Ugh, math exams at the TUM. Time and time again I get frustrated by how much emphasis is put on being able to solve problems fast. Here an example:

Today's exam was for the course "algorithmic discrete mathematics". 5 questions in 60 minutes time with roughly the same amount of points each. That is 12 minutes per question. Let's assume the process of reading the problem and understanding what is to be done takes 3 minutes. Writing down the answer takes another 3 minutes if you have the solution worked out. That leaves only 6 minutes to work out a correct solution.

Knowing that you have very few minutes to come up with a solution creates a lot of pressure, especially if you read the problem and not immediately know the answer.

It punishes exploring multiple paths of reasoning and forces you to pick and follow one path of reasoning without room for error. If after 3 - 4 minutes of thinking you notice your path does not work out you are punished. If you want to double check your answer for errors you are punished. If you make a small mistake that requires a lot of re-writing the answer you are punished.

It punishes exploring multiple paths of reasoning and forces you to pick and follow one path of reasoning without room for error. If after 3 - 4 minutes of thinking you notice your path does not work out you are punished. If you want to double check your answer for errors you are punished. If you make a small mistake that requires a lot of re-writing the answer you are punished.

So these exams are a high-pressure, no-room-for-error situations which in my opinion do not evaluate ones knowledge of the subject matter very accurately. Even less so if you do not have a very good intuition when it comes to problem solving (in general), in other words you are not particularly "clever" or "quick of thought", which I am not particularly.

I would much prefer exams with slightly more complex questions but a much relaxed time constraint like I had in Sweden at the KTH. Or even better, graded homework and/or oral exams.