I have given two out of my three final exams. The last one is tomorrow morning. The logistics of exam administration here is unlike anything I have seen back in the US. Even when I gave (and took) final exams in graduate school, it was nothing like it is here.
Exams are given at 9:00am, 2:00pm, and 5:30pm. We pick up the exams from the exam office. There is one in my building, and one on the other side of campus. In theory, the tests arrive 10-15 minutes before the exams start. They are driven oven from the main exam office in a white pickup truck upon which the KIST logo has been stenciled. Men carry the exams and many exam booklets into the office. I select the envelope that has my exams, take a sufficient number of booklets, and scurry to the room where my exam is held. Yesterday I had an exam at 2:00pm. The exams didn't arrive until 1:59pm. I wasn't too worried, and neither were the students.
The people who watch over the students are known as invigilators. This is a fantastic word. Apparently it is standard British English. It is not a term unique to Rwanda. Since I am the faculty member whose class was taking the exam, I am listed as the chief invigilator. There is also usually a another faculty member present, known as a secondary invigilator.
There is a fair amount of paperwork and signatures involved. There is an attendance sheet that all students must sign. In addition, students are issued an exam card, on which is some special number. They also have to write their special on the attendance sheet and the exam booklet. The chief and secondary invigilators sign the attendance sheet. There is an additional sheet that we both sign. This one just has the basic exam information and information about how many exam booklets we received.
The exam-taking itself is pretty typical. It is a room full of anxious students, writing in their exam books. I think my first two exams went pretty well, although I've not yet taken a close look at the students' work. I will likely start grading in earnest tomorrow afternoon. It will take me quite a few days to do it all.
Once the exams are done, I take all the exam booklets and the various signed forms back to the exam office. I then have to sign another piece of paper that says I am taking the exam booklets to grade. I had large stacks of booklets to carry today. The person working in the exam office expertly tied them into bundles with twine. The stacks are now sitting in my office, waiting to be graded.