Exams at HKUST

[Repost from my old blog] Many people complain about exams at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology – too many, too difficult, too competitive. I will go over the courses I have taken in the first half of my studies there in a course-by-course-manner, and I’ve only included exams that account for at least 20% of the course grade. Exam here means that it is a written test which is held at a specific time with all of the students enrolled in the course present.

Fall 2011 [first semester]

  • ACCT2010 – Principles of Accounting I – 1 Midterm Exam, 2 Quizzes, 1 Final Exam = 4
  • ISOM2500 – Business Statistics – 2 Midterm Exams, 1 Final Exam = 3
  • MATH1003 – Calculus and Linear Algebra – 1 Midterm Exam, 1 Final Exam = 2
  • LANG1410 – Latin and the Roman Empire – 1 Midterm Exam, 1 Final Exam = 2
  • LABU2050 – Language for Business – No Exams
  • MGMT2010 – Organizational Behavior – 1 Midterm Exam, 1 Final Exam = 2

Spring 2012 [second semester]

  • ECON2103 – Principles of Microeconomics – 1 Midterm Exam, 1 Final Exam = 2
  • ISOM2010 – Information Systems – 1 Midterm Exam, 1 Final Exam = 2
  • ISOM2700 – Operations Management – 2 Midterm Exams, 1 Final Exam = 3
  • MARK2010 – Marketing Management – 2 out of 3 Quizzes = 2
  • FINA2303 – Financial Management – 1 Midterm Exam, 1 Final Exam = 2
  • SOSC2740 – Gender and Society – 2 Quizzes = 2
  • GBUS2010 – Global Business Case Analysis – No Exams

Fall 2012 [third semester, including winter course]

  • ISOM3710 – Management Science – 2 Midterm Exams, 1 Final Exam = 3
  • MGMT2120 – Business, Society and Individual – No Exams
  • GBUS3020 – Global Business Case Analysis – No Exams
  • HUMA2635 – Cultural Diversity in China – 1 Final Exam = 1
  • HUMA1000 – Cultures and Values – No Exams
  • UROP1100 – Research – No Exams
  • ISOM4740 – Enterprise Resource Management – 1 Final Exam = 1

If we look at the average of these figures we can get a clearer picture:

  • Semester 1:  13 exams in total, 2.2 exams per course, or 2.6 exams per course that has any exams.
  • Semester 2: 13 exam in total, 1.9 exams per course, or 2.2 exams per course that has any exams.
  • Semester 3: 5 exams in total, .83 exams per course (excluding UROP1100), or 1.7 exams per course that has any exams.
  • Total: 31 exams in total, 1.6 exams per course, or 2.2 exams on average among those courses which have exams.

But what does that really tell us? Are there too many exams? Does it hinder how we learn? I’d be glad to hear your comments 🙂

Rainbow Village in Taichung

What? The Rainbow Village is actually called the Hun An Military Dependents’ Village 春安眷村, or 台中彩虹眷村] . It features several painted walls and a painted ground. For more details and background information I recommend you to go over to The Daily Bubble Tea. Naturally, the bright colours make it an amazing photo opportunity.


When to go? As the artist is still living there himself I would discourage you from going too early or too late. Naturally that means that you should go during the daytime. More importantly, the colors will likely shine brighter on a sunny day.

How to get there? Via Google Maps you can find the Rainbow Village’s locationGetting there by public transportation from Taichung Station is possible on buses 30 and 27 (and possibly others). For more details you can check Google Maps, which is a resourceful tool at your hand in Taiwan: It has all the routes, departure times, and even guides you step-by-step.

Would I recommend it again? It’s probably not the first on your list if you’re in Taichung. However, if you have time, it’s definitely worth a location worth paying a visit. More importantly, it’s a nice day-time activity, and you can always check out Feng Chia University at night.

Questions? Please do not hesitate to contact me. 😉

The Dogs of NCCU

Ask any of my friends or family and they’ll tell you that I’m not a big dog-lover! In fact, until recently I was horrified and aghast whenever a dog would pass by, particularly when unaccompanied or not on the leash. Word has it I once crossed street sides, though I prefer to nor recall that 😉

That has changed pretty dramatically over the past few months in Taiwan. Dogs are just everywhere in Taipei (and probably even more so in the rest of the island). There’s a dog outside my apartment, a dog on my way from the bus-stop, and of course there are many dogs splattered across the beautiful campus of the National Chengchi University 政大 (NCCU).

Those dogs at NCCU are not of the cute type. They don’t get to see a hair-stylist, nor are they being driven around in the MRT in a special pushchair. They’re much rather stray dogs. But don’t get me wrong – they have a home, right here at NCCU. It just seems that few people actually care about them. They don’t sleep inside on a (probably not that) cold and (very) rainy night. As a matter of fact, they seem to be just fine by themselves. The relationship between humans – students, staff – and the dogs really seems to be characterized by quiet neglect on the parts of the dogs, and frequent public affection or rare public disgust on the part of humans.

As a matter of fact I believe that NCCU would be a different university if it were not for those stray dogs. They give the library-hall the smell, the general street the feeling of exploration and wilderness, and students a steady source of affection and/or fear. See a dog strolling through the ground floor of the College of Commerce, and you’ll know you’re at NCCU. Look next to your seat in front of the library and see human’s best friend (or smell it), and you’ll fall in love with NCCU in an instant (or panic!). Those dogs strongly contribute to this university’s culture.



King of the loafers, right in front of the library.

Students play with the dogs in front of the library!

Students play with the dogs in front of the library!

It seems tha dog-haters just can't voice their arguments. I'm sure, dog-lovers are deceived by what they perceive to be cute appearence ;)

It seems that dog-haters just can’t voice their arguments effectively.Probably dog-lovers are deceived by what they perceive to be cute appearence 😉


When people criticize HKUST for lacking culture, for being too focused on academics, or for neglecting students’ happiness, I can’t help but believe that some campus-dogs would help our university! Just kidding, I still don’t like dogs.