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Exams are a main goal of the game. While there is certainly no lack of other things you will want to achieve during the year, exams are a hard-wired necessity and cannot be ignored.


General Info

You will take exams in the six subjects you chose when enlisting in one of the seven colleges during Character Creation. Two or three subjects are pre-selected by your choice of college, the rest are for you to choose.

Only 17 subjects are available for examinations out of a total of 55 skills. A subject is always a parent skill, which consists of three to seven subskills.

Those subjects you chose (and only those) will have a little white book with your present study level attached left to the parent skill on the list of Skills and Research in the interface under your character's portrait.

Exams will be put into your calendar automatically on the day listed in the information on the parent skill in question in your interface, either Cheimare (half-term examinations after 3 full month) or Kaliri (final exams).

Neither can you avoid exams nor can you miss them by being put in sick-bay due to stress or injuries to your vitality.

As the six courses are graded in various ways, your scores in the examinations will have repercussions on the next year in Academagia. How this will work remains to be seen... But rumor is that very high scores open up specialized classes with additional timeslots in Year 2.

Grading

The exams are graded based on the chosen subject's parent skill and its study level. It seems to be simply Skill Level x Study Level (but there might be slight randomness involved). Extra Credit seems to be added after that but whether it gets added to the Midterm (if earned before it) or to the Final Exam or to the Weighted or Class Grade at the end remains to be seen.

Remember that Parent Skill Level is based on the lowest number of the three highest SubSkills. It will hence not be necessary to bring up all sub-skills of a subject.


Mid-Term

You are supposed to (as in the teachers would prefer it) score a minimum of 50 in the Cheimare mid-term examinations. Hence a study level 10 and parent skill of 5 for every subject would do the trick. Do note that classes teach nothing in the months of the exams: Cheimare and Kaliri.


Final Exam

For the final exams in month Kaliri you will need a 10 in study level and parent skill everywhere to get "100%". Whether or not that is high enough For First Class Honors depends upon the other students and many score higher. Note that you can go higher with Parent Skills with the 11 maximum as well as permanent and temporary bonuses.

If you do too poorly on the exams (such as 20 for Midterm and 60 for Final) then your teachers may punish you with lots of detention in the hopes of making you learn.


Class Grade

Let me start by saying this information was gleaned from Freespace's Gradebook thread. Free deserves a great big thank you and any errors here are very much mine.

Your Class Grade, the grade that determines if you receive Honors, is based on both Exam Scores. However, the Final Exam is much more important as it determines 80% or more of the Class Grade.

The formula is: (Mid-Term Score x Weighted Percentage) + (Final Exam Score x Weighted Percentage). The Weighted Percentage for the Final Exam is the number you see below while the weighted percentage for the Mid-Term is what's left out of 100. Simple enough :) And it should be in decimal format for the formula, so 80% is .8, 95% is .95, etc.

Here is an example: if you scored 48 on your Astrology Mid-Term and a 120 on the Final Exam, the equation would be:
(48 x .1) + (120 x .9) = 112.8

Of course, decimals are not shown in the game and we do not know how they are handled. It may always round up, it may always round down, or it may round how our math teacher taught us (greater than or equal to ≥ .5 is rounded up, lower is rounded down).

Also, the number may actually be rounded after comparing the original to your classmates' scores and only rounded when showing it to you in the game. And whether or not you need to worry about your classmates' scores depends upon the type of grading system the class uses. It is this weighted grade, the Class Grade, that determines your Honors, not your Final Exam...

To find out each class's Final Exam Weighted Percentage, please see the Exam Dates and Details section. And thanks to [Schwarzbart] for the info.

Honors

Distribution

A grading system which follows Council distribution absolutely. The grade is correlated precisely against the suggested distribution. This means that no matter how many Students score greater than 75%, they all receive First Class Honors. This is the second easiest grading system.

Hybrid Distribution

A grading system which incorporates Council distributions on the Cardinalean curve. The Character is graded on the curve, but may not receive a grade that is higher than their test scores would have given them if they had been strictly correlated against the suggested distribution. This means that if they are in the top 10% of your curve, but scored less than 75%, they will not receive First Class Honors. This is the hardest grading system.

Curve

A grading system which follows the Cardinalean curve. The Character is graded strictly on the curve. This means that if they are in the lowest 10% of the curve, they will fail, even if their percentage mark is very high. This is the second hardest grading system.

Hybrid Curve.

A grading system which incorporates Council distributions on the Cardinalean curve. The Character is graded on the curve, but they may receive the grade that their test scores would have given them if they had been strictly correlated against the suggested distribution, if that grade is higher than the one they received on the curve. This means that if the Character is in the lowest 10% of your curve, but scored more than 40%, they will not fail. This is the easiest grading system.

Pass/Not Pass

A grading system for extracurricular subjects. The Character must have a Skill level of 5 in the appropriate Class Skill in order to Pass. Provided that they do not Skip Classes, they should automatically meet this requirement at the end of the Academic Year.

