Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Open book exam fallacy

My MBA first Trimester is over. Three months 4 subjects and 90 days of sleep deprivation! So what all did I learn in this trimester you ask? Well, I learnt a little bit of Marketing, a little bit of Operations Management and a lot of Financial Accounting and Financial Management. The finance courses involved more math than I did in most of my Engineering courses! For those of you who thought that MBA was for the "management kind" (read - mathematically challenged!) you are in for a rude shock!

This week I had exams for all the subjects that I just mentioned. And believe it or not all the exams happily proclaimed that they were "open book" exams!! Yippee, open book, you can actually "officially" cheat in the exams? Yeah! Get whatever notes, text books, periodicals, comics, magazines you want and write the damn paper!!

I was all happy. I carried like a truck load of books in the exam and there came the paper. First time in my life I figured that the appendix in the book is actually very important. It helps you track down words in the examination paper that you have never heard of before in your life!

That's not all. I opened all the books that I carried, but opening the books doesn't mean that you can make sense out of it right? So next 1 hour was spent trying to "comprehend" what the open book I was seeing actually meant :) !! All said and done, open book exams are like an open challenge in your face. They tell you that bring what you want, you are still dumb enough to not crack the exams :) !! Anyway, I am happy that I got over with my exams. This was like the first major exam I wrote after 5.5 years of merrily typing away everything on the computer. The first time that I picked up the pen to write, I felt like a 2 year old kid practicing his A,B,Cs!! By the fourth paper I scribbled words that didn't make much sense to me when I tried to read them back (Trivia - I had won in the handwriting competition that was conducted in my school ... 21 years back :) )!! Computers have crippled us in more ways than we can imagine!!

Anyway, I have this short 3 day vacation before I get on with my second Trimester...


  1. Dude, wait till u get to Statistics for Business & Management or even Managerial Economics where you will hear things like Elasticity, Price Elasticity of Demand, Income Elasticity of Demand which is more mathematics then economics ..

  2. :) Great.. itna sara updates janne ke liye kab se soch rahi thi ki kab tere exams khatam ho :)

    Glad that u r enjoying every bit of your MBA course.. Again and again, I feel really happy for you.

    Take care and keep writing.
    I have to bas lost my-real-writer-self for some months now.. :(


  3. Enjoy the break buddy :-)

    -- @bhim@nyu

  4. You know you are funny..Too good... Too cute:P Anyways if you can guess who I am .. (Hint): Scrap me in orkut :P