King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) held final exams for the first semester of the academic year 2020/2021. The on-campus exams involved preparatory and first-year students, and postgraduate students. Exams were also held in various regional centers in the Kingdom from Thursday to Wednesday, 24-30 December 2020.
The exams include 13 courses for the preparatory and first academic year, including English, Mathematics, and other subjects.
4311 students took the exam in Dhahran, 1,286 in Riyadh, 1,254 in Jeddah, and 247 students in Abha.
The in-class examinations were organized and carried out with strict adherence to the precautionary guidelines set out by the government. Precautionary measures and procedures were in place to ensure the maintenance of social distancing, both during the exams and in the entry and exit of students from exam sites.
Fahd Al-Khalidi, an MBA student, described the exams as a good experience.
He thanked the University for the well-organized procedures and the precautionary measures, and the continuity of education despite the pandemic situation.
As for Walid Al-Barait, an aeronautical engineering student, he believes that the University has dealt with the current situation in the best possible and most efficient way.
Leila Abdullah, an MS student in bioengineering, appreciated the well-organized procedures for the examination and states she prefers the in-class exams because the presence of female colleagues relieves tension.
However, Mr. Hussein Saeedan Al-Mostaneer, a student on the Master of Business Administration, explained that his preference for the in-class exams was to avoid the technical problems he faced in some previous exams conducted online.
Many students, including Ibrahim Al-Jarash, a first-year student in Control and Instrumentation Systems Engineering, set out the reasons for the student’s preference for in-class exams in general saying the in-class exam provides a better environment away from the problems of the Internet and disturbances at home.
Approximately 1,600 preparatory and first-year students took the final exam in Mathematics on Wednesday 30, December 2020 on campus.
Dr. Muhammad Abu Subaih, the coordinator of undergraduate programs in the Department of Mathematics, pointed out that all the necessary precautionary measures for COVID-19 had been taken, as every student had to present a negative COVID-19 test result, maintain physical spacing, and wear a facemask.
Dr. Abu Subaih added that the same measures were in place for the midterm exam and the results were excellent.
He stated that the reason for conducting exams in-class was to ensure the best possible quality for the exam.
Finally, he added that for COVID-19 patients, another exam would be arranged for them after they recovered.
While Mr. Walid Al-Awish, PhD in Civil Engineering, praised the organization and spacing among students, he mentioned that some students had to come from far away, even though some exams could have been held online due to the nature of the exam and the course.
Sami Al-Mutairi, an MBA student, said his experience was good, but taking the exam wearing a facemask was uncomfortable, and the atmosphere in the halls was inappropriate.
He added that the procedures for postgraduate exams would have been better if the students' temperature was checked before entry.
From a female perspective, Mabkhouta Al Marri, MS student in bioengineering, said that the experience, in general, was wonderful and beautiful, and that adopting female education at KFUPM allowed them to get acquainted with scientific scholars and they were proud to be their students.
She said, the coeducational university experience, in general, came against their expectations, and it was very good, as was the examination, but it seemed that some needed more time to become accustomed to the presence of female students and to deal with them.