Exams and grading, TAM 2030, Spring 2009

The prelims and final exam are closed book, no notes, no calculators. Prelims are designed for completion in 90 minutes but will allow extra time to eliminate time pressure. No extra time on the final exam (University policy). All material from the course, homework and labs can be on the prelims.

Homework exam: If you can do all the homework you are guaranteed a grade of C via the optional homework exam on Saturday May 2, 1-5pm, Thurston 201. On it will be 4 problems which will be homework problems, or parts of homework problems, with slight changes so that memorizing answers won't help. If you can do 3 of them fully correctly (good work, correct answer) in 4 hours you are guaranteed a grade of at least C. Prior email permission required to take this exam.

Warning: In a past experiment very few students who said "I can do the homework, I just can't do the exams." could actually do the homework, perhaps because of not following the advice in the first 3 sentences of the "study advice" on the homework page and in the preface ("To the student") of the book.

Prelim Schedule

Prelim 1: Feb 24 Tu 7:30-9PM+, Rooms posted on HW page, Three questions. Extra time allowed. Solution.

Prelim 2:
March 24 Tu 7:30-9PM+, Rooms posted on HW page, Three questions. Extra time allowed. Solution.

Prelim 3:
April 14 Tu 7:30-9PM+, Rooms posted on HW page, Three questions. Extra time allowed. Solution

Early makeup prelims for those with conflicts:
4:30 PM, same day, with prior email permission from the head TA.You must stay in the exam room from 4:30 until 7:30, bring food (we will give you a note excusing you for lateness to your next test). Thurston 202.
Makeup prelim:
For students who missed both a prelim and its early makeup, there will be a comprehensive makeup exam on Saturday May 2, 9:00-11:30am+, Thurston 201.
Regrades: If you think one of your prelims was graded inappropriately:  1) Don't write anything on your exam booklet. 2) Make sure you know how to do the problem correctly. 3) Show your issue to a TA or Prof in the course to see if they think you might have a point.  4) Write an essay about why you should get more points, if it helps mark up a photocopy of your work.  5) Give your book with the essay to your TA.

Final Exam (comprehensive): May 8 Friday, 2 - 4:30 PM (Room TBA). No extra time. On average the questons will be no longer than the problems on the prelims. No makeup or early makeup is planned. Some categories below will be represented.   Solution.

1) A structure or mechanism problem.
2) A problem very similar to a problem already on a prelim.
3) A problem very similar to a homework problem.
4) A text problem that was not assigned.
5) A sample problem in the book.
6) Something related to one of the labs, possibly not in the homework.

Final grade: After rescaling the 9 prelim problems the lowest 2 will be dropped. Together the best 7 prelim question scores count for about 40% of your grade. The later questions count for more than the earlier questions (so there is motivation to take the later prelims even if early scores are good). After dropping the lowest two homeork grades the homework will count as about 10% of your grade; the final homeworks count slightly more than the earlier homeworks (so there is motivation to do them). The final exam counts about 35%, and the labs about 15%. TA can add a few points for good section, office hour, or bonus project performance. One bonus point (1%) for completing a course evaluation form. The median student will get a B or B+ depending on overall class performance.

Write to TAM 203 Staff