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Questions tagged [exams]

This tag is intended for questions about exams as viewed from the point of view of an instructor.

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8 votes
6 answers
4k views

Would you correct grading mistakes downwards if there is a mistake in grading?

In a recent exam, I give student a true or false question asking them to decide if a statement is true. After the grades have been published, a student pointed out that I misread the statement and ...
LeafGlowPath's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
355 views

How to assess students in real analysis?

Terence Tao says the following in the preface to his book Analysis I: With regard to examinations for a course based on this text, I would recommend either an open-book, open-notes examination with ...
Pedro's user avatar
  • 1,800
11 votes
9 answers
4k views

Effectiveness of Requiring Students to Repeat Proofs Presented in Class

In teaching mathematics, I've avoided asking students to replicate proofs I've demonstrated in class, believing this approach primarily tests memorization rather than understanding or critical ...
user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
629 views

Strategies for Fair Assessment in Mixed-Ability Undergraduate Math Classes

In my undergraduate courses (discrete math, linear algebra), students' backgrounds vary significantly. One group has a strong math foundation from high school, while the other, less prepared, ...
user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
226 views

Strategies for Designing Challenging Yet Feasible Quiz Problems for Upper-Level Math Courses

In the past semester, I taught two 7-week courses: discrete math and algorithms designs (which is essentially still math) for undergraduate CS students. I implemented weekly 25-minute quizzes ...
user avatar
9 votes
7 answers
471 views

Loaning students calculators during exams

Context: I am an associate professor at a small liberal arts institution in the US. I find in my introductory business math course that students sometimes fail to buy a calculator for the course, ...
AegisCruiser's user avatar
  • 1,427
-1 votes
2 answers
162 views

I'm in dilemma while solving arithmetic problems [closed]

I'm competitive exam student learning Quantative aptitude what should i choose over solving more questions and skipping the one i can't solve or spending hours on one question till i solve it and then ...
Abhishek's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
2k views

In math exams, how rigorous should the questions be?

We have theoretical questions in our exams (often in ABCD format). For example, I can state the question: For an indefinite integral, does it hold that $\int f(g(x)) \cdot g'(x) \, dx = \int f(x) ...
Jake B.'s user avatar
  • 167
3 votes
0 answers
179 views

Assigning essays in take home exams

I was talking to a college student I know who is currently taking linear algebra. He told me that during his take home midterm/final exams he was assigned essay questions, which surprised me quite a ...
Davis Yoshida's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
239 views

Learning, exams, math degree

I have only passed the one fourth of my courses so far, which means like one year of the maths undergraduate studies. I live in a different place from where the university i study at is and try to ...
plants's user avatar
  • 159
6 votes
4 answers
3k views

Point Deductions - Exams and Quizzes

With regard to an undergraduate statistics course, I am developing a standardized list of point deductions with the TAs (doctoral students) so that graders are consistent in what they are taking off ...
wjktrs's user avatar
  • 171
0 votes
1 answer
85 views

Standardization of evaluation tests [closed]

What kind of standard we need to maintain when preparing advanced level mathematics term test papers ? In many cases I have seen test papers prepared using exactly past paper questions and in some ...
Janaka Rodrigo's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
153 views

As a tutor, should I make students who did badly on timed, closed book past paper tests, do the exact same test again?

As a maths tutor, when I set tests (past papers in particular), if a student does poorly (~50/60% or below), obviously some topics need to be retaught. But should I make them do the exact same test - ...
Adam Rubinson's user avatar
12 votes
12 answers
7k views

How should I grade true-or-false questions if the student's writing is unclear?

See the attached image: I am having a difficult time grading this paper as I am not sure if the student intentionally wrote the answers in such a way that each answer looks like both "T" (...
Zuriel's user avatar
  • 4,275
8 votes
5 answers
487 views

Good exercises that force you to apply the definition of the derivative, without explicitly telling you to do so?

I'd like to ask my students whether some real function is differentiable at a certain $x_0$. I prefer not telling them that they have to use the definition of the derivative, but to instead present a ...
Snaw's user avatar
  • 181
4 votes
1 answer
467 views

Mental Health in Mathematics

I am not sure if my question is relative to this meta but I still want to put forth my thoughts and concerns and questions because I think its not just me but others too who have similar issues. My ...
False Equivalence's user avatar
22 votes
14 answers
13k views

Student asked me if it is necessary to simplify fractions at the end of answering a question. I'm not sure how to respond

I was just tutoring someone and we went through some sort of diagnostic test thing, when the following question came up. Question: Here is some information about $50$ people who took the driving test:...
Adam Rubinson's user avatar
13 votes
5 answers
1k views

Where can I find public repositories of past math exams?

