EXAMS in UK vs in POLAND

Studying in those two countries gives me an advantage of knowing the bigger picture, and it helps me more with understanding rules of education system.

That’s why I would like to share with you my experience. And if you are polish student thinking about studying in England, or (less likely) English student considering studying in Poland –> then you are in the right place to get some knowledge 😉

 

Poland

Data, 2016

  • 38 million people
  • 1, 350, 000 are higher education students

3.55% of population is studying.

 

Stereotype

Studying at University in Poland does not feel these days like something special. All of my friends got to University, and by now, many of them have some degrees. They all are bachelors, doctors, engineers.

There is this way of thinking that after high school, so many of students are thinking that only University degree will bring them great jobs (which might be truth in some cases). But.. if everybody’s got a degree, then…how to stand out? How to be exceptional?

Maybe that’s a stereotype? I don’t know. But I felt back then like I have to apply for Universities. I didn’t want to, not because I do not like studying, but because I wasn’t clear with what I want to do with my life. So, my choice was University in Krakow, studying Management.

 

January – month of exams

Stress everywhere. Everybody’s speaking about exams, sleepless nights. Coffee shops are full. Bars, restaurants and other gathering places not that much. Students hearing the word “Sesja” (time of exams) are getting shivers and are freezing with sad / afraid / helpless / miserable face.

It might be scary, I admit. If you love to leave everything till the last minute. Like me.

Number of subjects varies from course you are doing. Some of courses will have 3, some of them 5 some of them 6. Every single subject has an exam in January. Information and theory from whole term. Yes. WHOLE TERM. And trust me, material is huge, ten thousands of theories, issues. I remember one exam I think from Statistics. I haven’t thought myself as a huge fan of maths, but I always considered myself as quite good at it! Well that subject showed me there was a still a lot more practice to do. Too many unsolved mathematic tasks that I left on the paper 😛

Lecturers might even ask you to cite some of the theories the same way as authors. So you better have good memory and a lot of patience and time!

Don’t you worry I have none. Ha ha. Yes, I usually have left all of the notes, even 100 pages till 2 nights before exams. I know super wise approach. Still passed! After that I could fit in 2 sizes down jeans, from all of that stress.

So definitely not recommending leaving all of the material till the last moment! It’s possible, but trust me you don’t want to go through this.

 

Tips

** If that would happen that you didn’t pass, you usually have 2 or 3 next attempts, with grade marked lower. In Poland grades are 1 – 5 (where 5 is the best).

*** Basically all you have to do is attend lectures. Listen carefully to lecturers, some of them might tell you what will be on the exam. And make sure you have read and memorized ALL of the slides.

Don’t be surprised if on exam you’ll get a question “Interpret what slide 56, in 3rd week was saying”.

 

United Kingdom

Data 2016

-65.6 million people

-2.28 million of higher education students

3.47% of population is studying

 

Ways to pass the subject

Being on the third year and preparing for dissertation is quite stressful (that is topic for another post!), but apart from that, I’d say everything is totally different. Obviously you have to pass the subject, but there are usually couple ways that you can do it.

There are:

*assignments (essays: usually 1500 words up ) – max that I had so far was 4000

* presentations (in groups)

* exams

 

Is it that terrifying? 

First term just like in Poland finishes in January. But each subject had two ways of passing during whole term (for example assignment in November, and then exam in January – to divide material).

I was super terrified before my first presentation at University. I was afraid that I won’t be able to talk without notes or people will laugh at me. But to everything you can prepare! So, that’s not a problem, especially when you know about upcoming project at least 2 months before.

 

January – month of exams ?

It’s not a coincidence that I used question mark. It is not a month. Just couple days, but you are thinking about it and preparing whole month.

It feels weird. Having 6 or even more exams in Poland and here just 2 felt relaxing. But it was not that easy as it seems! I am already after them, and waiting for feedback 3 weeks. On each exam we got 2 open questions, and we had 2 hours to answer them. We received case scenario with blanket pages to write our answers on.

I must admit, that after reading that grammar and style writing will be checked equally to knowledge you present I felt doubtfully, but I’ve done my best and I know it! I feel like my English and grammar are improving with every single day.

What is worth mentioning that many courses have exams in the Sports Hall. That kind of feels like “Matura” (A-Levels). You know how that felt. NOT relaxing at all.

 

So, which system is better?

I can’t say which one is better: polish or english. Each one of them is focusing on something different with various approaches. However, I am less stressed in United Kingdom, and studying some very practical knowledge with an actual case scenarios.

I hope this post was somehow useful to you, and now you will know what to expect and how to prepare for upcoming “Educational Chapter”!

If you’ve got any questions, please do leave them in comments below

XX

J