The Final Exam - FAQ's


1. How long will the exam be?

The final exam will be designed to be approximately 1.5 hours in length, but you will be given the full 3 hours to complete it. Hence time should not be an issue; you should have time to check over your work.


2. Will the exam be cumulative?

Yes, any topic from our syllabus is fair game. Of course, on a 1.5 hour exam, I can't really include a question about each and every topic we have covered. So I will design/choose questions that I feel are representative of the material. Some topics will inevitably be neglected.


3. Will certain material be weighted more heavily?

Yes. Because you have not yet been tested on the material.from Block IV, it will be more heavily weighted than the earlier blocks. I'm estimating it will comprise between 1/4-1/3 of the exam. You can expect the questions covering Block IV to be similar to what you have seen in class (on the handouts, for example) and in the homework. The material in Blocks I-III will be more equally weighted.


4. How should I study for the exam?

I typically recommend that you start with the block of material that is most problematic to you. That way you will have plenty of time to ask for help if necessary. Review old review packets, homeworks, and class handouts. Work through the problems. Do not simply browse them.

(In general, when studying for finals you should imagine what your testing conditions will be like and train for those conditions. In Calculus you are asked to do problems. This means that you should study by DOING problems. Redo old homework problems. Work more problems from the review sections of the text. Get into the right frame of mind. When considering a particular topic, ask yourself, “if I were given this problem on the test, how would I solve it?” Imagine yourself in the testing situation. If you do not feel confident about how you would perform on problems addressing this topic, then study the topic more. Do more problems. Browsing does not make for effective studying, because you are not asked to browse on the test.)

Other words of advice: Study alone first, before participating in study groups. It is not helpful to hear what others have learned, until you have determined where your weaknesses are and what questions you still have. Take the time to determine these things ALONE – in the library or at some other location where you will not be disturbed. One hour of studying amidst friends with interruptions and noise likely amounts to 10 minutes of actual study time! It is also the case that you will be taking the exam ALONE!

Return to Block IV HW webpage