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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80
votes
15answers
14k views

Should I design my exams to have time-pressure or not?

Is it better to design an exam with fewer questions and relaxed timing or with more questions and a resulting time-pressure? One the one hand, it seems that students who really know the stuff will ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

Requiring students to know all the proofs on an oral exam

I'm asking this question as a student, wondering what various pros/cons to the given formula for oral exams could be. Let me give some context first. I am a first year mathematics student at a ...
11
votes
4answers
321 views

How to design multiple choice questions

I've seen the previously-asked questions about the effectiveness of multiple choice problems, but I want to know about design. What are best practices in multiple choice problem design? The "common" ...
21
votes
2answers
606 views

Exam philosophy

I'm curious if anyone knows of any books, studies, or other resources on the philosophy of creating and grading mathematics exams. After working as a graduate TA for 4 years and dealing with a wide ...
37
votes
6answers
9k views

How can I estimate the length of an exam?

Background: I am fairly new at teaching, and in every subject I have taught, I have had difficulty estimating the length and difficulty of an exam. I need to write an exam for a university senior-...
13
votes
4answers
264 views

It is good to have old exams (with solutions) published?

What are the arguments in publishing or not publishing old exams? If yes, should they contain also a solution? Would you publish them directly after that particular exam or publish your old one's just ...
38
votes
12answers
6k views

Formula sheets and books during tests and exams

Some teachers make memorizing formulas, definitions and others things obligatory, and forbid "aids" in any form during tests and exams. Other allow for writing down more complicated expressions, ...
16
votes
4answers
5k views

Worldwide collection of final examinations in mathematics

I am interested in comparing mathematics (and also physics) final examinations from all around the world for the highest secondary school qualification in the particular country. Especially I am ...
13
votes
4answers
896 views

As a TA, how to reduce imprecise notations/statements in students' exams

I'm not a course instructor, just a TA of the first quarter calculus course who lead discussion sections and grade exams. When grading the midterm, I found large number of students showed some ...
12
votes
5answers
693 views

Descriptive Thinking vs. Formal Writing

Sometimes I come across some exam answers which describe a proof sketch or a counterexample very well but are not written formally. Such proofs show that particular student understand the general ...
20
votes
2answers
667 views

Handing out $2 calculators for tests?

In a store last weekend, I saw a simple solar-powered calculator for $2. It had four functions plus a square root key. I'm considering the possibility of buying 50 such calculators and handing them ...
14
votes
5answers
2k views

How to deal with answers containing completely off-topic/random/very wrong arguments?

It often happens that students answer (partly) a questions in an exam (lets assume this part is okay), but then add something completely off-topic or something very wrong in their answer (see examples ...
17
votes
5answers
1k views

How to award points for sense-making at the end of a problem?

Here is a statistics question I asked on a recent exam: How high should the doorway be to allow 97% of men to fit through it? I got a very large number of answers like "3 inches" or "0.0001 feet". ...
11
votes
5answers
4k views

Grading scale: how to handle multiple choice questions with different number of choices

Suppose you have been told to give a multiple choice exam, and to nullify the effects of random guessing by penalizing incorrect answers. Suppose there are $N$ available choices, of which exactly one ...
8
votes
2answers
368 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 ...