Exams for the Engineering Physics Class

This page describes exams for the Engineering Physics (I) class PHY 303K as taught in the Spring semester of 2004 by Professor Kaplunovsky.

There will be four "mid-term" exams on Wednesday evenings during the semester and one comprehensive final exam at the end. There will be no make-up exams for any reason whatsoever. If you miss one mid-term, it will not affect your grade, but if you miss two of them or the final exam, your grade will suffer.

A student that is unable to take an exam because of illness or other bone fide emergency should notify the instructor as soon as possible; in such a case the instructor will decide on an appropriate remedy. There will be no remedy for students who missed an exam because they forgot or were mis-informed of its date, time or location, could not start their cars or park them on campus, had dead batteries in their calculators or their pencils eaten by dogs, or had any other asinine excuses.

Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated. A student who cheats on an exam will receive a zero score.

The exams will be graded by the same computer that grades the homeworks. However, unlike the homeworks, the exams use bubble sheets for entering the students' answers. (See https://hw.utexas.edu/studentInstructions.html for explanation.) Make sure to bubble in everything you write down -- the scanning machine reads your bubbles, not your letters. Your bubble sheet should have your name, student number and the version number of your exam pre-printed and bubbled in; make sure this information is correct or your test will not be graded!

Date, Time and Location of the Exams

  • The mid-term exams will be held February 18, March 10 April 7, and May 5, all Wednesdays.
  • Each mid-term exam begins at 7 PM sharp and ends at 8:30 PM.
  • All mid-term exams (for Dr. Kaplunovsky's class) will be held in the Geology building, room GEO 2.324.
  • The final exam is scheduled for May 13 (Thursday), from 7 to 10 PM (ouch!), in the E. Cockrell (jr.) Hall, rooms ECJ 1.202 and ECJ 1.204.
  • Please come to your exam at least 15 minutes earlier -- you will need 15 minutes to find your pre-assigned seat, get the exam materials and hear the instructions. If you are late for any reason, you will have less time to do the exam.
  • Please take all the exams with your regular class section. Exams taken with a wrong section will not be graded and you would get a zero score.
  • Exam Logistics

  • Bring a pencil: The machine that scans the bubble sheets cannot read ink. Soft pencils (number 2) are best.
  • Bring an eraser -- unless you never make mistakes, you will need to correct them.
  • Bring a calculator. Many exam question involve calculations and you wouldn't have time to calculate everything by hand.
    Make sure your calculator works and has fresh batteries -- if it dies on you during the test, you will not get extra time or partial credit or any other remedy.
  • Bring your student ID. To discourage cheating, the exam proctors will ID every student.
  • Do not bring any scratch paper, it will be provided.
  • Students are not allowed to use any books or notes during exams. A formula sheet will be provided. Using any other material during exams will be severely penalized. Likewise, using another person's brain during any exam will be severely penalized.
  • Exam Procedure

  • Please come to the exam room 15 minutes before the exam is scheduled to begin.
  • As you come into the exam room, check the seat assignment charts posted by the doors and find out where your pre-assigned seat is. Then leave your bag in the designated corner of the room, take a few sheets of scratch paper and proceed to your assigned seat.
  • As you sit down, check the bubble sheet on your table. It should have your name, student number and the exam version number pre-printed and bubbled in. Make sure the name and the student number are indeed yours (if not, you are probably sitting in somebody else's assigned seat) and that they are spelled and bubbled-in correctly. (But a truncated name is OK.) Remember, a bubble sheet without the correctly bubbled-in student number and the exam version number cannot be graded.
    If your student number is wrong or mis-bubbled or your bubble sheet is damaged, tell this to proctors right away, do not wait until the exam begins. If a proctor gives you a blank bubble sheet to use instead of a bad pre-printed sheet, you should immediately write and bubble in your name, your student number and the version number of your exam.
  • The proctors will distribute problem sets at 7 PM sharp. Each student will have a different version of the problem set. Before you do anything else, make sure the version number of your problem set is the same as the version number pre-printed on your bubble sheet. Also, make sure your problem set has all the questions (count them; the proctors will announce how many there should be) and that all pages of your set have the same version number -- the same as on your bubble sheet.
    If your problem set is bad or the version numbers do not match, call a proctor immediately, get a new problem set and a blank bubble sheet instead of the preprinted one with a wrong version number. As soon as you get a new bubble sheet, immediately write and bubble in your name, your student number and the version number of your exam; the version number should be the same as on your new problem set.
  • Keep your student ID with you during the exam -- the proctors will spot-check ID's to make sure the right students are being tested.
  • If you finish answering all questions before the exam is over, use you time to check your answers and make sure they are bubbled-in correctly. (The scanner does not read your mind, only your bubbles.)
  • At the end of the exam, bring your bubble sheet to the proctors' table. Bring your student ID with you -- the proctors will make sure you are indeed the student whose exam you are turning in.
  • Once the proctors announce the exam is over, do not delay turning your bubble sheet in. If you procrastinate, your exam will not be collected and you will get a zero score.
  • The solutions to the exam problems will be available on the web -- in the same place as the homework solutions -- shortly after the end of the exam. The exam scores will also be available on the web after the exam is graded, probably the morning after the exam.
  • Multiple Choice Problems

    All exam questions are of a multiple choice kind. Make sure you read all possible answers proffered on the problem sheet -- sometimes a few answers are printed on the next page -- before answering the question.

