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Exams at KTH

Now that the school period is almost over until next year, I’d like to share more about my exams at KTH. 

First of all, I have to say that type of exams can differ from school to school, and even between programmes that belong to the same school. Here I’m going to talk mostly about my experience, but hopefully, it will give you an idea of what they might look like. 

Written exam

I think it’s the most common type of exam at KTH. The exam consists of various questions that can be multiple choice or, on the contrary, demand an extended written response to show not only your knowledge but also the way of thinking and solving such tasks.  

It can be a regular exam or an open book one, meaning you can use the literature from the course during the exam. The first type is most likely to be used in the classes that demand your analysis rather than turnkey solutions. For instance, this was the case for me with my most recent exam on Intercultural Communication. We had 6 open questions, from which we were supposed to pick 3 and answer each with a maximum of 1500 words. The exam included various questions that allowed you to demonstrate your intercultural competence, referring to the literature studied during the course. The exam lasted 4 hours, which is the typical length of an exam at KTH. Almost everyone stayed until the very end, including me. I haven’t received my grades yet: at KTH, there’s a grading system from A to F, so now I’m patiently waiting for the results. 

Take-home exam 

Another common examination type at KTH and Sweden, in general, is a take-home exam. It is usually uploaded to Canvas, a web-based learning management system widely used here, and you are given a specific amount of time to submit your answers. In some cases, it can be several hours, while in others, a week or two, which depends on the type of assignment itself. 

I’ve had take-home exams a couple of times at KTH. I have to say that by far these are my favourite types of exams because you can manage your time, especially if it’s given for more than one day. Take-home exams are, of course, also open book ones, which is also nice. Finally, you can do your exam in a comfortable home atmosphere, which reduces the stress level that usually goes wild during the exams. 

Case literature test 

This is also a type of exam that I previously had at KTH. The main difference here is that you have to solve a given case using the specific literature list you studied during the course. 

In one of the courses, we actually had two case-lit tests during the semester: one in the middle and another at the end of the course. The case included a broad description in approximately 2 pages and a question posed. The length of each test was 90 Minutes. Both tests were conducted remotely via Canvas as an “open book” exam, allowing us to access all the full-length articles, books, and the internet. Communication between students, however, was not allowed. 

Group project 

In Sweden, everybody pays much attention to group dynamics. I think this is especially true at KTH, as it’s a practically oriented university known for preparing students for pursuing an industry career. 

In a group project type of examination, you are either given a topic or can choose it yourself. In most cases, you are allowed to choose your own group and split up the responsibilities yourself. 

I previously told you about my group project in Media Production during my first semester, where we created an interactive documentary. We also had a couple of group projects in the second semester, so it’s pretty common. For instance, during a course called Managing Digital Transformation — project module, we were assigned a business case from an existing company undergoing a digital transformation with a specific research question. We were divided into groups of five and acted as external consultants, meeting with the company’s top management to understand their request. In the end, we presented our study in front of them and our professor. It was an extremely exciting thing to do! Although, before diving deeply into the matter, none of us was familiar with the PropTech industry that the company works in, we were able to present several proposals for the company’s future business strategy and give them the external view they needed. The company’s top management was extremely satisfied with our work and even offered us to continue it as interns. 

My fellow classmates presenting their Media Law group project on copyright

I hope I could give you a glimpse into the examination at KTH, so you’d be more prepared when you come here! And if you already study at KTH, let me know about other types of exams that I didn’t mention in the comments below. 

Take care!

\\ Valerie

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