Friday, 7 August 2009

M257 Exam Results and a new MacBook Pro 13" Mid 2009

The result paper came through today for this exam and I scored 95% OCAS score and 80% in the exam giving me a Pass 2 which I'm a little disappointed with. It is a good score but I thought that I had done enough to get that extra few percent for the Distinction I wanted for this course.

In different news I managed to buy a new MacBook Pro 13" with a huge discount thanks to apples Higher Education and Back to School offers. The HE discount is available for Open university students!!! Just phone up and explain your an OU student and you want to take advantage of the HE discounts and they will apply them, this gives you 14% off the price. The back to school promotion running until the end of september gives you an iPod touch for free (after rebate from apple) which you can then sell on to bring the price of the mac computer down even more.

In my case this has meant the £899 13" After 14% discount is around £772.00 with a further £145 off after I sell the ipod touch, which isn't bad at all, factor in the sale of my old laptop and a few other bits and its costing me next to nothing! I definitely recommend taking advantage of the offer if your an OU student and interested in buying a Mac.


neil said...

80% in an exam is no slouch, don't be too hard on yourself! ;-) I know the feeling -- if only I'd...
But you have a MacBook Pro!

alanp said...

Whilst my comment is unrelated to this post, I wanted to say a few things about your blog.
After considering studying for my BSc in Computing from the OU for almost a year now, after reading through your blog, I've decided to book my first course which will start October 09. I'm in a similar position to you, and reading your blog has both encouraged and inspired me.
Thank your for your work - keep it up!

(oh... and wish me luck!)

Tim said...

Hi Simon,

I know exactly how you feel since I also got 95% in the OCAS but only 74% in the exam. Still comfortably in the Pass Grade 2 range, but I was a long way from the distinction I would have liked (I've been an OO programmer for quite few years, albeit not using Java).

Although the course generally wasn't too taxing I didn't enjoy it - I thought some of the applets in the TMAs were very oddly designed - not good examples. And since we weren't even allowed to annotate our handbooks for the exam it essentially became a memory test on the contents of the units, rather than a test on the understanding and application of OO principles.

I definitely preferred M255, which had quite an overlap with the beginning of M257 but seemed of more practical use to me (and where I got a distinction :).

Andy said...

Hi Simon

I scored 81% in the exam, so I share your frustration.

I agree with Tim that the exam is fundamentally a memory test. If we all had to take it again this morning what would we score? 40%??

Still, another one in the bag.

Good luck on M253


Andy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Simon said...

Hi all,

Thanks for the comments. In regards to the memory test I completely agree, the majority of my revision was based on going over past papers and trying to make sure I could recall everything. I also agree that M255 felt like a great course, however I did enjoy M257 and the fact that we used a more professional IDE and took concepts further made this a great course for me. Just a shame about the result.

Alan! Thanks for your comments, I am really glad your going to study with the OU and can 100% say that it will be a life changing experience, you'll thoroughly enjoy yourself. Good luck and may the long nights in the books be few and far between!


Simon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tim said...


I use Visual Studio at work, and while I'm no .net fanboy (I'm getting into more open source in my free time), IMHO the Visual Studio IDE is way nicer. Sometimes it's a bit overpowered and I don't use the visual designer for web stuff but the intellisense and auto indent is much slicker and makes netbeans feel pretty clunky to me (admittedly I often think the java vm feels laggy and clunky).

Of course the hardcore will always resort to text editors anyway (vi anyone?).

ps Perhaps I preferred M255 because I did get a distinction in that (99/85 on OCAS/OES). Perhaps I should have done more than two evenings revision for M257. ;-)