Im sorry, 200 questions does not test your knowledge

  • Thread starter Pengwuino
  • Start date
  • #1
Pengwuino
Gold Member
4,989
14

Main Question or Discussion Point

Biology... 200 questions... 2 hours...

Im sorry but if this professor really thought he was testing our knowledge rather then our sheer stamina, he has another thing coming. At some point.. seriously... your brain just seems to start shutting down. I know when it was around problem 150, my brian was just imploding. At 190 i just started looking for words that i've at least heard of before and at 200, i ran for the door. I hate cyrus.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
cronxeh
Gold Member
961
10
Great prof, what school is this? This is a university, right?
 
  • #3
Moonbear
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
11,490
51
I have to agree with you on that. Sorry to hear you had such a bad experience there. That's more than a question a minute! There's no way you can think through your answers with that many questions in that amount of time...that's just a test of brute force, rote memorization. :yuck: I'm trying to recall how many questions we used to have...I think it was 150 to 200 questions for a 3 hour exam (finals were all 3 hours). That gives you about 2 min per question. Of course some are quick answers that you either know or don't, so that leaves more time for the ones that require some thinking or calculations.
 
  • #4
Curious3141
Homework Helper
2,843
86
We had something like 200 questions on all our Med School undergrad exams, what was worse was that negative marking was employed with equal bias. (+1 for a right answer, -1 for a wrong answer and 0 for an unanswered question).
 
  • #5
Pengwuino
Gold Member
4,989
14
Moonbear said:
I think it was 150 to 200 questions for a 3 hour exam (finals were all 3 hours). That gives you about 2 min per question. Of course some are quick answers that you either know or don't, so that leaves more time for the ones that require some thinking or calculations.
I assume this wasn't a math class :rofl: :rofl:
 
  • #6
Pengwuino
Gold Member
4,989
14
cronxeh said:
Great prof, what school is this? This is a university, right?
CSU - Fresno

Lower division non-science (don't ask) biology class.
 
  • #7
2,985
13
For what it's worth, I had to study for my criminal justice exam the day before (NOT a good idea). I was making a lot of educated guesses. I think I lucked out (Hopefully). I need a 73 or above to keep an A, which means I could miss no more than 13 questions. (Fingers Crossed)

200Q's seems excessive.

Oh, and I can't stand your smell either.

Thread locked.
 
  • #8
1,414
4
Moonbear said:
I have to agree with you on that. Sorry to hear you had such a bad experience there. That's more than a question a minute! There's no way you can think through your answers with that many questions in that amount of time...that's just a test of brute force, rote memorization. :yuck: I'm trying to recall how many questions we used to have...I think it was 150 to 200 questions for a 3 hour exam (finals were all 3 hours). That gives you about 2 min per question. Of course some are quick answers that you either know or don't, so that leaves more time for the ones that require some thinking or calculations.

Um, I don't know what kind of funny math you're using, but 3 hours is 180 minutes. Thats no where near two minutes per question. Not even close. :confused:

Pengwuino: Man, that sucks. :frown:
 
  • #9
Moonbear
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
11,490
51
Pengwuino said:
I assume this wasn't a math class :rofl: :rofl:
:rolleyes: It's okay, I understand, your brain is a bit fried tonight. You were talking about biology, were you not? That's what I was referring to as well (but giving them, not taking them).

For math exams (taking those, not giving of course), it was more like 20 or 30 questions in 3 hours. It gets really scary when you get to grad school and take an upper level statistics course with FOUR questions to be answered in 3 hours. I still remember it, and really wish it was something I could have blocked from my memory. :bugeye:

My PhD mentor shared his bad experience with an exam too...it was a biology or physiology exam with just a few essay questions...3 or 4. One of them was to explain the physiology of hemostasis. He wrote his entire essay on homeostasis. A big fat zero on that question.
 
  • #10
1,414
4
Moonbear said:
:rolleyes: It's okay, I understand, your brain is a bit fried tonight. You were talking about biology, were you not? That's what I was referring to as well (but giving them, not taking them).

Wait.....You and your confounded person logic! :grumpy:

I'm so confused :confused:
 
  • #11
loseyourname
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
1,749
5
The bio classes I took at LA City College employed tests that were four questions each.
 
  • #12
Moonbear
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
11,490
51
franznietzsche said:
Um, I don't know what kind of funny math you're using, but 3 hours is 180 minutes. Thats no where near two minutes per question. Not even close. :confused:
:uhh: After midnight math? It's been a while since I've taught freshman biology and had to use multiple guess exam formats. It was 1-2 min per question, but done so that there should have been about 2 min for the ones that needed some thinking, and 1 min for simple questions, like definitions of terms.
 
  • #13
Moonbear
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
11,490
51
franznietzsche said:
Wait.....You and your confounded person logic! :grumpy:

I'm so confused :confused:
That's okay...I didn't see your post before responding to pengwuino, and I'm just tired enough to have completely missed his reference when asking about math. I'm taking a vacation next week, so will un-fuzz my brain and get back to you on that later. (Too bad I still have to write these evaluations for my med students before I leave...I better un-ditz myself before I submit those, or I'll be writing them for the wrong students!)
 
  • #14
353
1
Curious3141 said:
We had something like 200 questions on all our Med School undergrad exams, what was worse was that negative marking was employed with equal bias. (+1 for a right answer, -1 for a wrong answer and 0 for an unanswered question).
Now that is pure evil! What a way to take away any advantage of a multiple choice test.
 
  • #15
1,414
4
Moonbear said:
That's okay...I didn't see your post before responding to pengwuino, and I'm just tired enough to have completely missed his reference when asking about math. I'm taking a vacation next week, so will un-fuzz my brain and get back to you on that later. (Too bad I still have to write these evaluations for my med students before I leave...I better un-ditz myself before I submit those, or I'll be writing them for the wrong students!)

Ok. I wasn't sure if it was you or me at that point. Vacations are good.:approve: Four weeks and two days till I leave for NM!:cool: :biggrin:
 
  • #16
Curious3141
Homework Helper
2,843
86
scorpa said:
Now that is pure evil! What a way to take away any advantage of a multiple choice test.
Singapore med school is fairly "evil". Entry standards are very high (you pretty much need a perfect score in everything), and even then, attrition during the first year is pretty high, much higher than any other course.

Of late (long after I graduated), they've lowered entry standards somewhat owing to the lack of doctors in our society. The standards are still pretty high, just not insane like before.
 
  • #17
dav2008
Gold Member
609
1
scorpa said:
Now that is pure evil! What a way to take away any advantage of a multiple choice test.
I agree. I think if you're going to take points off for wrong answers it should be done like they do on AP tests: all guessing should have an outcome of 0 points.
 
  • #18
Pengwuino
Gold Member
4,989
14
dav2008 said:
I agree. I think if you're going to take points off for wrong answers it should be done like they do on AP tests: all guessing should have an outcome of 0 points.
I actually think its an ok idea. You can realitically get a better grade then someone who knows less then you simply because you guessed better. I mean when it comes down to it, you're basically trying ot reward ignorance. When you're doing a multiple choice test, guessing shows nothing about your knowledge.
 
  • #19
1,414
4
Pengwuino said:
I actually think its an ok idea. You can realitically get a better grade then someone who knows less then you simply because you guessed better. I mean when it comes down to it, you're basically trying ot reward ignorance. When you're doing a multiple choice test, guessing shows nothing about your knowledge.

Which means you should get a zero, not a -75%.
 
  • #20
Curious3141
Homework Helper
2,843
86
Pengwuino said:
I actually think its an ok idea. You can realitically get a better grade then someone who knows less then you simply because you guessed better. I mean when it comes down to it, you're basically trying ot reward ignorance. When you're doing a multiple choice test, guessing shows nothing about your knowledge.
I've thought an interesting variation on the negative marking theme would go like this :

For every question, in addition to marking your answer, you have to mark out one of three circles to denote your level of confidence in your answer. The circles go from "Somewhat Unsure" to "Ambivalent"/"Moderately Sure" to "Completely Sure". In the case of complete lack of knowledge (pure guesswork) the circles are left blank (the answer can also be omitted, it makes no difference).

Grading goes like this : If the student marks the third circle "Completely Sure" for any question, he/she gets full credit of +3 if right and full negative credit of -3 if wrong. Similar considerations apply to the other two circles with the credits decreasing in magnitude (+2/-2 and +1/-1). Guesswork is neither rewarded nor penalised with a score of zero points.

The total score for a 100 question test can range from a minimum of -300 (all questions wrong with full (misplaced) confidence) to a maximum of +300 (all questions right with full (justified) confidence).

It seems time consuming to fill up these circles, but in practice it may not be so. Most people do the ones they're most comfortable with first and leave the iffy ones blank. After the first round, they can come back and tackle the iffy ones and shade either the first or second circles accordingly. Then for the rest of the questions they had already answered confidently at the start, just go down the line shading the third circle.

Just to give the student the benefit of the doubt, in a case where any of the confidence level circles are filled but no answer is given, the item is treated as a pure guess with no marks being given or taken away. And in cases where more than one confidence circle is filled in with an answer being marked, the level is taken as '2'.

I think this is a good system to implement, especially in somewhat subjective disciplines. I remember a Histology test I took in my first year with a rather green lecturer from India. Her lecture notes said something which my textbook flatly contradicted, but I did not have time to challenge her before the test. Of all things, that item came out on the test. I wasn't sure if she was going to be marking the test, so I didn't know whether to use her (wrong) version or the textbook's (correct) version. In the end, I just left that choice blank to get zero credit rather than risk negative marking.

If I had to indicate a level of confidence like in my testing model, I would've marked the correct (textbook) option and indicated a confidence level of '1' (somewhat unsure) for a possible credit of +/-1 rather than +/-3.

If 3 circles is too complicated, a 2 circle system may be feasible : "Mostly Unsure" and "Mostly Sure".
 
Last edited:
  • #21
siddharth
Homework Helper
Gold Member
1,127
0
I think a +3 for right choice, -1 for wrong choice and 0 when no choice is marked is fair in a multiple choice exam (with the usual 4 choices per question)

That's how a test I wrote was. 84 questions in 3 hours in this pattern in physics, chemistry and math. I managed to get a decent 150/252

On the other hand, the end semester exam I had in my process calculations course had 4 questions for 3 hours. Now that was hard!
 
  • #22
Curious3141
Homework Helper
2,843
86
siddharth said:
I think a +3 for right choice, -1 for wrong choice and 0 when no choice is marked is fair in a multiple choice exam (with the usual 4 choices per question)
Those are common actually. I believe the American Medical exams (USMLE and Board exams) work with a negative credit of -1/3 vs positive of +1.
 
  • #23
siddharth
Homework Helper
Gold Member
1,127
0
Curious3141 said:
Those are common actually. I believe the American Medical exams (USMLE and Board exams) work with a negative credit of -1/3 vs positive of +1.
Yeah, it reduces the effect due to random guessing, so I guess it should be common. Is that the way the AP tests work as well?
 
  • #24
590
0
What do you say about 125 math questions in 90 minutes ?
That's less than 1 minute per question and I attempted this monster test just a week ago .
What kind of sick sadists make tests like these ?
 
  • #25
Curious3141
Homework Helper
2,843
86
siddharth said:
Yeah, it reduces the effect due to random guessing, so I guess it should be common. Is that the way the AP tests work as well?
I don't know much about the rest of the American system, sorry.
 

Related Threads for: Im sorry, 200 questions does not test your knowledge

  • Last Post
Replies
3
Views
2K
Replies
2
Views
2K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
36
Views
6K
  • Last Post
Replies
11
Views
466
Replies
56
Views
5K
  • Last Post
Replies
12
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
3
Views
3K
Replies
4
Views
2K
Top