What are Assignments and Evaluations like in Finnish Universities?

man study

Questions that always come to new international students’ mind are: How will I be graded? What assignments do I have to do to pass the course? Are there any exams? Coming from a different continent, you might find how Finns do in Finland very different from your previous learning experience. While some students can adapt to new situations very well, some need more guidance during the process. No matter what type of students you are, there is surely some information you can take away.

Depending on what program you are in, your courses might be structured in various ways. The following are four common assignments/ evaluations you might encounter when you study in Finland:

Exam

test on blackboard

Fewer and fewer courses in Finnish universities are using exams as an assessment. Exams are usually at the end of the course, if there is one. The content includes what have been covered in the course. Some teachers might tell you in advance what type of test questions there would be. In Finland, however, some courses are taken as “Book exam.” Taking a book exam allows students to personalize their own learning schedule. There are usually a list of reading materials that you need to familiarized yourself with. The exams are usually essay questions.

Essay

typewriter on desk

Essays are common assignments in many countries. Essay is an academic piece of writing that shows your ability to gather information, critique, and organize your thoughts.You are expected to read further about your topic and use references. Usually the topic is your own chosen one regarding to the content of the course. You have a lot of freedom to choose the topic, and you are mostly encouraged to discuss the topic with the teacher. Your instructor will give you certain guidelines for the number of words/ pages. However, from my experience, teachers seldom tell you rules for font, margins, and spacing. Don’t panic! You can always ask for more information or just use the most conventional style for academic writing in your field (eg. APA).

Your university might have some study tools about how to write an essay. For example, Kajaani University of Applied Sciences helps you to understand more about different essays.

Learning Diary

journal writing

This is perhaps the most special type of assignment for me. A learning diary is usually a long process of recording your learning journal in the course. There might be varieties. Some teachers would ask you to submit weekly or all together at the end of the course. But usually you are suggested to write one page of learning diary after each course. I don’t trust my memory that much, so I would take notes in class and write the learning diary as soon as possible.

So what exactly should I write in the learning diary? Many of my friends get stressful because of this new concept and the instructions are usually not so clear. I like to think of learning diary as a creative process. For different courses I have taken, I’ve written the learning diary differently. It is your personal reflection on the class content. However, it is more academic than your typical reflection in, for example, elementary school. You can include some readings from the class, theories mentioned, and connect them to yourself. It is not just a summary of what happened in the classroom. You can raise questions, contemplate, or even confess that you are not really sure what something means. So no worries, write as you wish and enjoy the process.

Presentation

laptop business woman

This is no stranger to students in this era. In Finnish universities, some courses are even constructed mostly on students’ presentations with a discussion afterwards. It might be a group presentation or an individual one. If using English for presentation makes you insecure, you can have notes with you, but practice beforehand so you won’t be just reading the script. If you are using Powerpoint, make sure your content is clear and concise. TED talk speakers usually have great presentation skills. Here is an article on tips for better slides. For more creative presentations, you might even use videos or one of my personal favorites, Prezi.

 

 

Want more tips on studying in Finland? Read more from here!

 

Latest from our blog

January 23, 2018

“Living in Finland has taught me to face my heart. It conquers my fear of getting to know myself.”

Meet Coco Wu, a 23-year-old adventurer studying and working in Finland Coming from China, life in Finland was not easy for Coco at first glance. […]

→ Read more

January 16, 2018

An interview with Hyejin Lee, a graduate student in Finland from South Korea

Hello Hyejin! Please tell us about yourself. Hi, My name is Hyejin from South Korea. I am currently studying Cultural Studies Master’s Program. Why did […]

→ Read more

January 11, 2018

10 Funniest Finnish Expressions and How to Use Them

Each language has their own specific expressions. Sometimes they may seem weird and funny to those who are new to the language. However, those funny […]

→ Read more

December 26, 2017

Studying in Finland “was something that you can’t really experience elsewhere”

An interview with Hunter Deligeersang, a former HELBUS student Hunter Deligeersang is originally from a small town in western China, very close to the boarder […]

→ Read more

December 19, 2017

Top 5 must experience winter activities in Finland

From December until May, Finland, especially the Northern area, is covered by magical snow. One of the main reasons people around the world come to […]

→ Read more

December 12, 2017

Top 5 Popular Jobs in Finland

First class working conditions and employee security, high paying per capital and international working environment make Finland an ideal workplace for everyone. People with different […]

→ Read more

December 5, 2017

Into the Forest I Go: A Finnish Documentary

Lakes and forests are perhaps my very first impression of Finland. When the plane took me from home, almost 8,000 kilometers away to this foreign […]

→ Read more

November 28, 2017

Top 5 Delightful Finnish Traditional Christmas Dishes

You already know Santa Claus is from Finland, and people around the world send letters to Santa Claus every year to wish a Merry Christmas. […]

→ Read more

Hear the latest from Edunation

Subscribe to our newsletter

Edunation, Vuorikatu 3, 33100 Tampere, Finland +358 50 354 8603
Mon-Fri, 8am-4pm (GMT +2)
© 2018 Edunation

Site by Atomi