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December 14, 2008

Taking Tests, Finally

Filed under: School — Robert John Ed @ 3:23 am

My last final is Monday morning, in Finance.  We have only had three classes this second part of the semester [“only” being a relative term, :-)] but it has felt like quite a bit more.  The course load of Managerial Accounting was extremely intensive and it kept things busy.  So we have taken a few tests now and Monday is the last.  

What strikes me as odd is how much people are studying at this point in the term.  To me, it seems like we should have already learned the material and that studying now is somewhat superfluous.  Don’t get me wrong, I plan on spending a few hours tomorrow running through some financial projections and discounting free cash flows backwards and forwards, but overall only a few hours or so.  Many other students are spending the entirety of the weekend prepping for this.  This is by no means a statement toward me having a greater knowledge of the material.  It’s just the notion that we have a tendency to overwork ourselves.  A grade is just a grade.  It isn’t truly representative of what you actually learned in a class.  That said, we all want to do well.  It validates the time we took and the effort we put in, but at the same time, when is enough enough?  Companies don’t hire report cards.  They  hire people who apply the knowledge they’ve procured as best they can.  To that end, it seems like we really shouldn’t have to study for these finals at all.  At least not a huge amount.

The previous two finals were about the same for me and though I hardly hit them out of the park, they were an adequate representation of my knowledge on the course.  This is a segue to what are the real takeaways for these courses in terms of where you go work.  That is a HUGE post in itself, but I’ll say this, the idea of business school is to round out your understanding of principles that are generally used throughout businesses of all kinds.  The point is not to memorize formulas and recite incessant lists that mean little to nothing on a day to day.  Keeping your head clear and realizing this is critical, but easily forgotten due to tunnel vision.  I’m not sure there is a great answer to combatting this, we all  have our own coping mechanisms and tendency toward regression.  Maybe a break will clear things up.  Luckily, that break is only a few days away.

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