    Remember that a wrong choice yields a negative pointage; this is worse than no answer at all, which gives you exactly zero points. (Specifically, choosing a wrong answer out of N possibilities "earns" you -100%/(N-1) of the questions pointage; for example, a wrong answer on a 5-point, 5-choice question "earns" you -1.25 points.) So, if you are clueless about a particular question, it is better to leave it un-answered. Giving a randomly chosen answer is like playing an honest roulette: The odds are even, but mind the Murphy's Law.

    On the other hand, if you have rejected several answers as definitely wrong but still cannot choose which of the remaining two or three answers is correct, your best bet is to select the answer you like most. It's a gamble, but now it's a gamble with odds in your favor.

    If you change your mind, make sure to erase your wrong answer cleanly; otherwise, the scanning machine may still read it.

    On numerical multiple-choice questions, the correct answer may be slightly (but only slightly) different from your result because of the round-off errors. You should select the answer that is closest to your result. Note that if your result is nowhere near any of the 10 answers proffered on the problem sheet, then you are probably wrong. On the other hand, if your result is very close to two or more of the 10 proffered answers, you should consult with a proctor (something may be wrong with the problem).

    On questions involving multiple choices of algebraic expressions, first, derive the correct expression, write it on the scratch paper, then compare it to the expressions proffered on the problem sheet. Select the expression that's algebraically identical to your answer. If none of the expressions fit, consult with a proctor. (Maybe you are wrong, but sometimes the problem is misstated.)

    Bubble Sheet Rules

    On exams, you answer all questions on the bubble sheet -- simply fill the bubble corresponding to the answer you selected. Make sure you fill the right bubble; check both the question number and the anwer number. Remember that the scanner and the grading computer read your bubbles and not your mind -- if you don't bubble in your answer, it does not count, and the mis-bubbled answers count as wrong.

    Use a soft pencil to fill the bubbles and fill them completely. The scanning machine does not read ink and it may get confused by partially filled bubbles.

    Do not delay bubbling-in your answers till the last minute of the test, you may run out of time. It is best to bubble in each answer as soon as you are done with the question. And if you later come back to an already answered question and discover a mistake, use your eraser. Make sure to erase everything cleanly; otherwise, the scanning machine may still read it.

    Make sure your pre-printed bubble sheet has correct bubbles for you student number and the version number of your exam. If you have to start with a blank bubble sheet, make doubly sure you bubble in your student number and the version number. Without this information, you exam cannot be graded and you will receive a zero score.

    Miscellaneous Advice

    On exams, time is always short. Do not get stuck and spend too much time on one hard question while many easy questions remain un-answered. If a problem feels too hard, move on to the next problem -- or to any other problem you know how to solve. Your best strategy is to answer all the easy questions first, then go back to the medium-hard questions and leave the really hard questions for the last part of your exam.

    Some problems are multi-part, i.e. involve several related questions. Often (but not always) the questions can be answered out-of-sequence. So, if you have difficulty with the first part of a problem, don't give up; instead, take a look at the second (or third, etc.) part and see if you can solve it first.

    Some problems may be poorly written (you have already seen a few on your homework assignments). If you are confused by a question and are not sure what exactly are you supposed to calculate, ask a proctor to clarify; do not rush to calculate a wrong thing.

    Finally, if you need the value of a physical constant (eg., g=9.8m/s2) and it's not given in the text of the problem, check your formula sheet. If it's not on the formula sheet either, ask the proctors to write it on the blackboard.

    Exam Material

    Mid-term #1:
    Textbook chapters 1 through 5 (except friction)..
    Mid-term #2:
    Textbook chapters 5 through 8.
    Mid-term #3:
    Textbook chapters 9 through 11.
    Mid-term #4:
    Textbook chapters 12, 14, 15, 16, 17.
    Final Exam:
    The whole course, including chapter 18.

    Please notice that the exams may cover material that wasn't adequately covered by homeworks or explained in lectures. To avoid unpleasant surprises, read the textbook carefully, make sure you understand all the examples and can answer all questions at the ends of chapters. Then do as many textbook problems as you can.

    Also, keep in mind that mid-term exams 2, 3 and 4 may refer to the material studied earlier in class -- and some of the questions will test your knowledge of such early material again and again and again. Forgetting a test's material as soon as the test is over is a seriously bad idea.

    Last Modified: April 29, 2004.
    Vadim Kaplunovsky