I'm looking for public repositories/banks of past undergraduate math exams. No solutions necessary. I just want inspiration for writing my own exams and practice exams. It'd be nice to collect links ...
Mike Pierce's user avatar
  • 4,845
2 votes
1 answer
201 views

Effect of grades versus pass/fail on teacher education students

Context: University studies in Norway, master level, to become a teacher at either primary education (barneskole, classes 1-7) or mostly middle school level (ungdomsskole, classes 8-10 and pupils of ...
Tommi's user avatar
  • 7,202
14 votes
7 answers
5k views

A smart student that struggles in exams

I am tutoring a grade 8 student that failed his math exam, but surprisingly it seems that he is more than smart enough: he understands everything I say really quickly, and he knows most of the ideas ...
Fareed Abi Farraj's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
473 views

Should we assess ability to use specific problem solving methods, or general ability to solve problems?

This is my first semester being an instructor of record for a college algebra course. One of the sections we cover is "methods of solving quadratic equations", where we discuss factoring and ...
Brain Gainz's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
1k views

How to test student's skills in programming or using software?

I am going to teach an undergraduate statistics course next year. My plan is to spend less time on theory and a more time on teaching students to doing some statistics on computer. However, this ...
user avatar
7 votes
7 answers
4k views

How do you handle the frustration of having to GRADE student exams / homework?

A math student may write very long and detailed answers, just because he or she does not know what to look for, for example in Geometry proofs. Or - a student may just write an arbitrary step without ...
Amir Hardoof's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
321 views

Which areas of maths should underperforming western countries focus on?

I am not sure which StackExchange to ask this question but I am interested in the relative underperformance of Western countries such as Australia, US, UK compared to other higher performing countries ...
Poidah's user avatar
  • 161
6 votes
3 answers
457 views

Create a math quiz with LaTex by randomly choosing questions from a bank

I am looking for a simple solution to the following problem: I would like to create a math quiz with n questions via LaTex (printable, in pdf) where question 1 is chosen randomly from question bank #1,...
andrea's user avatar
  • 61
1 vote
1 answer
161 views

How to create an online examination in a small class that ensures certain academic integrity

I am teaching a Calculus class with around 30 students. The classroom is about 100 m^2. So far I have been using myopenmath.com to assign homework problems to my students. Now I would like to deliver ...
user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
214 views

Do you avoid examples or test questions that showcase an algorithmic plug'n'chug approach?

If we accept that there's not much learning from doing the "same" questions, like find the derivative of $x^2$, and $x^3$, and $x^4$ due to the algorithmic way of how it's done, then what ...
user avatar
12 votes
6 answers
2k views

Question formats for online tests, to deter cheating

I'm teaching calculus 1 online this term and anticipate being plagued by the perennial problem of cheaters. I have seen suggestions for how to arrange the testing time to accommodate for traditional ...
Opal E's user avatar
  • 4,043
4 votes
1 answer
256 views

How should mathematics tests be designed? [closed]

I am speaking about high school mathematics . Students have attended a mathematics course . By the end thereof , students are supposed to be able to: find the limit of a real function f as “x” ...
Aloz371's user avatar
  • 41
12 votes
1 answer
467 views

How, now, shall we teach math online?

Now that everyone has had the experience of teaching math in an online/remote/synchronous/asynchronous format, and looking forward to more of this in the Summer and Fall terms, how do we change our ...
Nick C's user avatar
  • 9,639
8 votes
4 answers
1k views

Acceptability of creative questions in assessments

I am a math teacher and I have been for a decade now. One of the foundations of my philosophical approach to teaching has to do with Synthesis. For the purposes of this query, I consider Synthesis to ...
Mark B's user avatar
  • 133
8 votes
2 answers
277 views

Suggested idea: Course exams written by someone else other than the instructors/coordinators. Good or Bad?

As you might know already evaluating learning outcomes is very difficult. For example, student feedback is not always reliable; there are studies showing inverse relations between student learning and ...
Thomas Kojar's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
117 views

In preparation for exams: question bank or questions with omitted particulars?

I have been doing a little bit of experimenting when it comes time to review with the class in preparation for the final exam. The last handout I have been giving my students has usually been a ...
Andrew Chin's user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
2k views

Take-Home Examination on Ordinary Differential Equations?

