10/03/2006

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A student writes:

Dr. Patt,

If we make an error on a problem and we correctly
problem, will we receive credit for the problem?
Eck, that's confusing.
For example, say we get the wrong answer to part A,
but we use that answer in
part B correctly (which gives us the incorrect answer),
will we receive credit for part B?

Actually, I got it the first time.  So, I will ask you a question: How does
learn the concepts in the course?

I am trying very hard to not call this a high schooler's question.  Your job
is to learn the concepts and demonstrate that you have learned them on the
exam.  My job is to evaluate that performance correctly and fairly.  That
means I will try to come up with problems where the above does not happen.
Since I am not always successful, I will be conscious of those cases where
such does occur and grade accordingly.  Unfortunately, there are cases in
which a wrong answer to part A can change the problem so dramatically that
the answer to part B is meaningless.

Simple example (in a math test):

Part a (3 points): Let x = square root of 2^6000. Represent x as a power of 2.
Part b (15 points): Is x+1 a prime number?

Part a: 2^2
Part b: Yes, 5 is a prime number.

How many points should the student receive?

I also have a question about problem 2 on the 2002 exam.
For part A, I got 3
and a TA got 3, but the answer on the website says 4.
number of actual locations or the number of locations that could be
but the diagram only shows 3 locations.

Since it was on the 2002 exam, as you might expect, I answered it when
a student asked it in Fall, 2004.  Rather than repeat it here, let me
just point you to Fall, 2004 EE306 email archives:

http://www.ece.utexas.edu/~patt/04f.306/Emails/email39.html