Final Exam Information

The Final Exam will be in the University assigned examination period: Monday, May 3rd, 2021, 2:45-4:45pm Madison time.

These instructions are basically the same as the previous mini exams, except that the exam block is 2 hours, and you will have up to 30 minutes for each exam part. That is, you must take the two 30 minute quizzes within the 2 hour exam block. You can start when you like, as long as you finish by 4:45.

The instructions are otherwise unchanged.

The final will count the same as the other exams (each of the 4 exams, or 8 parts, will be counted equally).

In terms of content: the final is cumulative. Anything from lectures and workbooks is fair game - including topics discussed in the final weeks' lectures. The outline of slides and lectures provides a topic list (

Basic Info

Basic Info

The rationale for this style of exam is discussed on the Course Web:

The exam will be semi-synchronous: you must take it during the exam period (2:45-4:45pm, Madison time, May 3rd), but it is up to you when during that two hour window that you take it.

The exam will be given as two Canvas quizzes. You will be allowed to spend 30 minutes on each. You can start a quiz any time during the exam window, but once you begin a quiz, you must complete it within 30 minutes. And you must complete both quizzes by 4:45. If you want to start at 4:40, you will only have 5 minutes. If you want the full 60 minutes to do the work, you need to start before 3:45. If you start earlier (2:45 or shortly after), you will have time to take a short break between the quizzes (recommended).

Key Rules

Key Rules

These rules are unchanged from Exam 1 and 2.

  1. You must not communicate with other students in class during the exam window (even when you are not taking the exam).

  2. You must not discuss the exam with anyone during the exam window. This includes any form of writing (posting, replying, messaging, etc.) to any forums (Piazza, Stack Exchange, Discord, etc.).

  3. You must avoid listening/reading to people violating the rules; e.g., if someone else makes a posting or message during the exam period, you should not read it.

  4. The exam is “open book” - we will not try to prevent you from reading (or viewing) existing materials. The exam timing will limit your ability to do research on the answers to the questions. Remember, that writing (asking a question, or posting an answer) is not allowed during the exam window. And, reading something illegal is academic misconduct.

  5. You may use a “calculator”, which includes writing programs. But, be careful of the time it takes. The questions are designed that you should be able to figure them out “by hand” (with pencil and paper) more quickly than trying to program.

  6. We must be strict about the start/stop time of the exam window because students in class are allowed to discuss the exam and class material outside of the window.

  7. The rules of proper academic conduct apply. See the course page on Collaboration Policy and Academic Conduct for more details.

In case of technical difficulties

In case of technical difficulties

Inevitably something will go wrong for someone.

If you have a problem:

  1. If you have a technical issue during the exam, try to complete the quiz you are taking as best you can. You may want to take a screen shot of the problem. You may want to save your work (e.g., a screenshot or print-to-PDF) if you fear Canvas might mess up

  2. After completing the current Quiz, send a private message to the course staff on Piazza explaining the problem. If you have an internet failure that precludes accessing Piazza, you can send email to the Professor. If you can’t even send email, send a message as soon as your internet access is restored.

  3. Please alert us to technical problems as promptly as possible.

  4. We will not answer content questions during the exam. If you feel a question has an error or is ambiguous, take your best guess at what the question means. The questions usually ask for the “most correct” answer (in cases where you feel no answer is exactly correct).

  5. Please check Piazza and Canvas for announcements before beginning each Quiz.

  6. Canvas may allow you to take the quizzes in the wrong order. In the event you start taking the wrong quiz, complete the one you have started. Then complete the remaining quizzes in the correct order.

Technical problems do happen. During the Spring 2020 559 Final, the internet went out in my neighborhood! I had to proctor it by phone (fortunately, the peer mentors and TAs were in a different neighborhood).

Accomodations for McBurney Students

Accomodations for McBurney Students

If you have already arranged for additional time, we will try to convince Canvas to give it to you. You must still complete the quizzes within the exam window, but you be given longer to take each quiz. This means that in order to take all of your additional time, you must start the exam relatively promptly at the beginning of the window.

Because of limitations of Canvas, portions of the quiz may not be compatible with screen readers or other assistive technologies. If you are visually impaired and rely on screen reading technology for viewing the web, please contact the course staff before the exam.