During Calculus IV on Tuesday, we had Exam I. I’ve decided that I’m not generally very good at producing tests at the appropriate level for the course. Usually they are much too hard (1 or 2 problems that require a LOT of tedious calculation) or too long (too many problems). The reason is not that I am particularly mean-spirited but that the my writing process is flawed. I start by writing a review for the test. I generate a solution guide for the review. Then, I come back and make a few minor modifications to the review, as well as adding a couple of new extensions of the problems on the review. The end result is that those minor modifications generally result in something not simplifying where it did before the mod.
With all that said, I was pleased with the Exam I that was given in Calculus IV on Tuesday. It tested over the set of material I was most concerned about. It was just the right length. All the students finished completely and handed in the test within the last 5 – 10 minutes of class. A couple problems were sufficiently difficult to challenge them but they walked away feeling like they had done fairly well. Of course, I have not graded them yet and may have a completely different perspective after that. But for the sake of confidentiality, you will never know. Sorry. But you can look at the test here: calculus-iv-exam-i.pdf
We will begin looking at Partial Derivatives in the next class. Yeehoo!