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Which are the different types of exams?

Term paper

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Lectures are completed with a written exam (90 minutes) or test (<90 minutes). The lecturer decides about his/her specific exam conditions. S/he will explain it at the beginning of the course. The written exam normally consists of questions directly referring to the lecture’s topics. We recommend attending the lectures regularly and always reading the basic texts. If you have understood issues within their contexts, you don’t have to learn by rote at the end of the semester.


Some lectures prefer three essays instead of a seminar paper. An essay examines a scientific question in a precise and ambitious form (about 5-8 pages). In contrast to a seminar paper, the essay is not a systematic and comprehensive handling of a topic but more a “lax”, but critical reflection. A good essay needs to raise an interesting question that has to be answered plausibly (question, thesis and topic). It also needs an argumentative structure.

The Harvard College Writing Center provides valuable strategies for essay writing.

Oral Exam

An oral exam takes about 20-30 minutes. The lecturer will explain his/her conditions at the beginning of the seminar. You either choose two or three topics from the seminar or you prepare a lecture about a topic of your choice and the lecturer will ask some additional questions. A good preparation is to hold a speech about your topic on your own or to your friends.


Check here guidelines on how to prepare and conduct a power point presentation.