I feel like the biggest fucking idiot in the world

(39 Posts)
msrisotto Tue 05-Feb-13 09:20:07

Slight over reaction and I'm sure i'm not the first person this has happened to but I took a major exam yesterday. Major in that if I pass it, I could get an interview to do a course which would give me a professional qualification and set me up for life. I am qualified and experienced to deserve an interview and i'm clever enough to pass the test. But I got flustered. The time limit was short and I misinterpreted one of the questions worth nearly a quarter of the points. I'm pretty sure I will have got zero for that question when I know the answer now. I just misinterpreted the quite vague question. Literally hundreds of people are taking this same exam over the rest of the month so i'm sure I will just be screened out and they only recruit once a year. I am absolutely gutted.

I have wondered about emailing or phoning the course director to explain but what if they then warn people yet to take the test about the vague question? That will disadvantage me more as if they leave it as it is, at least others might make the same mistake. God I am so angry at myself and embarassed, I feel so stupid when i'm bloody not.

senua Tue 05-Feb-13 15:38:29

Oh, has no-one answered this yet.sad Bet that made your day even better.[even more sad face]

Examiners put the vague questions in on purpose, the little b**. And the time pressure. I certainly wouldn't heads-up the rest. (you are obv a much nicer person than me!)

Try not to think about it until the results come out. What's done is done.

eatyourveg Tue 05-Feb-13 15:40:42

Can you re-take it later in the month? If not then all you can do is wait to see what your result is and hopefully you will be ok. If not you will have to then decide if you want to apply to do the test again next year - maddening but as you say you're not the first person. If everyone found the vague question difficult you may find you will not be at any disadvantage at all.

msrisotto Tue 05-Feb-13 16:20:24

Thanks for replying. I didn't expect anyone to!

I can't retake it, which makes the whole thing more stressful as it's a one shot situation. I'm trying to forget about it but wondering about getting in touch with them but wondering if that will help me in any possible way.

eatyourveg Tue 05-Feb-13 20:14:05

I'm not sure getting in touch would do you any good - it would only make you worry more if the person you spoke to wasn't able to give you the information you wanted. You should try and think logically, what would you want the result of any phone call to be? A more lenient approach to marking your script is unlikley as everyone could tell them they got flustered but as senua says, sometimes they want to see if you get flustered.

it is so easy to say don't worry - its not over until the fat lady sings etc etc but really all you can do is sit it out and hopefully there isn't a long wait for the results. try to think positively and if the question really was put in to flummox candidates then you are probably not alone so keep telling yourself it is an even playing field.

I personally don't think ringing them would serve any purpose as I can't see what they could do, but if you really think there is something to be gained in doing so (if only your sanity) then do it.

I think you should get in touch, just to say you are concerned because you found it vague.

There is no way they would be able to change it to disadvantage you relative to the others - that won't happen. But, they might have a look at it and see how many people interpreted it the same way as you. If a question is badly worded, examiners can often see where people were coming from and will take it into account (I am sure this is true because a couple of my mates set and mark exams every year!).

It does sound horrible, though. I'm sorry you're so nervy (and I would be too).

I hope it all turns out ok.

mathanxiety Wed 06-Feb-13 02:56:54

I agree with LRD. Try not to come across as angry though. Just concerned.

Chances are you are not the only person who went with your particular interpretation and they will see that when they begin to look at the papers. They may well choose to give points for answers to the question people thought they were answering.

funnyperson Wed 06-Feb-13 07:56:06

marisotta I just saw this.
You won't have been the only one 'misinterpreting' a vague question. Examiners these days give marks for various thought processes even if the conclusion is wrong. (unless it s science and even then there are marks for method)
It is quite common after an exam to be sure one has failed it. My DD always thinks so. She invariably gets A star. Not to be flippant but just to say hang on in there.

msrisotto Wed 06-Feb-13 10:30:56

I am going to call. Just to let them know this may come up with others and to cheekily moot the idea that I would like to retake as it didn't reflect my abilities....just saying like....

