This post is all about the Kjemi 1 Privatisteksamen.
When you are taking high school exams on your own (in Norway), you are called a privatist.
I didn’t really have a good idea what I was signing up for when I registered for these exams.
Today I had my first of 4 exams. Chemistry I is an oral exam. Here is how it works.
You are asked to come into the examination room alone. There you will pick a random examination sheet. The sheet that you pick has 3 topics. You will be given 30 minutes to prepare the topic number 1. Topic number 2 will be given to you as a surprise later on. Topic 3 is a lab procedure (ex: titration). If you are unsure about the lab procedure just use some of the time you are given alone to look it up in your book.
You are asked to come into a (silent) ‘reading room’ and the next candidate will come in and pick his/her sheet.
30 minutes after you are called in the examination room with the 2 professors.
My 1st topic was ‘Chemical Reactions and Calculations’.
- What type of reactions do you know about?
- Give us examples of each one of them.
- I was given a very simple stoichiometry problem to solve.
Then I was asked about the lab procedure. The problem given to me was a titration of a strong acid with a strong base (HCl with NaOH).
- What’s the name of this? And this? [Lab material]
- Do you know the name of this liquid? [Indicator]
- What colour does it turn into when it’s acidic/basic?
- What is this for? [Lab material]
So you can see that you should be prepared to be asked about lab material. It didn’t take long for them to understand that I don’t have any lab experience.
Next, they told me how the titration is done. They talked through the procedure from beginning to end but we didn’t get to perform it. Then they just gave me some data. The amount of HCl was 20ml and we had used 10ml of NaOH with a concentration of 0,1M. What was the concentration of HCl?
I solved it with no problem and then I got the surprise question.
- What is the difference between homogeneous and heterogeneous reactions?
This was it. After this last question I was invited to leave the room for a moment and 2 or 3 minutes later I was given my grade.
The exam wasn’t nearly as difficult as I thought it would be. I was prepared for so much complex and deeper problems. Moreover, if you want to do very well on this exam, you better know something about the lab part. They expect you to know the names of the objects and what they’re used for. For me, this was kind of unexpected. I had no idea that this was so important for them.
The oral exam for Chemistry II in on the 24th of April and I have less than 2 weeks to study the material. If they expect me to know much more about the lab procedures, then I will suck big time.
I am happy that I am done with this exam. It was an experience after all. I’ll definitely learn from it.
The school where I took was so charming. I loved it! It makes me remember Hogwarts in a way. Here are some shots that I took before the exam. I was trying to chill out outside and enjoyed the warmth of the sun for a long while.