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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Final Exam from Hell

If you read my very melodramatic post about feeling like a failure, then you already know that I have not had the best of luck with final exams this semester, or should I say final exam.

I only had 2 final exams to take this semester. One of them went great, and I passed it without a problem. The other one, however, is what I will call the final exam from hell. It has not gotten this name because it is a difficult exam, but rather just because of my horrible luck in trying to take it.

It all started when I thought the time of the exam was 2 hours later than it actually was. So, when I showed up to the lecture hall to take it, all of my classmates were standing outside, talking about how they thought they did.

Commence panic and crying.

After a good cry on the German boyfriend's shoulder, I came to my senses and realized thanked the German gods of bureaucracy that every student gets 3 tries to take a final exam. The re-take for this exam was scheduled to be held 6 weeks later. So, I sat and waited (well, in the meantime I did write 4 term papers and take the other final exam).

Unfortunately, nobody mentioned to me that I would have to register for the second exam. More importantly, I had exactly 7 days to register, a time period which ended exactly one week before the re-take exam was held. So, by the time I decided to start studying for the exam again, 6 days before it would be held, I realized one day too late that I was not registered.

Commence panic and more crying.

Looking up the rules online, I immediately saw that "late registration is now allowed." I ran to the information desk at the university that afternoon, and in typical German bureaucratic fashion, I got passed around from person to person until I finally received the name of someone who only works three days per week from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. So, I sent her an email, begging to be able to take the damn test.

The next day, I received a reply in which she gave me yet another name. So, when emailing him, I sent my professor an email as well. Luckily, both men got back to me that afternoon and said that they "understand my irritation with the situation," and that I can, in fact, take the exam.

Commence a different kind of panic.

By the time I got official word that I could take the exam, there were only 4 days left to exam day. So, I studied my butt off for 4 days and made sure to show up on exam day 30 minutes early. In typical German style, there were already people there before me.

Anyways, on February 17th at 12:15 p.m. GMT+1, I finally laid pen to paper and took the final exam from hell. I actually took it! Now, let's just hope I pass it, or I will have to use my third and final attempt to take the damn test again, and I don't know if my heart could take it.


  1. I definitely do not miss exams! Good luck for the results!

  2. Oh no, that sounds like - compared to registration processes at German universities - the test itself was a piece of cake ;)

    Maybe it helps: I often stood in the hallways of my university crying and swearing at once because secretary A send me to secretary B who sent me to professor X who basically never talks to students himself and therefor has no office hours but a note on his wall with his secretary's name on it.
    This secretary (C) was on vacation: Her fill-in (secretary B) however had no idea what to do with my concern.

    Actually it's a miracle that I've ever made it to graduation.
    Do you know the animated movie Asterix and Obelix vs. Ceasar? One of their tasks is to get into the house which produces madness. They need to get "permit A 38". And everyone who walks out of this house is out of his freaking mind,
    That's how I've felt constantly at university.

  3. Wow! what a terrible experience. I hope you still passed!
    Your blog popped up on my bloglovin as recommendation and I got super excited! I'm German and I am studying in the US right now and I was looking for a blog like yours to see how Americans experience living in Germany. I will definitely check back regularly from now on. I also followed you on some social media networks, for stalking purposes ;)
    Liebe Grüße aus Virginia,

  4. Yikes, that sounds like a nightmare, but also a pretty standard way of doing business in Germany. *sigh*

    I am proud of myself for knowing who Asterix and Obelix are at all. I've never seen the movie, but that sounds like a great satire of Germany's bureaucracy. I've come out of the Ausländerbehörde more than once feeling like I was losing my mind.

  5. That's awesome, thanks for stopping by :)

    I just checked out your blog, and it looks it's definitely easier for an American to get a visa in German than a German in the U.S. (although I do complain about the German system a lot... hahah).

  6. I used to love reading about people stressing about over final exams after I had finished my Bachelor's. Now that I started my Master's, however, it's not funny anymore.

  7. Oh my, what a hassle! I hope you did great on the test!

  8. Oh you really need to watch it ;)

  9. Awesome, thanks! Also, I had no idea Asterix and Obelix existed in English.

  10. Oh boy. What an ordeal! GOOD LUCK!!

  11. Awww that's so frustrating!!! I'm crossing my fingers that everything works out for you xo

  12. It's especially annoying that I still haven't gotten any of my grades from last semester, and the new semester is already beginning! I wish I knew how a professor graded my final paper before I take a class with that professor again... Silly German system.

  13. Seriously!!! They take FOR-EVER with grades!!!

  14. My classmates were all impressed that one professor promised to get our grades to us within 4 weeks of us turning in our final paper. Don't US professors do it within like 1 week? Or am I remembering everything wrong?

  15. haha YES! They have to have them before semester grades are due...which is a week (usually) after final examples in the USA!


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