Here are some questions asked recently or asked commonly by 1122 students, and the answers to those questions.
1. What should I focus on for the exams?
I will make up the exams by first going through my lecture notes and looking for things to ask about. I usually come up with at least 75% of the questions that way. Thus the first part of the answer is: focus on the lecture material.
I come up with the rest of the exam questions (<25%) by looking through the textbook (Stanley's book in our case) and any other assigned readings (like Web material). If Stanley devotes significant attention (at least a full paragraph if not a few paragraphs) to a topic, I may ask a question about it. I don't intend to ask questions about something that Stanley gives just passing mention.
2. How will creation stories be covered on exams?
They won't be covered at all on the two mid-term or hourly exams. They will be covered on the final exam, as follows. For the final exam, we will pick four stories for which you will be responsible. We (the whole class, in class) will pick them after we read the last story (on November 21, if all goes as planned), so you will have a couple of weeks to review just those four stories for the final exam. At present, all that's required is what has gotten us through class - having read each story well enough to summarize it briefly and to discuss it.
3. What parts of the lectures are material for exam questions?
Everything covered in lecture is material that may be the subject of a question on an exam. We haven't been wasting lecture time on irrelevant material.
4. Will there be a study guide distributed before each exam?
No, because a study guide would have to recapitulate everything we've covered in lecture. Your lecture notes are your best study guide for the exam.
5. The text has a CD-ROM at the back. On exams, are we responsible for material on it?
6. Are we responsible for reading assignments on the World Wide Web?
Yes. For the first exam, that includes the "What is Science?" readings.
7. Will Exam II be similar to Exam I?
In general, yes. Because Exam II covers fewer lectures, it may draw on the textbook a little more than Exam I did. Remember that you have last year's Exam II available to you - see the link off the main 1122 page.
8. My course grade at this point is not too good. Are there any words of encouragement?
Yes: The final exam will probably improve your grade. The Final exam will, in terms of points, be
50% material from the Part IV of the course;
25% an essay question, one of four that you already have available to you (see the main page for the link);
and 25% an essay question (you've already got the essay question) over one of four creation stories (we'll choose the four creation stories after we're done reading all of them).
Many students almost automatically get all 50 of the 50 points on the essay questions because they're prepared for those questions. That means that a student who typically gets a 60 on the hourly exams can reasonably get an 80 on the final (50 from the essays + 0.60 x 50 from the "normal" exam).
9. What happens to our participation grade if we're never called on?
You get the full 5%. In essence, everyone starts with the full 5%. Only if somone is called upon and does not or can not respond do they lose that 5%.
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