Emily Lam

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Exams! D8

Quick Update: Foliage, foliage foliage. It's starting. And with my view of the esplanade and Charles River, it will be beautiful. =] And yes this post was not written on today but a day previous to today.

Okay, so my first rounds of midterms are over. Yeys! And each exam was pretty different, format wise, from the other. Rather than a post about all the different types of exams in general, I thought I could blog about the five midterms I took and some pros and cons of each my exam's style and how I did on the exam.

Midterm 1: Physics.
Format: Physics midterm are probably the same nationwide. You are provided with a formula sheet with basically every equation you will need plus more. Part of the exam is figuring out which equations you need. And the exam consists of basically open response type questions and maybe one or two multiple choice concept questions. For the open response questions, you can get partial credit.
Advice: As a general rule of thumb, you should probably write down everything you know. You can usually earn points for copying the equations you need to use from the formula sheet. However, most problems will require analysis and manipulation of the formulas to get the correct answer.
Pros: Partial credit.
Cons: Typically difficult.
Class average: Low, 56.
Me: Thumbs up, I like the exam style. Pretty run of the mill and as expected. My grade: 70.


Midterm 2: Electric Circuit Theory
Format: This exam was all open response. We are given a circuit and we have to solve for a certain element, whether it be current, voltage, Thevenin resistance, etc. However, unlike the physics exam, we are allowed to bring in a single sheet of notes. However, there was no partial credit at all. Graded solely on answers.
Advice: Write as small and as much as you can on your notes sheet.
Pros: Notes sheet.
Cons: No partial credit.
Class average: Medium, 62.
Me: Eh, I don't really like that there was no partial credit but I do like the fact that we can bring a sheet of notes. My grade: 75

Midterm 3: Mechanics
Format: Multiple choice but not really. The exam was multiple choice but if you did not show work, you wouldn't get points for the right answer. Also, most of the answers for the multiple choice was none of the above and you had to provide your own answer. There was also an open response.
Advice: Solve the problem first without looking at the answers and then pick the answer that matches your answer.
Pros: Um . . . not your run of the mill exam.
Cons: Exam style made you doubt yourself.
Class average: High, in the 80s. The high class average I think is more reflective on the professor than the students. Other mechanics classes with different professors did not have as high a class average.
Me: Hmm, the exam style really messes with you but I like that it's different from other exams. My grade: 96.

Midterm 4: Design and Manufacture
Format: Take home exam. Most questions asked you to identify a certain material or technique and to distinguish it from another. There were some calculation questions, such as finding thermal expansion of a certain metal at a certain temperature. And there was a lot of questions on how you would make so and so. I haven't received the exam back yet so I'm not sure how it was graded.
Advice: Use the index of your book.
Pros: Take home exam
Cons: Tedious
Expected class average: High
Me: Eh, it just took up time. Some questions didn't have a clear-cut answer and some answers weren't in the book. My grade: Not yet received.

Midterm 5: Arts of Asia
This was an exam type I was not expecting. It was a powerpoint exam which I guess is the standard for art history exams. But this being the first art history course I've ever taken, I was shocked. Basically, an artwork is projected on a slide, and you have to identify the artwork and write its significant or answer the question on the slide. Each slide was shown for about 4 minutes.
Advice: Memorize themes attributed to certain time periods.
Pros: Memorization
Cons: Time constraint.
Class average: Slightly High, 82.7
Me: Eh, this was new to me. The time constraint really messed with me. I felt I did not have time to adequately write a significance for each artwork. My grade: 94.6 (A)

This doubles as my "update on my classes" post I like to post each semester. And overall, I'm doing okay. Above average, but not great. I'm aiming for great.

Wow, what a boring post.

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