Friday, October 24, 2008

Up to date

A student was in the CIL Lab taking the Computer Systems test today, which covers parts of a computer, security, networks, and the like. He would fail, study for a couple minutes, and take it again.

After the third fail in a row, I asked him if there was anything he wanted to talk about. He just asked how up to date the test is and brought up a particular question as an example. It asked about how current processor speed is measured. He was answering megahertz, since he was assuming the test was way out of date. You think it's that out of date? It's been since about 2001 or 2002 that computer manufacturers passed the gigahertz mark.

I mean, my phone, which is about a year old, only runs about 200 MHz, but it's a phone, not a full-fledged computer. No one cares about the processor speed of their phone (other than perhaps me, since I actually know what it is). But when was the last time you were discussing a relatively new computer and quoted the speed in megahertz? Of course you don't remember, because it's been gigahertz for the past 6 or 7 years.

He passed it the fourth time, with his score jumping up about 15%, easily clearing the minimum required score.


Sterling said...

15% passes huh? It must have required too many Megahertz to just hook a pulse meter up to the computer to pass if the test taker is alive, fail if they are dead? Actually, I can see a false positive could be registered if the test taker were to slump over dead and accidentally hit their head on the keyboard, registering a response and therefore a pass. Wow! who would have thought it would be so difficult to limit out zombies?

robmba said...

I have edited my post, so your comment no longer makes sense. Take that. Yeah anyway, so his score jumped up 15%, not jumped up TO 15%.

I have, however, seen a student or two that has scored somewhere in the vicinity of 25%. You can completely guess on every answer and score that much.

Sterling said...

such as:

True or False:

1. The computer has a power button.
2. You are a zombie
3. A square has four sides.
4. 1+1=4
5. Using the computer lab to hack into computer networks or distribute viruses is illegal.
6. Your name uses letters to spell it.