The agony and the ecstasy of the exam session

Exam season is now well and truly under way for all of the MBAs in Smurfit. On the Exec MBA we had four modules this semester, but, as Organisational Behaviour & Decision Making was 100% continuous assessment in the form of two major assignments, we have just three exams ahead of us. These finish up on the 12th of December and then it’s into town for our class Christmas party where hopefully we will be celebrating the successful completion of semester one rather than crying into our drinks.

First up though is Competitive Strategy. Again, there was a large amount of continuous assessment in this subject throughout the semester and as a result we have completed 55% of the marks, leaving 45% left to play for in the exam. It’s an interesting concept itself, as it’s a take-home exam that we have been given a week to complete. I have never done one of these before, but I have been advised that the difficulty is that you actually end up with too much time and therefore keep tweaking it at the expense of studying for other exams until you force yourself to submit it. I have decided to try and learn this lesson and get it completed first and then move on to the other subjects.

Next is Operations and Supply Chain Management, which also had a large amount of continuous assessment throughout the semester meaning that the exam itself accounts for 40% of our overall grade. Its hard to put your finger on this one but the past papers indicate that it’s a mixture of theory and essay based discussion questions so there is a little bit for everyone there. All of that is assuming that you have completed your last assignment, which is due this week also.

Finally, we have the subject that most of us find problematic, Financial Reporting, with 65% still at stake as the remainder was accounted for through continuous assessments. Its simultaneously impressive and worrisome to see the accountants in the class fill out the answers to the in-class exercises in seconds while most of us are still trying to find our calculators. This is not a subject that comes naturally to me but I have been told that it’s a matter of practice. We shall see on Friday…

Conor Connolly

Executive MBA Midweek Year 1