«In the spirit of today, when I’m handing out the exams, we’re going to further examine the totally suffering individual.»
Professor Ralph Noble, professor of psychology
Ah, written exams. You have to be in a room with students without actually doing much. Just watching like a hawk and listening like a bat to prevent cheating.
Boring and tedious — but it has to be done.
Last exam, I tried out listening to classical music with those Apple EarPods that came with my iPhone. They aren’t shielded against outside noise, so you can still hear everything (plus, there’s a second person in the room listening), yet you can also listen to the music.
And damn, classical music is a great soundtrack to supervise students taking a written exam. Gives those thoughtful to anguished expressions a certain … style. Made the time pass much faster.
So, yeah, if you can still listen for students talking (and/or have someone else who covers that modality, e.g., while that person using his eyes for reading), something to try out (similar to listening to the right kind of music when traveling).