It could be that a stern warning catapulted his spirit to the next level! And he got it!


 One thing is clear. Every individual is unique. Some are resourceful magnifying the weakness of the grading system and others know how to beat the odds during examination. Still others need a stern warning to raise their adrenalin to excel their performance. Something must trigger! These students performed like they never did it before. It’s truly amazing!

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