This course will have one in-class hour exam and a final exam. See the course calendar for the exam dates. You may find the following information about exams to be important:
- You are responsible for knowing the precise definitions, statements of theorems, and proofs that we cover in class for the main theorems. You may be asked to reproduce these on exams.
- You are expected to know how to do all the problems from the problem sets and homework that have been assigned, even if we didn't go over them in class. If you didn't get the problem right on a problem set or homework, it is even more important that you work out the solution before the exam. If you have questions about a problem, be sure to ask them before the exam.
- You are expected to be able to recognize the notation and terminology that we have been using in class without further explanation on the exams.
In-class exams serve a different function from take-home problem sets. Since the exams are for a short period of time, they test how quickly and accurately you can do the problems and what information you have at your fingertips, whereas problem sets test how well you can figure out hard problems over a longer period of time. You will feel rushed on an in-class exam, and you may not be able to finish it all. If you do not know how to do a particular problem, you will not have time to figure it out from first principles. In-class exams are not about how much you can figure out, but about how much you know how to do already. I will not ask you to develop new techniques on an in-class exam, but I will expect you to be able to use and combine techniques, definitions and theorems we have already developed in class or on problem sets. If you do not know these, you are unlikely to be able to complete the exam in time.
You should expect to feel time presure on an in-class exam. That's part of the process. I try to write an hour exam so that the A students should be able to finish in 45 minutes (though they usually stay for the whole time), the B students will need the full hour, and the C students may not be able to complete the exam in the given time. It is not the end of the world if you don't finish every problem, and I know that some of you won't. You should try to budget your time so that you can complete the problems that best illustrate your level of understanding of the material.
There will be no make-up or early exams without my prior approval at least a week in advance. The final exam can not be rescheduled, so do not purchase (or allow your parents to purchase) airline tickets for before the final exam. See the grading policy for a breakdown of what each exam will be worth.
If you have a learning disability for which you should receive extra time on exams, you must inform me of this by the end of the second week of class. You also should make arrangements with the office of the Dean of Students to inform me that they have the proper documentation for your condition on file. Finally, a week before the exam, you should arrange with me for how we will accommodate your extra time.