1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Testing 50 MC Physics II (E&M) Final Exam

  1. Nov 14, 2008 #1
    Equation sheet limited to twenty equations spanning material from electrostatics to mutual induction. Halliday Resnick chapters 21-31. 2 hours. Seems like some questions depended on you having the equation accessible, which is a matter of chance.

    Core exams were usually 12 MC and 3-4 free response weighed 40% and 60% respectively. The average was usually in the 50s or 60s for the three core exams.

    Why the department deviated from this format I can only speculate.

    At any rate I'm upset because I got a C for the course and thought I performed better.

    My reason for posting is I'd like to get some feedback from other students or faculty members on the pedagogical value of such a final exam, and possible reasons for it being implemented.

    Opinions on my situation and personal expositions are welcome.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 14, 2008 #2


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Effectively I find it quite strange for some reasons.
    10 chapters of this book might be OK. (I'm not sure exactly all the stuff in it).
    2 hours for a final exam seems too few me. This implies it doesn't involve you in very complicated problems but likely plenty of "simple" problems.
    The fact that they give you an equation sheet is also very strange at this level (University). Here in Argentina (or even in France), it is considered as to cheat. The student must know all the formulas or at least the most important ones and being able to find out the ones he forgot.
    Again, here we do not have multiple choice questions. In France when we had it (almost never) and if we answered to a MC wrong, they would subtract marks so it was better not to guess an answer and let it blank than putting a wrong answer.
    You should write us examples of MC asked and more important : give us examples of free questions asked.
    I'm just a freshman but It seems to me a lesser good way to evaluate a pupil than if the exam was much larger (4 hours) and that all the questions were problems and not MC (unless they are very complicated and that a bad answer damage your mark so that you really have to do all the calculus. It would be in fact as a free problem. Once you get the answer, check out if it is an option in the given choices).
    A final exam should be a checkpoint to see which pupils know well the course and the ones that don't. It shouldn't involve chance of passing it with luck. I mean by that that the ones that should pass are the ones that really know well all the important concepts. To evaluate this, the method of choosing a formula on a list and just plug in into a given equation is pointless. The student must find all by himself at this level. Otherwise without the book he cannot solve anything.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook