AST 1002: Course Exams
Spring 2003 [Sections 0422 & 0427]Site Map Prof. Cohen Department of Astronomy University of Florida
Last updated April 21, 2003
Announcements Examinations Exam Scores Course Description Course Topics Grades Mailing List Readings Term Calendar Textbooks
This page contains information vital to your success in this course. Read carefully
Contents of Page 1) Exam Rules 2) Missed Exams 3) Exam Policies 4) The 4th Exam 5) Exam Schedule 6) Quest. Distribution 7) Topic Outlines 8) Exam Tips 9) Reviewing Exams 10) Q/A Sessions
Bring to All Exams
- Pencilsbring several, sharpened black lead pencils and an eraser
(A watch is also recommended)
- Picture ID with valid signature (required to take exam)
- But do not bring calculators (not permitted on exams)
Bubble Required Information Very Carefully
- Listen carefully to all exam rules
- Answer sheets require that you accurately bubble in specific information
- Failure to bubble in required information accurately can invalidate your exam
(You will receive an automatic zero on the exam)
- Do not expect your professor to find your mistakes or regrade invalid exams
- Check, recheck and check again all required information
(See sample answer sheet on right)
Exams Emphasize Class Material
- All Exams multiple-choice (1 point = 1 correct answer)
- Questions test thought processes, not just memorized material
- Items in textbook not discussed in class will not be on exams
(unless I specifically tell you otherwise)
- Review sample Study Guide questions
- See Outlines for list of most material covered in each course topic
- See also Exam Tips below
- Students who engage either in the giving or receiving of examination information will receive an E grade for the course
- See Grading Scale for more information on academic honesty
(Click for summary)
Sample Answer Sheet
(Click to enlarge)
Take All Exams When Designated
- NO MAKEUP EXAMS GIVEN
(missed exams = zero points)
See missed exams below for more information
- All five exams requiredbut only highest three scores on Exams #14 count!
[If any one of the first four exams missed, that exam counts as your dropped exam]
- You must take Exam #5 (Final Exam)otherwise Exam #5 = zero points and you will not get a passing grade regardless of your current grade.
- You must take all your exams (including the final exam) with your registered AST 1002 section or the exam will not count (unless you have your professor's prior permission to do otherwise).
Scores and Reviewing Exams
- Scores are posted on the web (usually within 48 hours or less after exam given)
- Exams can be reviewed (see Reviewing Exams)
- There are normally no makeup exams. (Also see missed exam policy below.)
- A missed exam = zero points
- If you miss any of the first four exams, that exam will count as your dropped exam.
(See Fourth Exam below.)
- Exam #5 (Final Exam) cannot be droppedthe Final Exam is not optional
(If you miss Exam #5 without a valid excuse, Exam #5 score = 0 and you may also receive an incomplete grade.)
- Final Exam: If extenuating circumstances (usually only illness or death in immediate family) will cause you to miss the final exam, you must strictly follow my missed exam procedure.
- WARNING: You must take your exams with your enrolled section.
(If you take any exam with any other AST 1002 section without your professor's prior permission, you will receive a zero on the exam.)
Missed Exam Policy
Missed exams can cause major problems not only for students but also for professors. I have found the only "practical" way to deal with this issue is use the policy outlined above. Notice there is no provision for makeup exams. Instead, I drop the lowest score from Exams #1-4. If a student misses any one of the first four exams, the "missed exam" automatically becomes the "dropped exam."
There are a several extenuating circumstances under which your professor may accommodate students who know they will miss an exam. To see these circumstances and the procedure that students must follow in such cases, read the Missed Exam Procedure.
Multiple, missed exams create serious problems. Additional missed exams count as zero points. If a student misses multiple exams, they should contact me at once.
Students who are having serious problems (academic, personal, etc.) should see me at once. If a student has problems but completes the course and receives a course grade, I cannot usually help them despite the problem.
Students cannot miss Exam #5, which is the "final." If a student does miss the final, has a "legitimate excuse", is capable of passing the course, and has notified me before the final exam, I can assign an "I" grade. The student must then take my final exam with my next semester's class to get a course grade. However, if a student does not have a "legitimate excuse" for missing the final, I will assign a course grade based on "zero points" and whatever other information I have about the student. (Students who take the S-U option must take the final and achieve a D+ grade see S-U option.)
Note: "Legitimate excuses" include illness and death in immediate family (documentation required). Also students must notify me about their problem BEFORE the final exam. (Oversleeping is not a legitimate excuse!)
The Fourth Exam
FAQ: I have an "A" grade up through Exam #4. Should I take Exam #4?
(Note: The following may also apply to other grade levels.)
ANSWER: In most cases, yes.
Some students ask if they can skip Exam #4 if they currently have an "A" grade after the first three exams since the lowest of the first four scores is automatically dropped.
To skip the fourth exam, which therefore automatically becomes the dropped score, is potentially dangerous. Here's why.
Suppose you skip Exam #4. Also suppose you do so poorly on the Final Exam (Exam #5) that you drop below an "A" grade for the course. If you had taken Exam #4 and scored above the lowest of the first three scores, one of the first three scores is now dropped. The extra point(s) picked up on Exam #4 (if you had taken it) might just save your "A" grade.
Here is a hypothetical example:
Exam Score #1 25 (Doing "A" work since an "A" starts at 24 points out of 32 or 75 percent) #2 26 (Doing "A" work) #3 24 (Still doing "A" work) #4 0 Skipped so this score dropped) #5 44 (Oops! only a B+ on final exam since a B+ starts at 48/64) Total 119 (So course grade is "B+" and not an "A" since an "A" starts at 120 points )
Although this student did "A" work till the final, the student dropped on Exam #5 and missed an "A" grade for the course.
But, if the student had taken Exam #4 and received a score of at least 25 points, then Exam #3 is now lowest and therefore dropped. So, the total score is now 120 and the course grade is an "A"!
To skip the fourth exam, which therefore automatically becomes the dropped score, is potentially dangerous since you may lose points that you may need if you do not do as well on the final as you expect.
Finally, Exam #5 is cumulative and covers all eight topics (AH) Also, Topics G and H material partially depends on understanding the material from previous topics! (Some questions on Exam #5 may even come from Exam #14.) Hence, studying for and taking Exam #4 may help you perform better on Exam #5.
Exam Schedule All Exams in Florida Gym 280(Exam schedule also shown on semester calendar)
Warning: You must take your exams with the section you are registered in
(unless you have been given prior permission from your professor).
Optional Question and Answer Sessions may be held before each examcheck the Q/A Web Page for more information.
Exam No. Topics Pts. Week Exam Date Examination Time Section Exam #1 A 32 5 Wed Feb 5 Usual Class Period All Exam #2 B 32 8 Wed Feb 26 Usual Class Period All Exam #3 CD 32 11 Wed Mar 26 Usual Class Period All Exam #4 E & F 32 15 Mon Apr 14 Usual Class Period All Exam #5
A H 64 17 Thu May 1 12:30 p.m. 2:30 p.m. 0422 (Meets MWF3) Wed Apr 30 12:30 p.m. 2:30 p.m. 0427 (Meets MWF5) Total Pts. Possible 160 Lowest score from Exams #1 4 dropped (see grading scale)
- Exam Times: Exams #14 given during usual class period except for Exam #5.
(See table above for Exam #5 times)
- Exam Locations: All Exams (#15) including the Final Exam (Exam #5) in FLG 280.
- Exam Types: All Exams multiple-choice (one point per question).
- Dropped Exams: Lowest score from Exams 14 dropped (but not score from Exam #5).
- If you miss any one of the first four exams (for any reason), that exam automatically becomes your dropped exam. (Any additional missed exams count as a zero score.)
- Exam #5 (Final Exam) is:
- Requiredit is not optional
(If you do not take the final, your final exam score = 0 and you will not get a passing grade regardless of your current grade)
- Cumulativesee Question Distribution below.
- Note Final Exam (Exam #5) Dates/Times:
(You must take all your exams with your registered section or your exam will not count, unless you have your professor's prior permission to do otherwise.)
- Sect. 0422 (MWF3): Thu., May 1, 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. (FLG 280)
- Sect. 0427 (MWF5): Wed., Apr. 30, 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. (FLG 280)
- Topic AH Descriptions: Listed on Course Topic Page.
- Topic Outlines: Available for all eight topics and Final Exam
- Missed Exam Policy: There are no makeup exams. (See Missed Exams for more details.)
- Exam Question Distributions: See Question Distribution below.
- Question/Answer Sessions (Optional): Held before each exam. See Q/A Schedule.
Approximate Number of Questions On Each Exam
Questions are multiple-choice. Your printed Study Guide, Part 1 (answers in Part 2), gives example questions for each topic.
The following table shows approximately how many questions from each topic appear on each exam. The count may include a few miscellaneous questions (e.g., from slides shown at the beginning of class). Notification of any changes in the following table will be sent to AST1002-L subscribers.) Be sure to check the Topic Outlines for a check list of items covered in each topic.
Note: Exams emphasize class material. (See Exam Tips for more info.)
Exam No. Topic # Quest. Topic # Quest. Total Quest. Exam #1 A 32 = 32 Exam #2 B 32 = 32 Exam #3 C 16 + D 16 = 32 Exam #4 E 16 + F 16 = 32 Exam #5 G 12 + H 17 AF 33 + Misc. 2 = 64*
*See Final Exam Outline for more detailed breakdown of final exam.
Notes About Exam #5 (The Final Exam):
- Exam #5 is cumulative.
- Exam #5 has 64 questions divided as follows:
About 29 questions on Topics G and H
About 33 questions taken from the first six topics, AF.
(i.e., about 5 questions for each of these six topics)
A few miscellaneous questions pertaining to the last "four pictures of day" shown from April 16 through April 23, 2003. (I will not ask questions about "pictures of the day" shown earlier in the term.)
- Exam #5 contains both new questions an some questions from previous exams.
Topic Outlines and PowerPoint PresentationsThe following web materials are available for all eight topics(AH)
- Topic Outlines
Warning: Check each topic outline for possible Study Guide questions you can omit
- A topic outline for the final exam will also be available at the end of the term
- Class PowerPoint Presentations (also available in printed Study Guide)
Some students ask if I have any suggestions about studying for exams. Perhaps the following pointers may be useful:
- Use Topic Outlines on web as check list for what you need to know.
- List should be "ninety nine" percent complete (though I can't promise I left something out).
- Items in textbook not discussed in class will not be on exams (unless I specifically tell you otherwise).
Don't know answers to some items?
- Use your notes and/or web PowerPoint presentation to find answer.
- Your textbook or Study Guide may answer question. Use them!
Pay attention to information slides shown each day just before and at the very beginning of each class.
- These slides contain announcements or other info
- Pay attention to these slides
- You are responsible for this material
Pictures of the Day Slides. Pay attention to the "picture of the day" slides shown during the last few minutes of most class periods.
>Here is an example: A slide showing the "green flash" emphasizes that the apparent enlargement of a low Moon or Sun is an "illusion of the mind" but distortion and reddening are atmospheric phenomena. (This is a subject discussed near the beginning of the term.) Here is more info and another example.
Example picture of day
(For more info, click here)
If I tell you to do something in class (e.g., look up a word), do it! Do all Study Guide questions for each topic as we proceed through the topic (including extra questions I may e-mail to the AST-1002 list).
- Do not memorize answersunderstand how questions should be answered.
- Do not skip questions you cannot dofind out how to answer them.
- Do not wait until day before exam to do questions or studying because you will not ...
- Have time to digest or understand material.
- Remember material needed later in term.
- Have time to find answers to questions.
- But omit questions, if any, listed at end of Web topic outlines so you do not waste your time (and mine) on material you do not need to know.
Come to optional Q/A session before each exam if you have last minute questions on specific items.
- See Q/A web page for more info.
- Also see item #8 below.
Come see me during term in a timely fashion if you need help. But do not come if you:
- Do not attend class regularly.
- Have not first read the textbook, Study Guide, and studied your notes.
- Have not made a concerted effort to answer your questions first.
- Are coming for help at the last minute with lots of questions on past material you:
- Should now be familiar with and understand
- Failed to understand but put off getting help until just before the exam.
Finally, attend class regularlymaterial can be often difficult to grasp from notes alone without further explanation. (See also attendance policy.)
- Exams are not returned
- However exams can be reviewed by coming to your professor's office
(No appointment necessary if come during normal office hours.)
- If you wish to review your exam, do it as soon as possible after the exam is given
(Exams are usually ready for review after exam results posted.)
- Do not wait until the end of the term to review your exams
(Time limitations may make it impossible.)
Optional Question and Answer (Q/A) Sessions will be held before most exams. These sessions are optionalyou do not have to attend. Of course, you can also see your professor during regular office hours or make an appointment for other times.
Q/A Schedule: Check the Q/A Web page for more information about these sessions including dates, times and location.
Recommended web browser to view this site is Netscape Navigator 4.0 (or above) with video display supporting at least 256 colors.
High color (16 bit) or true color (24 bit) display is preferred.
For comments and suggestions contact Howard L. Cohen at email@example.com
About this site (department disclaimer and recommended web browser)
© Copyright 1999-2003 Howard L. Cohen