Preliminary Written Exams at Aalborghus 2001

During their three years of school, in addition to their ten oral finals, Danish students sit for five written finals (usually in five hour sessions) in the subjects:

Danish + their choice of high level electives:
English, German, French, Spanish, Social Studies, Music, Mathematics, Physics, Biology, Chemistry - the culmination of one or two years of high level studies in each subject (in addition to the previous obligatory formal training).

A couple of months before their final exams students sit for preliminary tests (a dress rehearsal) to make themselves acquainted with the way the exams are done.

Less than a decade ago much of what was tested was often the students' ability to remember facts and formulae, grammar and rules.  Today they are allowed to bring any books they want, even their own computers - hardware as well as software - as the object of their essay writing and problem solving is not to find any one, single, "right" answer (which can be looked up); instead, emphasis is put on how they present and argue their findings in analyses and calculations.
   From 2001 on many written exams will be divided into two parts: a shorter one that tests the students' abilitites and skills without any means of help at all, and a longer that focuses on the students' abilities to survey a greater number of texts and assess their contents before writing their essays.
   The above are all attempts to make exams more meaningful, but the introduction of the International Baccalaureat in many Danish high schools constitutes a striking contrast to the usual Danish ways.  It shall be interesting to see which way the wind blows in the coming years.

Empty hallway early in the morning:


Empty hallway 2:


The first students bring their PC's to school:


Student work room:


Sometimes the allotted space seems
just a little too tight for comfort:


Essay writing in the gym:


Gym 2:


Gym 3:


Gym 4:


Other students still prefer writing their papers
in long hand:


Preliminary Exams in the Assembly Hall:


Outside the sun is shining - we think of  this
time of year as "the lost spring" -


and the recreation grounds  are empty:


Teacher with bundle of papers to be graded:


March 2001
Erik Moldrup