English paper. A take home examination

If you have a strong hunch. Follow it. It could save your life.

That is how I would describe my OUMH1203 English for Written Communication exam paper. It was in essay format and before the exam date, I have printed out the sample questions a week in advance and attempted it. It was quite an OK trial paper to be completed in about 2 hours plus.

However, format has changed in view of the new norm.

The exam question is readily accessible online from 10am on Sunday and the answers are to be handed in before 10am on the Monday. Candidates have 24 hours to complete the paper. In my mind, I had this thought of why lar paper keluar hari ahad.. why not a monday. Turns out there was a good reason for it.

Initially I had wanted to attempt the paper at night once the kids are asleep. It was a coincidence however, for that particular Sunday – my husband did not have to go to work or collect rent and run errands. Instead he was so free that he just wanted to stay indoors and cook lunch. So I thought it would be great if he minded the kids whilst I download the paper.


For I was in shock when I read the questions. In gist, I have to write 4 different essays with about 800 -1000 words each! I tried hard not to panic although I knew that if you have no inspiration, you can’t pen down your thoughts. My 4 essays are about;

  1. MCO ; its cause and effects
  2. social networking application imposing a negative behaviour on children and teenagers
  3. saving the environment
  4. adult workers pursuing higher education and its effects on the economy and family

I was technically in my study area for the rest of the day with few interruptions in between. Things like going to the loo, having lunch, washing my daughters no 2, distracted by Shopee, resting my brain on the couch etc. Can you imagine how I would have felt if I decided to attempt the paper at night? Sedangkan assignment 3000 words pun I need about a month to complete, what more these in 24 hours. Now I worry if we are required to cite our references in the essay. That would be a bummer because I surely did not cite any. Mana nak ingat.

I finally completed my essay by 1am in the morning and dreaded going to work today. My head is still woozy at this hour. By the way, I have just completed my online MCQ exam for the Principles of Management subject a few minutes ago. That was a timed session of 90 minutes. Terpaksa basuh berak Ninie laju2 sebab tak nak rugi masa. Masa Mummy tengah amek examlah dia nak berak jugak.

I am making a mental note that for the next exam season, I will try to apply for leave. This is because next semester I will be having 4 subjects. Boleh stress macam ni. Terus jadi gemuk balik after all my Biggest Loser effort. Its hard to tell if I did well for both subjects. I am crossing my fingers to at least pass the courses. My last subject for examination will be Psychology this Wednesday.

Wish me luck.

2nd paper exam – TITAS

My TITAS exam is scheduled to be next Monday. Also, an MCO online format in MCQ. Questions are open from 0100H on 11th May and closed till 0800H on the 12th. InsyaAllah I can sit for mine on the 11th at night after Iftar just before I go to bed.


Students only managed to have one face to face tutorial for this subject with Dr Nazri and covered on Tamadun Melayu. I think it would be equally helpful to hear him talk about Tamadun China and India as well. It is quite challenging to learn history just by reading the handbook. I had recurrent ptosis. Ha ha ha.

I did go through the lecture videos on the portal but the presentation was pretty superficial. It did require additional reading on the students part. I tried. I you-tubed on the Chinese and Indian civilization but they were lengthy. It is quite overwhelming not knowing what questions may come out during the exam.

I tried my luck googling for TITAS MCQ samples. They were a few free ones. I bet some have stumbled upon sets of questions from academia.edu and random ones by the teachers institute – UPSI. At least, there is something than nothing.

Thankfully, this paper only accounts for 30% of the total marks. The other 70% is from my coursework – The Nujum Pak Belalang assignment. I really hope my examiners enjoy my written work and bestow good marks on it. 🙂 I really want to do well in all my subjects. I really do.

Aim for the moon. If you miss, you’ll land among the stars.

Wish me luck.

Semester 1 Exam. First paper done

As mentioned before, our psychology paper is conducted online. It’s of a Short Essay Question (SEQ) format. My paper only has a Part A that has 10 questions with 4 marks each. Total points are 40. I am not familiar with this format so I am not quite sure how long our answers should be. But from what I gather from the Practice SEQ’s, the answer templates are pretty short and concise. I guess the trick is to get straight to the point.

The exam questions were readily available at the OUM portal by 1am but I printed mine in the afternoon during my lunch break. Of course anybody would be tempted to sneakily peek and find out what the questions are. The deadline to submit the answer is the next day at 0800AM.

Clear Light Bulb on Black Surface

Once I have finished my work for the day, I prepared dinner for the family and washed up. I had wanted to do a YouTube video of myself answering the exam in the comfort of my own study but then I felt that it’ll be too much effort to find something more syariah compliant to wear throughout the video. So, nah.. no video.

I answered whatever I could from the top of my head. My long term memory. Hoping that I could score as much points as I could. I typed my answer in the format given : Times New Roman, size 12 with 1.5 spacing and had the answer sheet uploaded to the portal. Thankfully, my internet connection was at a good speed so there were no glitches.

So, 1 paper down. Another one to go. Can’t wait to get over this and start with a new semester. OUM did not mention whether it was an open book sorta exam but since we’re mostly adult learners, I suppose the administration trusts us enough to sit for the exam as how we see fit and know what we want to achieve from this exercise.

Exam dates update

With the COVID-19 pandemic happening, it has in a way disrupted the momentum of my studies. Most of my studying is already online that I couldn’t help wondering how much more online can we get to ensure a continuation in our education. Turns out OUM is an expert on this.

We could get access to most study materials online via their portal MyInspire and also the library. Although I miss touching physical books, I think I have to accept that 21st-century learning habits are mostly online. We are talking about Google Classrooms, QR scan codes to get access to notes, Web calls, etc.


Silver Ipad on Books
Credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/books-classroom-college-desk-289738/


When OUM announced that the semester exams will be carried out online, I was a bit skeptical. How is that going to happen? Will it be something like a Zoom broadcast where you have an invigilator on-screen observing everyone in their little screens answering the paper? How would you know if someone is cheating?

Recently, OUM cleared the air by elaborating that the exams will be answered as per how we do our assignments. The questions would be released by 1am on Day 1 and students will have time to complete the paper by Day 2 at 8am. The answers are to be typed in a Word document in a size 12 Times New Roman font.

From my perspective as someone who has a job and a family to attend to, the best time for me to complete my exam would be on Day 1 sometime at night – once the kids (and husband) are asleep. At least, I can focus.

Having realized how different learning is nowadays  – I have decided to add on a gadget on my wishlist. A Kindle. From what I have read on most blog reviews, users seem to like it a lot. I wish that there were more local ( Malaysian) reviews but I can’t seem to find much about it. Maybe Malaysians love to read on their smartphones more. It is undoubtedly cost effective that way but I wanted something very specific for reading and free from distractions. So far, I have seen the Kindle (Generation 10) priced between RM450 – RM510 in online stores at Shopee.


Black Kindle E-book Reader On White Textile
Credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/black-kindle-e-book-reader-on-white-textile-2237802/


If you have any thoughts about the Kindle, please let me know in the comments below. cheers…