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Wed 06-Feb-13 10:33:39

Hi msris I have spoken to examiners about how they set questions. They have told me that some of them are written to be intentionally vague, so that you really have to think about it and read the question properly. Its just another way of testing you. Sorry.

rubyrubyruby Wed 06-Feb-13 10:38:13

Call them.
It's difficult to say without knowing the situation but it's possible that if you gave a good thorough answer to the question you thought was being asked confused then you could still be considered.

A bit like if you go the wrong way on your driving test but still signal and turn correctly (just muddle your left/right instructions)

iykwim <<gets coat>>

puds, sorry, forgive me if you know exactly what exam mrsr has taken - it's one of those situations where I can't tell if you know her well in RL - but if you don't, I would be a bit cautious. I know sometimes examiners set purposefully vague questions. But they don't always. And they would always rather have feedback than have someone stay quiet and feel they've missed out, I am sure of that.

If they tell her that the question was intentionally vague, no harm is done. But it's worth letting them know just in case.

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Wed 06-Feb-13 10:52:05

Yes I don't dispute that it would be worth letting them know.

Sorry I should have said that is how I found out about it as I flagged up some vague questions that had been set in an exam I sat and that was their response.

I do not know op in RL, I don't think grin I should have highlighted that what I had said was from personal experience and is not applicable to all situations.

Whilst typing this I have just remembered that a friend of mine said examiners had dufffed up a question in her DSis GCSE exams, so it does happen, and it would be worth asking.

Can you retake the exam?

Oh, right! Sorry, I just wondered if it was a particular type of exam and you'd actually been in touch with them about the same question.

I do think you're right, it's sometimes true they deliberately set horrible questions. But sometimes they don't and they don't realize how badly the question was written until it's too late.

My SIL is a mathematician and she told me that when she was a student they got set an exam question to write a proof, and only half the students realized that there wasn't a proof. They thought it was a trick question but the person who set the exam had messed up too! That's the most obviously dodgy one I can think of, but lots of bad questions do happen, I reckon.

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Wed 06-Feb-13 11:05:15

I'm glad you flagged my up LRD I would hate for OP not to question the exam based on what I had said smile

OneLieIn Wed 06-Feb-13 11:09:10

Give the director a call you have nothing to lose!!!

I think it's good to have both views, you may well be right she will be told that it was deliberate. But at least she knows we've all had the same experience, whatever reply she gets! smile

So, OP, don't feel like an idiot!

senua Wed 06-Feb-13 18:50:09

You have probably made the right choice mrsR.
My DS made a silly mistake in one of his GCSEs which he didn't twig until after he had left the exam hall. It could have been easily corrected by a crossing-out.
I immediately marched him back into school to see the exams officer to ask if we could make the correction. She said no. I knew that she would say no. But at least I could say to DS that I tried to remedy the situation.
I bet that you feel (slightly) better after taking action. How did it go? <not holding my breath>

msrisotto Wed 06-Feb-13 19:07:09

I feel better for deciding to take action! I called the director twice today but she was chockablock with meetings.....i'll try tomorrow.

funnyperson Sat 23-Feb-13 07:16:28

What was the outcome?

msrisotto Sat 23-Feb-13 07:24:03

Hi, well I called several times and didn't get hold of the director so I emailed and never got a response either! I am still waiting to hear either way.

senua Sat 23-Feb-13 19:58:10

Oh, I was hoping that you were posting with some news. Keep on hanging in there. Is there anyone else to speak to, apart from the non-communicating director?

msrisotto Sun 17-Mar-13 07:21:06

Oh! Oh! Oh! Update!

My email was never responded to but they sent me a letter inviting me to interview! grin YAY!

Incapinka Sun 17-Mar-13 07:24:47

Yay! Good luck! When's the interview? smile

JaquelineHyde Sun 17-Mar-13 07:25:02

Congratulations grin

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