I am planning to give my students a take-home examination on ODE. The main topic that I would like to cover is Linear Differential Equations of Order Greater than One. For example, I will give my ...
Zuriel's user avatar
  • 4,275
21 votes
8 answers
3k views

How can I learn to write better questions to test for conceptual understanding?

I'm worried that I'm bad at realizing when a question I've written requires little or no conceptual understanding to answer. Like, when I'm writing a question for a homework assignment or exam, I'll ...
Mike Pierce's user avatar
  • 4,845
-1 votes
1 answer
200 views

Questions about the calculus AP [closed]

I'm not sure if this is the proper place to ask this question, but I figured I'll try anyway. If I have the option of taking a Calculus AP class, and am thinking of pursuing a career in either ...
Burt's user avatar
  • 694
13 votes
6 answers
3k views

Is it a bad idea to offer variants of a final exam based on the type of allowed calculators?

Background/rant: I am in charge of teaching our single quarter course on vector calculus (don't ask me why the department head thinks the area can be covered in half a semester). The two biggest ...
Jyrki Lahtonen's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
746 views

Revision Lecture, what are the aims?

I will give a 2-hour long revision lecture on a Mathematics area. The aim of this lecture is to help the students prepare for the exam test. The course was rather long, covering 5 chapters and a ...
Tester's user avatar
  • 39
1 vote
1 answer
2k views

Motivate your answer vs. Prove your answer

The title is self-explanatory, but what is the appropriate response to "motivate your answer"? Should you prove your answer? Should you just explain it, or give the intuition for it? For example, ...
David J Silverberg's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
767 views

How can I help a student who is constantly struggling in an honors Algebra II (high school) class

I am tutoring a student who is in an honors Algebra II class. The class is definitely advanced and the student hasn't been exposed to this kind of material. The teacher is going beyond algebra II and ...
user130306's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
196 views

For what subjects and grade levels is the take-home exam suitable?

I'm starting my job as a mathematics teacher in an intermediate school. I want to follow some new way of assessment and I'm really curious about take-home exams; are they suitable for any subjects? ...
Nour's user avatar
  • 151
0 votes
3 answers
283 views

Is there a difference in the content taught at each university?

Say you have college A, B and C that are each ranked in the top 100 in the US News or other similar rankings. Admissions (SAT scores, GPA, et cetera) standards, quantitatively, rank A>B>C as the ...
anonymous's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
231 views

Practical ways to check if a student has mastered a particular topic

I've been thinking that in an ideal world math classes would be self-paced, with a student being required to demonstrate mastery in a collection of topics and techniques in order to complete the ...
eternalGoldenBraid's user avatar
7 votes
4 answers
3k views

Students understand during course but can't solve exam

I am teaching a math class where the students, most of them, tell me that they can understand the materials given by me during the course. I test them during the course too and they seem to get it. ...
bms's user avatar
  • 307
8 votes
2 answers
947 views

Should students be given partial scores when they gave an incomplete proof by contradiction?

In a quiz, there was a question asking students to show something doesn’t exist. A lot of them gave proofs by contradiction. Initially, I designed the marking scheme so that an incomplete proof by ...
tonychow0929's user avatar
10 votes
7 answers
3k views

Why don’t all professors let students use notes, books, etc. on exams?

Last semester I had a teacher who let us use any type of information in the exam, for example the course notes, books, solved exercises, etc. The only thing he did not let us use was something ...
user avatar
19 votes
11 answers
12k views

Adding irrelevant humorous questions to a quiz exam

Sometimes, when preparing some calculus exams I try to have a "funny question" such as: T/F I love mathematics T/F Calculus 2 is easier than Calculus 1, ... So my questions are: Do you think ...
Muath Karaki's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
2k views

A student is cheating and I don't know how

I'm teaching a course at a community college called "Business Pre-Calculus", which is basically some varied rudimentary algebraic concepts integrated with some topics from basic economics and finance. ...
bloomers's user avatar
  • 617
6 votes
2 answers
346 views

To which degree should exams test intelligence vs mastery of the material

I think it happens to a lot of students that (at least it feels like) really understanding the material does not really contribute to having a decent grade. It seems to me that quite often exams are ...
Sebastian's user avatar
  • 161
3 votes
0 answers
78 views

Is the annual system still in vogue anywhere in Europe, North America, Australia, or East Asia? And what about the 2-year B.A. / B.Sc. degree?

In Pakistan, we have until now had 2-year B.A./B.Sc. and 2-year M.A./M.Sc. university degrees after our 12th grade F.A./F.Sc. qualifications. Thus the former was a 14-year academic qualification, ...
Saaqib Mahmood's user avatar