Cardinal distribution

The philosopher, Cardinale, suggested a more stringent form of grading than the guidelines set out by the Praetexta Council. He felt that the Honors system was too fluid, and that a strict distribution of students (not grades) should determine Honors. He felt that competition should be the guiding principle, and that, if enshrined in the grading system, it would cause students to redouble their efforts. This system specified:

First Class Honors: Top 10% of Students

Upper Second Class Honors: Top 30% of Students

Lower Second Class Honors: Top 40% of Students

Third Class Honors: 10% of Students

Failure: 10% of Students

Council Distribution

After the reforms of Nasica Maxima, the Academagia began grading its students based on system of three honors: First, Second and Third Class Honors. The Praetexta Council envisioned these Honors to be a representation of the grasp of the material by the Student. These Honors corresponded directly to a percentage value of points gained, out of a total of 100 points possible. This system specified:

First Class Honors: 75+ points

Upper Second Class Honors: 60-74 points

Lower Second Class Honors: 50-59 points

Third Class Honors: 40-49 points

Failure: 0-39 points


To find out which class uses which grading system, please see the Exam Dates and Details section.


How To

Raise Skills and Study Levels

In real life, you sometimes get the impression that educational institutions are relying on osmosis to impress skills on their students, i.e. making them attend lessons and placing them in the vicinity of as large as number of books as possible. That is actually what the basic Academagia schedule proposes how to get ready for your exams. You are supposed to sit classes and study in the evening, which works as followes:

  • Attending classes (i.e. leaving the calendar as is) will let you sit three classes per calendar slot. This will sometimes grant you a skill step to one random subskill corresponding to the class, per class attended during this slot.
  • The result of attending classes is determined by the time you elect to do so, separately for each of the two slots of classes in the calendar. These are fixed events in the game which are replicable. I.e. if you are not happy with the results of a day, going back to a former safe will always yield the same result, the same number of advances of one skill-step in the same sub-skill(s).
  • In some classes you can get two or three skill-steps which is well worth the time, about half of the time you will get no advance at all. All of this is refers to one slot of classes attended, of which there are usually two per working day. Same with detention.
  • Study (Action) in the calendar dialogue will raise your study level for the subject specified later by 1. As opposed to skills, you will never need multiple skill steps to raise this level by one.
  • Train (Action) in the calendar dialogue will raise a Subskill by one "Skill Step", which may or may not result in the "Skill Level" increasing by one.
  • As you will most likely have found out, the parent skill is determined by the skill level of the subskills it encompasses, more exactly by the highest level of three highest with all other subskills out of consideration. If you have chosen a subject for examinations, you will never have to worry about actually being informed about the existence of a subskill.

Playing the game that way would be more than a bit boring, it also is ineffective. You will have to find more effective ways to get skill steps, i.e. more than one per time slot spent, and do away with the need to spend multiple skill steps on advancing your skills one level.


Raise Skills Faster

There are several abilities which permit multiple skills to be raised, for example Study at the Library of Longshade (Ability) (+1 chosen SS, +1 concentration, +1 random SS), Match Wits with the Emperor Sphinx (Ability) (+1 chosen SS, +1 already known random SS, +1 random SS), and Tour the Tapestry Room (Ability) (gain a pheme, +2 SS Creativity, or +1 SS to 2 random skills).

Selective Focus (Ability) also reduces the number of skill-steps needed to gain skills, it is obtained from Concentration L9.

One plan would be to raise skills in which you have reasonable abilities to prevent the need to spend multiple actions raising one skill level, while undertaking adventures to gain ability points where these are increasing the skill steps required.

Be sure to check the Test Taking Skill for multiple abilities and actions that temporarily or permanently increase Study Levels.


Temporarily Raise Levels

To be added.


Get Extra Credit

Extra Credit is directly added to your Class Grade at the end of the year... probably.


Hamper Others

To be added.


Exam Dates and Details

Subject Mid-term Exam Final Exam Grading Method Narrow Focus Final Weight
Arithmetic 15 Cheimare 23 Kaliri Curve 6 Study Level 95%
Astrology 17 Cheimare 16 Kaliri Distribution 7 Study Level 90%
Athletics 11 Cheimare 26 Kaliri Pass/Not Pass 9 Study Level 80%
Botany 04 Cheimare 24 Kaliri Hybrid Curve 8 Study Level 87%
Calligraphy 01 Cheimare 10 Kaliri Hybrid Distribution 6 Study Level 97%
Dialectic 06 Cheimare 15 Kaliri Distribution 5 Study Level 99%
Enchant 19 Cheimare 19 Kaliri Distribution 9 Study Level 95%
Geometry 05 Cheimare 11 Kaliri Distribution 8 Study Level 95%
Glamour 09 Cheimare 22 Kaliri Distribution 8 Study Level 90%
Grammar 12 Cheimare 08 Kaliri Distribution 4 Study Level 80%
History 08 Cheimare 17 Kaliri Distribution 7 Study Level 80%
Incantation 03 Cheimare 20 Kaliri Distribution 7 Study Level 95%
Music 18 Cheimare 09 Kaliri Pass/Not Pass 5 Study Level 85%
Negation 10 Cheimare 12 Kaliri Hybrid Distribution 5 Study Level 99%
Revision 02 Cheimare 13 Kaliri Distribution 4 Study Level 97%
Rhetoric 16 Cheimare 18 Kaliri Distribution - - - - - - 90%
Zoology 13 Cheimare 25 Kaliri Hybrid Curve 7 Study Level 90%

Notes

  • Some of the above information is in the letters by Gertie you automatically find when you start the year to start you off. You can put those into your wardrobe for reference, there is no need to carry them in your knapsack or actually reading them initially or later on, it has no effects on your choice of actions, abilities or known locations.
  • Some of this information will also be presented to you by choosing Request a Meeting with your Mentor