2016.04.18

Taking a lecture exam in Discrete Mathematics

87 pages of mathematical definitions, theorems and proofs

Many proofs are left out: “Left out as an exercise to the reader / for the practicals”

There are essentially 3 chapters on set and number theory, 3 chapters on combinatorics and 3 chapters on graph theory

Struggled to study/remember all proofs assuming I even found them
Result:

Prof: “You know how to handle the tools, but you don’t know which tools you have”

Prof: “Solve these 12 exercises and we can talk about a grade”
(I was in Japan for 1 year and didn’t care to finish the exercises until 2019)
2019.09

Me: “Can I still take the exam?”

Prof: “Yes, even though I didn’t have exams on this subject since then”

Me: “I solved all 12 exercises. Does it give me any advantage on this exam?”

Prof: “Yes, you only need to study 3 of 9 chapters of the lecture notes”
2019.11.16

I studied the 3 chapters on graph theory and a PDF shows solutions to all 12 problems

Why graph theory? Because set and number theory was covered in a different course, the problems are related to combinatorics and this is my last exam on graph theory (and I never had to look into these kinds of proofs before)

2h 15min oral exam

I am not aware of the fact, that my solutions to the problems were ever considered. Instead, proofs of the generic combinatorial formulas to solve the problems were asked in the exam.

Prof: “Graph theory was okay, but you need to study the chapters on combinatorics again”
In essence: I failed to study all 9 chapters. I managed to solve 12 problems. I successfully studied 3 chapters. And now I need to study 3 chapters more. Apparently, this is going to take me 4 years to get a grade in this course.
But there is also some good news: On Monday, I will take a different exam. And unlike yesterday, today (Saturday) we actually know the time of the exam (please remember that I am working and planning time is important to me).